Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bolton Flats and Wachusett Reservoir

It's starting to become that time of the year again.  When bird song and activity starts to cease with most birds busy breeding and also the time I notice house dust bunnies or pizza sauce stuck to the kitchen ceiling can no longer be tolerated and I resign myself to the fact I need to spend more time on the home front and less in the woods to get stuff done before fall migration!  So with that said, off I went to Bolton Flats for 5AM yesterday to do some early morning birding.  The skies would still be dark as I made my way to the parking lot and would realize that big honkin puddle in the beginning of the parking lot was still there so parked my car near the side of the road, rolled my pants into my boots and trudged through the puddle.  It would be so deep I'm keep my car in this area as there was no way my car would make it so trudged back through the puddle and into the main fields.  The flooding wouldn't be limited to the parking lot as there'd be water all along the main path but the sound of the pumping American Bittern and other birds made me forget it as I went about my way and swatted mosquitoes.

The large puddle and my car parked to the side.  Yes we've certainly gotten a lot of rain this year!  I'd get toward the end of the path and be thrilled to hear the bird I came specifically for which was the Marsh Wren and it would be nearby for some decent recordings!

My first recording.  You can't help but to hear the Wood Duck which cracks me up.  The Marsh Wren was in the same area as the duck and I believe I startled the duck considering how early and dark it still was.

My 2nd best recording and this time a pissed off Mallard in the back ground!  I have learned that the dawn chorus is my favorite time to bird, but you pay heavily for it with 3:00 wake up times but it's the price that must be paid!

And lastly, a recording of some Song Sparrows nearby who appeared to be in the midst of a bar room brawl.  It would start getting light and I'd see one sparrow duck into the thick shrubs with another diving into toward it and then all hell broke loose which you will hear in my recording (funny because you can hear one try and break out into song in the midst of it).  Not sure if the begging young I hear in the middle of the recording are Song Sparrows but if they area I'm thinking I may have witnessed a lovers quarrel of some sort as the task of rearing young must be taking its toll by now!  I'd keep my ears to the right of the path in hopes of hearing one of the Least Bitterns but by then the mosquitoes would be fierce as they bit any part of skin I neglected to get with bug spray so off I went to a place with less standing water which would mean less bugs!

Which would be Gate 28 of the Wachusett Reservoir.  The dawn chorus would be done by now but that didn't stop the many birds from singing and giving me glances here and there.

Including the lousy photo of the Pine Warbler above.  I made sure to get a record shot of the bird as it was singing a song I'd never quite heard from this bird in that it dropped during the last part of song (kind of like a Wilson's Warbler)

You can actually see the drop in song in the sonogram above.  My guess it was still early in the day and late in the season and the warbler was only doing a half assed attempt of defending it's territory just to remind Pete 6 pine trees away to not even think of it!

There'd be other warblers out and about including the Prairie above scoring itself some caterpillars.  I'd hear a dry, rapid chip note coming nearby and ID it in my mind as a Prairie so pished it for confirmation.

And was glad to see I was right for a change!  The most satisfying part of learning bird communication are chip notes and hoping it comes in handy for fall migration!

I'd hear a bird in full song and at first glance I thought it could be an Indigo Bunting with the repeated notes but it just didn't sit right with me as it was too musical.  It would have some short introductory notes so next on the list was Baltimore Oriole as I've heard them do that before and that didn't sit right either so decided to do some recording.

You can actually see the beginning notes I'm referring to in my sonogram above.  After recording the bird I'd do some pishing and it wouldn't show its face so thought of a genius idea which was to play back the birds song I just recorded as each bird has their own unique way of singing so was curious to see if the bird would wonder who the impostor was!

And sure enough it did as it would turn out to be this gorgeous male Orchard Oriole!  Seriously threw me for a loop as I always notice the drop in in this birds song and didn't hear it at first but you can see it in the sonogram.

Another lousy photo but thought it was funny as I got the dragon fly in it as well.  HA

There'd be other birds out and about including the recently fledged Eastern Towhee above.
And this bird where at first all I could see was its face and I thought a small falcon of some kind until it moved and be embarrassed to see it was a young American Robin!  Never noticed the facial marking on recently fledged robins before but will be sure to remember it now!

The Brown Thrashers would be out as well for a nice treat as it would be a first for me for the month of June.

Flying away.

So now I sit here in front of the computer trying to will myself to the mop.  I'm in good company though with the singing American Robins and Baltimore Orioles who are parked in my mullberry tree as well as the Killdeer across the street.  There will be no birding today as I have a date with some much neglected pizza sauce.

Take care all.

1 comment:

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