Sunday, June 16, 2013
The Chipmunk Invasion & My New Love-the Wood Thrush
I'd get to my spot where I always stop to look for a Least Bittern though I know the odds are low but do it just the same as you never know! This has always been a quick stop by car so was happy to see a trail I could do by foot that would allow me to hike the whole length of the river to see what I could find. There'd be no bittern of course but did pick up some Wood Ducks with ducklings as well as a Great-blue Heron. Soon enough I'd be away from the river and deep in the woods with a powerline nearby and bird song would be wonderful including two Hairy Woodpecker's counter-drumming which allowed me the chance to do my first ever drum recording. Wooot!
How cool is this! Seriously, it seems as if a whole new world has been bestowed upon me since I made a goal of studying bird song more as I'd pick up on the counter drumming immediately and spend about 5 minutes recording them as one would drum, wait and the other would follow. It always leaves me with more questions than answers as I try and understand what's going on between my chosen subjects. Are they both males and defiending their turf or a couple who are drumming for contact calls? I'll probably never know but it's fascinating to listen to.
Don't know if it's because I'm more aware of song in general but this thrush sounded different to what I was hearing throughout the month of May. Almost slower, more musical and spaced further apart. Once I hit the reocrd button I focus only on the song of the chosen bird and hear nothing else so would be surprised my Droid could pick up on the Brown Creeper I didn't even notice until I ventured down the trail more.
I'd finally make it to Martha Deering and stop for a water breakbefore heading to Grafton and would notice that something had picked up since the wee hours of the morning which were the many Chipmunks who'd be calling from everywhere and making me crazy as it required more concentration in hearing the birds. The other thing I'd notice were a lot of horse droppings along the path which meant watching where I was going in order not to step in it as it would literally be everywhere so guessing Martha Deering and the Grafton Land Conservation has become a favorite among horse riders.
You will understand what I mean by all the Chipmunks once you hear the recording above and I'd hear this the ENTIRE TIME I was in the woods I kid you not! Was happy just the same to get a recording of the vireo though.
I'd finally make it to the Grafton turn around point and it wouldn't take long to get good and lost. I'd kick myself considering I knew these woods well when I was trail running them, but that was two years ago and realized I was over confident. I'd get caught up in one of those mountain bike loops where I'd go around in circles trying to find my way out and be uncertain of how to get out of Grafton and back to Millbury. I'd grumble to myself and knew one thing and that was despite the MassBird posts on lack of chipmunk sightings there is no shortage in my area and horses sure do sh*t a lot as I took a nasty spill in some turning a corner!
I'd finally resort to whipping out the Droid which already had a low battery due to all the recording I was doing and go to the map section to help get me out of Grafton and wouldn't you know, it worked like a charm so will remember it next time as there will of course be a next time. I'd hear another Wood Thrush the closer I got to Martha Deering and had to stop to record this one despite the low battery as it was throwing in notes I'd never heard before making it very recording worthy.
Notice the chipmunks calling in the back ground! I seriously wanted to grab one by the tail and toss it across the woods at this point as not only was their annoying call imprinted in my brain after hearing them for 4 hours straight, but they were messing with my recordings no less-little buggers!
I now sit here in front of the computer re energized as there are Killdeer across the street who've been around past few days so guessing they're setting up shop. Will be heading over there for hopeful pictures ans audio. Just cross your fingers there are no Chipmunks nearby.
Take care all.