Sunday, August 30, 2009

Various Quabbin gates on the west side....

I visited a few Quabbin gates this morning starting with Gate 22 and ending with Gate 10. I walked to the water from Gate 22 over the course of two and a half hours. Despite the lingering fog I managed a total of six Common Loons at the water with one calling. I ran across several mixed species feeding flocks over the course of the walk with some birds giving good views while a large number remained quite high up, mainly in oaks. My next stop was Gate 16 where I again walked to the water and then further down the road for another 3/4 of a mile. Again several mixed species feeding flocks with a nice selection of birds. My final stop for the morning was Gate 10 which I walked only a relatively short distance on. After leaving Gate 10 I had an unusually sighting of a Broad winged hawk soaring around with a Common Nighhawk at 11:15 in the morning along Rt 202 near gate 8.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Common Nighthawks August 24 and 25

I have had some great luck with Nighthawks the last couple evenings. Yesterday at home turned out to be one of the best nights I have ever had for Nighthawks. It started slow but when I went back outside after dinner around 6:40 the show began. There were dozens then hundreds of birds feeding right over the house for around 45 minutes. I was in awe of the numbers and great looks. The total for the night was a very conservative 388. On the 25th I watched from Northampton and ended the night with a total just over 400 plus an equally impressive number of 500+ Bobolinks coming to roost. All this plus thousands and thousands of Grackles and blackbirds going to roost made for another fine evening. I still have to download photos from last night to see if I got any 'keepers'.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A final trip to Prescott and a stop at Gate 29

A few days ago, on the 15th, I went in for a brief last visit of Prescott Peninsula for this seasons breeding bird atlas. Although I didn't manage to confirm any more species on this short trip in I was still rewarded with some good sightings.

Today I went to Gate 29 and Bears Den (a Trustee of the Reservations site) in New Salem.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Perhaps the final trip into Prescott this season...maybe.

I have made two trips in three days into the Prescott Peninsula to check on late breeders and perhaps come across something unusual. There are still a few birds singing and calling but the vast majority have become silent. Hermit Thrushes continue to sing in a few spots. The highlights of the trip today included nine Ruby throated Hummingbirds including at least a couple juveniles as well as a total of eighteen Red breasted Nuthatches! I would have had more of these and other species if I had stayed as long as I had intended to. Much to my dismay I forget my food and drinks at home so had to call it a day after about four hours of birding. I was only able to cover about 2/3 of the area I intended to but still got some great stuff anyway. The number of Little Brown Bats at their typical roost totalled 8 today which is a slight improvement from the last few weeks. The total list for the day is below.

Prescott Peninsula

Wood Duck 2
Hooded Merganser 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Green Heron 1
Mourning Dove 7
Chimney Swift 5 group together over isolated swamp were I suspect breeding
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9
Belted Kingfisher 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 3
Downy Woodpecker 5
Northern Flicker 4
Eastern Wood-Pewee 5
Least Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 12
Eastern Kingbird 9
Yellow-throated Vireo 1
Blue-headed Vireo 10
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 37
Blue Jay 27
American Crow 4
Tree Swallow 204
Barn Swallow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 33
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 18
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 3
Carolina Wren 1 very unusual in this part of quabbin
House Wren 3
Winter Wren 2 one singing
Golden-crowned Kinglet 13 a few family groups
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Veery 4
Hermit Thrush 5 a few singing
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 48
Gray Catbird 47
Cedar Waxwing 67
Chestnut-sided Warbler 5
Magnolia Warbler 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 9
American Redstart 9
Ovenbird 3
Common Yellowthroat 52
Scarlet Tanager 5
Eastern Towhee 49
Chipping Sparrow 9
Field Sparrow 2 one still singing
Song Sparrow 11
White-throated Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 6
Purple Finch 1 singing
American Goldfinch 11

In addition to these birds today I stopped by the Herman Covey WMA yesterday morning and was rewarded with seven Green Herons including a couple juveniles and a juvenile American Bittern among the many other fine birds.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Prescott Peninsula again this week.

I spent much of the morning checking various areas of the Prescott Peninsula for the bird atlas and again had a wonderful time with a variety of good sightings. Beyond the birds listed below I had a Moose (maybe a second), Muskrat, a few Brown Bats (much less than in years past..sad) and a nice mix of butterflies. The birding highlight would have to be a calling male Red Crossbill perched on top of a pine tree. Managed some distant record shots bit nothing worth posting. Here is the list for the morning.

Hooded Merganser 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
American Woodcock 2 together
Mourning Dove 8
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4
Belted Kingfisher 4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Downy Woodpecker 5
Northern Flicker 7
Eastern Wood-Pewee 5
Alder Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 12
Eastern Kingbird 9
Blue-headed Vireo 9
Red-eyed Vireo 48
Blue Jay 20
American Crow 6
Common Raven 1
Tree Swallow 224+
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 54
Tufted Titmouse 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 17
White-breasted Nuthatch 7
Brown Creeper 6
House Wren 5
Winter Wren 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 12 several juveniles
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Veery 4
Hermit Thrush 7 three juveniles
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 35
Gray Catbird 39
Cedar Waxwing 41
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 9
Magnolia Warbler 6
Black-throated Blue Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 4
Pine Warbler 3
Prairie Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 7
American Redstart 12
Ovenbird 1 only one!
Common Yellowthroat 51
Canada Warbler 1 still singing
Scarlet Tanager 4
Eastern Towhee 57
Chipping Sparrow 9
Song Sparrow 15
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 2 one juvenile
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 5
Common Grackle 1
Baltimore Oriole 1
Red Crossbill 1 adult male calling, seen perched top of pine
American Goldfinch 15

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another morning into Prescott

I spent another morning on Prescott Peninsula finishing up another season of the breeding bird atlas work. I managed a few more confirmations but overall not too much in the way of new 'stuff'. I ran across a few mixed species flocks that certainly reminded me of the fall to come.