Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quabbin CBC

Despite a later than planned start due to some icing we had a wonderful day taking part in the Quabbin CBC. I joined Tom and Bruce in covering the Prescott Peninsula for the count. We never made it in the gates until 10:30 and stayed for six hours. We managed some great stuff, both birds and mammals. First the birding highlights: a group of fourteen Red Crossbills feeding in pines, a Northern Shrike, a Winter Wren and a total of 568 American Robins coming into roost in the evening. There were probably even more as they were already coming in when we came across this roost spot. There was also a Cooper's Hawk in the area looking for a late day snack. It was very interesting to be in among the small pines were the robins were dropping in right next to you and positioning themselves for the night. Some truly impressive numbers of White Throated Sparrows and Dark eyed Junco's in a few large flocks. One flock of White throats alone contained over 90 birds in a small area...amazing to see...the ground seemed to move as they foraged through the woods. As for the mammals we had great views of a Bobcat as it walked along a frozen pond. Just up the road from that spot, Tom noticed some Snowshoe Hare tracks in the road and looking where the tracks went there was a Snowshoe Hare! The hare was no more than 10 feet away from us under low pines and never moved as we admired it from such a close distance. Lots of moose tracks, but no moose today. We ended the day with a total of 23 species of bird which is great for this location at this time of year.

Also had a Fox Sparrow at the house this morning.

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