Monday, May 31, 2010

Quabbin Park, Gate 16, 15 and home

I finally made a round trip around Quabbin Park now that the road has been reopened. The damage is extensive in sections. I made my trip around early before the hordes descended on the park. I managed some good birds including the continuing Cerulean and lots of Cedar Waxwings. I got some photos but will have to post after I download them.

I then took a trip up to Gates 16 and 15 on the west side and had some more good stuff. There were five Common Loons in the small cove at 16 with some great looks. I also had an apparent pair of Spotted Sandpipers at the same location I had suspected nesting in the past. The woods were alive with the songs of Hermit Thrushes and various warblers. The non bird highlight was a Bobcat walking away from me down the road. I have seen a few this year already.

At home I had the usual suspects plus a group of three Broad winged Hawks together, calling with one doing a courtship flight. I also had a Red shouldered Hawk and a high flyby Cooper's Hawk. Apparently a good day for raptors here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Storm damage and yard birds

I attempted to make it back into central Quabbin but was stopped by the extensive tree damage caused by thunderstorms during the middle of the week last week. The damage was quite impressive with many large trees down and all access roads blocked. I managed to hike around for a few hours and then finally gave up trying to weave my way through the damage. Despite the damage there were still some nice birds around. I continued to have good luck finding Evening Grosbeaks here. I have not missed seeing or hearing them every time I have made a trip into central Quabbin (I probably just jinxed myself for the next trip!). I had a nice assortment of warblers and other breeders with quite a bit of nesting activity taking place.

Cerulean Warbler, Quabbin Park, May 30, 2010

Following my attempt to get into my atlas blocks in central Quabbin I made a trip down to Quabbin Park to check on the Cerulean Warbler I found there last week. He appears to have made it through the storms that still have parts of Quabbin Park closed. He continues to sing continuous and with any luck he will attract a mate.
I then went back home to see what surprises were around the house today. I had some good luck including this very cooperative Northern Flicker that was feeding on some type of food in the lawn. The Eastern Phoebe's appear to be about ready to fledge and the local Robins already have. I also had a close encounter with a deer at midday that decided it wanted to walk through the yard and check out the activity.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Evening Atlas work and another Cerulean Warbler

American Woodcock, Central Quabbin, May 21, 2010

I spent another evening checking out central Quabbin for various birds. The main focus of this trip on the 21st was to try and re find a Chuck-Will-Widow seen by James Smith in early May. I had no luck finding the bird so it has either moved on or is staying silent. I also had no luck with Whip-Poor-Will's in this area either. However the more southern areas here do contain a nice group of Whip-Poor-Will's with a total of approximately a dozen see/heard on two previous trips this season.

Prairie Warbler, Quabbin Park, May22,2010

Black-billed Cuckoo, Quabbin Park, May 22,2010

Cerulean Warbler, Quabbin Park, May 22, 2010

After a several year absence I finally found a singing Cerulean Warbler at Quabbin Park. After a long time trying to find the bird I finally got some fairly decent views. They use to breed in the area I found this one this morning. Perhaps this one will be able to attract a mate and reestablish these warblers as breeders back at this location. Sorry for the low quality shot but he just would not come down very low at all. Beyond the Cerulean there were a nice selection of birds around with some showing quite nicely. The Black-billed Cuckoo has been in the same area for almost two weeks now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Breeding Bird Atlas...again.

Ruffed Grouse, Central Quabbin
Evening Grosbeak gathering nest material, Central Quabbin

Song Sparrow carrying food to nest, Central Quabbin

I spent another morning in Central Quabbin covering two atlas blocks. Some great birds around and alot of confirmations of breeding noted. Again the vast majority of birds seen today were on territory and likely nesting/getting ready to nest. There were a few migrants still around such as Northern Parula and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. I ran into another group of Red Crossbills with at least one juvenile with the group of four. There were many interesting sightings with many birds building nests and defending territories.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Vulture and Lincoln's Sparrow at Quabbin Park

Scarlet Tanager, Quabbin Park

American Redstart

I spent the morning exploring Quabbin Park with my mother who made her annual spring trek down to check out the migration. She yet again brought good luck with the birds with the biggest highlights being a Black Vulture soaring with four Turkey Vultures and a beautiful Lincoln's Sparrow. Unfortunately neither bird was very cooperative for a photograph. In addition to these birds we had other great stuff including great looks at a Black billed Cuckoo, mating Scarlet Tanagers, nest building American Redstarts, Chestnut sided Warblers and Baltimore Orioles, about to fl edge Common Ravens at their nest along the spillway, a large group of Double Crested Cormorants moving north and 19 species of warblers. Another great day at Quabbin.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Breeding Bird Atlas trip

Moose, feeding along edge of pond
Olive sided Flycatcher, one of two seen

Common Yellowthroat

I made a couple trips into my atlas block in New Salem to check on the ongoing status of breeding birds and general migration. The vast majority of birds seen and heard appeared to be on territory with some building nests or already feeding young. The numbers of warblers and vireos are reaching their peak at this point and flycatchers are building in numbers too. I'll include the list from the trip to give a glimpse of the activity in this wild part of Massachusetts.

Canada Goose 4 adults
Ruffed Grouse 6 drumming
Wild Turkey 7
Double-crested Cormorant 4 high flyby
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Solitary Sandpiper 3 together
Mourning Dove 12
Black-billed Cuckoo 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 17 carrying food
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 3
Olive-sided Flycatcher 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Least Flycatcher 31
Eastern Phoebe 5 carrying food
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 4
Blue-headed Vireo 7
Red-eyed Vireo 72
Blue Jay 17
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 10
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 30
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 9
White-breasted Nuthatch 2 carrying food
Brown Creeper 3
House Wren 2
Winter Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Veery 26
Swainson's Thrush 2
Hermit Thrush 2
Wood Thrush 22
American Robin 32
Gray Catbird 34
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
Northern Parula 2
Yellow Warbler 27
Chestnut-sided Warbler 69 building nests
Magnolia Warbler 21
Black-throated Blue Warbler 37 carrying nest material
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Black-throated Green Warbler 23
Blackburnian Warbler 8
Pine Warbler 15
Prairie Warbler 2
Blackpoll Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 20
American Redstart 59 building nests
Ovenbird 76
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 99 carrying nest material
Canada Warbler 3
Scarlet Tanager 14
Eastern Towhee 82
Chipping Sparrow 34
Song Sparrow 8
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 15
Indigo Bunting 2
Red-winged Blackbird 11
Common Grackle 7
Brown-headed Cowbird 11
Baltimore Oriole 22 building nests
Red Crossbill 2 pair
American Goldfinch 4
Evening Grosbeak 4 two pairs

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back from Ohio

Chestnut sided Warbler, Magee Marsh Boardwalk

I just arrived back after a quick trip out to northwestern Ohio. It was a great trip despite the less than ideal weather conditions. I managed a total of 124 species while covering only a few areas. I ended with 26 species of warblers. It looks like I missed a really big day out there by one day but I'm still happy with my trip. Some really nice photo ops of birds you don't normally get to see so well. I'll post some of my photos from this trip over the next few weeks.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A rainy but productive day including a Kentucky Warbler

Canada warbler, found while trying to refind the Kentucky (sorry no photo of the Kentucky)

Despite the less than ideal weather today I had a great day. The morning began with thunderstorms which did not bode well for the Hampshire Bird Club trip I was co-leading with Tom Gagnon. One of the first birds of the day on the trip through Quabbin was a group of three Bonaparte's Gulls that we tried to make into something more exotic. We then made the trip inside the gates around 7:30 and the rain picked up again. After a couple hours of heavy rain and thunder we decided to call it a day and end the trip early. I then went home to warm up and dry out. The real excitement of the day began when one of the first breaks in the rain developed and I could hear various warblers calling. I went outside and had a nice group including Magnolia, Black throated Green, Chestnut sided, Northern Parula, Yellow, Ovenbird, Yellow rumped, Pine and Northern Waterthrush. The bird of the day however was heard just after stepping outside to check the other birds when I heard and then briefly saw a Kentucky Warbler. A fantastic bird for the yard! It only stayed a brief time and I was unable to get a photo. I kept checking back outside between bouts of rain but was unable to relocate it. I was rewarded with a nice male Canada Warbler to make up for not refinding the Kentucky. I also managed to add another yard bird today, a Solitary Sandpiper. A very good day even without great weather.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Breeding Bird Atlas New Salem

Evening Grosbeak

I made an early morning trip into my atlas blocks to check on activity. The pace of migration continues to pick up with many new arrivals since my last trip in. The variety and overall numbers continue to increase (compare today's list with one last week). Although there were, as always, many highlights the ones that stick out include finding a Cerulean warbler back in his usual spot where he has breed for the last few years, an begging juvenile Coopers Hawk and a Merlin that was harassing a crow.

Wood Duck 6 pairs
Mallard 2 pair
Hooded Merganser 5 two males
Ruffed Grouse 9 drumming
Wild Turkey 15
Double-crested Cormorant 6 moving north
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Bald Eagle 1 adult
Cooper's Hawk 3 one begging juvenile
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Merlin 1 well south, seen harassing a crow
Mourning Dove 18
Barred Owl 3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 20
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 5
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Least Flycatcher 23
Eastern Phoebe 5
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 5
Blue-headed Vireo 7 carrying nest material
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 25
Blue Jay 26
American Crow 4
Tree Swallow 16
Black-capped Chickadee 28
Tufted Titmouse 7
Red-breasted Nuthatch 9
Brown Creeper 5
House Wren 2
Winter Wren 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Veery 13
Hermit Thrush 4
Wood Thrush 17
American Robin 41
Gray Catbird 29
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 3
Northern Parula 4
Yellow Warbler 23 carrying nest material
Chestnut-sided Warbler 44
Magnolia Warbler 8
Black-throated Blue Warbler 24
Yellow-rumped Warbler 8
Black-throated Green Warbler 35
Blackburnian Warbler 9
Pine Warbler 17 making nest
Prairie Warbler 1
Cerulean Warbler 1 in same area they have bred for last few years
Black-and-white Warbler 18
American Redstart 43
Ovenbird 97
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 89
Scarlet Tanager 14
Eastern Towhee 70
Chipping Sparrow 45 making nest
Song Sparrow 10
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 6
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 16
Red-winged Blackbird 17
Common Grackle 13
Brown-headed Cowbird 14
Baltimore Oriole 17 making nest
Purple Finch 2 pair
American Goldfinch 12
Evening Grosbeak 4 two pairs

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arizona Part 4 Madera Canyon

Big group of Pine Siskins and a few Lesser Goldfinches

Painted Redstart

Broad billed Hummingbird

Another part of the review of my trip to Arizona in late March/early April brings me back to review my time in Madera Canyon. I have already mentioned the big finds of Rufous capped Warbler (actually in Florida Canyon) and Flame colored Tanager. There were many other great birds in the canyon and I had great luck despite the windy and cool weather. I missed out on owls but had many other good sightings. Here are a few photos.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Big influx overnight

I made another trip in to my atlas blocks at Quabbin covering basically the same areas as yesterday. The influx of birds was very evident right from the start. I ended the day with a total of 17 warbler species with some good numbers. Overall a great way to start May. Here is the list for about 7 hours of birding.

Canada Goose 4
Wood Duck 5 one pair, two lone males, one lone female
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 3
Hooded Merganser 9 two pairs and several females
Ruffed Grouse 6 drumming
Wild Turkey 14
Double-crested Cormorant 4 moving north
Turkey Vulture 1
Bald Eagle 1 adult
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 moving north
Cooper's Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1 caught chipmunk and flew off
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1 male
Mourning Dove 15
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 31 excavating nest holes
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 6
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Least Flycatcher 4
Eastern Phoebe 4
Blue-headed Vireo 41 carrying nest material
Blue Jay 142 large groups moving north, mostly silent...largest group of 78...likely missed many
American Crow 3
Common Raven 1
Tree Swallow 20
Black-capped Chickadee 61 making nest
Tufted Titmouse 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 18
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 5
Carolina Wren 1 unusual here
Winter Wren 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9
Hermit Thrush 11
American Robin 54
Gray Catbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 16
Nashville Warbler 4
Northern Parula 2
Yellow Warbler 20
Chestnut-sided Warbler 5
Magnolia Warbler 1 male with odd song, seen well
Black-throated Blue Warbler 7
Yellow-rumped Warbler 161 conservative number...large groups together. Almost never out of earshot
Black-throated Green Warbler 26
Blackburnian Warbler 1 same area as yesterday
Pine Warbler 38
Prairie Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 23
American Redstart 6
Ovenbird 32
Louisiana Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 6
Eastern Towhee 121
Chipping Sparrow 81 carrying nest material
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 7
Swamp Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 146 conservative number...these guys were everywhere...largest group together was 59
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5
Red-winged Blackbird 21
Common Grackle 20
Brown-headed Cowbird 25
Purple Finch 7
Red Crossbill 2 perhaps more...heard and then seen 20 minutes later about half mile away...birds seen were male and female
American Goldfinch 13
Evening Grosbeak 7 two pairs and group of three