Monday, July 5, 2010

Scrubland research project

Field Sparrow

I spent the morning in an area of north Quabbin assisting a DCR biologist with a bird survey of a scrubland research area. The project started last year looking at four separate survey circles with two having been clear cut several years ago and the other two in forest slated for harvest. The main aim of the survey is to discover what species are present and in what number as the forest regenerates. Due to some political issues at this point the next stage of the cutting has not yet occurred. I can say that the clear cut area continues to grow rapidly and contained a number of species associated with cut over areas including Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow and Ruffed Grouse. The amount of available food within the clear cut was amazing with some quite tasty raspberries and blueberries.

Following the survey we stopped along the reservoir to take a quick look for the Caspian Terns that have been hanging around. During our time there we had no luck with the terns but did manage to have six Common Loons in view at once. Several other birders were in the area but none had yet had any luck with the terns. We then drove along inside the gates to Boat Launch Area 2 and then back to the New Salem office. Some nice birds along the way including a very vocal pair Broad-winged Hawks.

I then headed home with an hour walk down to the water at Gate 16 where I had another pair of Common Loons and other typical birds. By this time the temperatures had risen quite a bit so I headed out for the day.

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