Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blue Grosbeak and many other good birds.

Blue Grosbeak, Quabbin, April 30, 2011

Blue Grosbeak, Quabbin, April 30, 2011

Pine Warbler, Quabbin, April 30, 2011
Yellow Warbler, Quabbin, April 30, 2011

I ended the month with an early morning trip into central Quabbin to continue the breeding bird atlas for Massachusetts. A few birds have indeed begun to nest including Pine Warblers, American Robins, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Belted Kingfishers and others.

A very nice selection of warblers for late April were found today in the central area of Quabbin as the month comes to an end. An amazing total of eighteen species for the month as several species have arrived a bit early this season. A few new species today included Chestnut sided, Blackburnian and Ovenbird.

The highlight for the day was a beautiful Blue grosbeak I found at the end of the morning as I was heading out. A truly stunning bird that I didn't expect to find here.

Here is the list for the morning.

Canada Goose 1
Wood Duck 3 one pair and one female
American Black Duck 2
Mallard 3
Bufflehead 3 male and two females on small pond
Hooded Merganser 4 one male
Common Merganser 3 pair and single male
Ruffed Grouse 16 all drumming
Wild Turkey 12
Turkey Vulture 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1 low overhead and calling
Mourning Dove 4
Belted Kingfisher 2 excavating nest hole in sand pit in from gate 17
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 22 minimum count
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 8
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Least Flycatcher 5
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue-headed Vireo 6
Blue Jay 52
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow 11
Black-capped Chickadee 36
Tufted Titmouse 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Brown Creeper 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3 one carrying nest material
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 8
Veery 3 all seen
Hermit Thrush 1
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 57 a few with nearly complete nests
Gray Catbird 13
Nashville Warbler 3
Northern Parula 1
Yellow Warbler 5
Chestnut-sided Warbler 10
Magnolia Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 83 minimum count
Black-throated Green Warbler 7
Blackburnian Warbler 3
Pine Warbler 36
Prairie Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 13
American Redstart 1
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 15
Eastern Towhee 59 everywhere now
Chipping Sparrow 31
Field Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 12
Swamp Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 22
White-crowned Sparrow 1 adult
Dark-eyed Junco 4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Blue Grosbeak 1 adult male seen and photographed. A most unexpected find. Photos on Flickr site.
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Common Grackle 13
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Purple Finch 8 several pairs
American Goldfinch 19
Evening Grosbeak 2 pair flyby

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UMASS Orchard Hill...big influx

Spent a foggy, drizzle filled morning at Orchard Hill on the UMASS campus with Ian Davies and Nick Barber and had loads of birds. A large influx overnight with many first of year birds as well as high counts. Certainly my biggest count of Black and White Warblers ever. The birds were largly silent as they fed at all levels from the ground to the tops of the trees. A wonderful morning to be out.

Orchard Hill UMASS

Wood Duck 3
Mallard 3
American Bittern 1 flushed from small lawn
Green Heron 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 7
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 5
Least Flycatcher 3
Eastern Phoebe 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 3
Eastern Kingbird 1
Blue-headed Vireo 5
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 5
swallow sp. 3
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 2
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 21
Hermit Thrush 3
Wood Thrush 2
American Robin 7
Gray Catbird 38 minimum number, likely several more
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 4
Northern Parula 1 seen and heard
Yellow Warbler 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 110 minimum number
Black-throated Green Warbler 7 several calling
Palm Warbler 6
Black-and-white Warbler 43 huge influx of these. Minimum count. At times several in view at once
Northern Waterthrush 1 Probably two around
Eastern Towhee 3
Chipping Sparrow 3
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 6
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 95 minimum count...everywhere
Dark-eyed Junco 6
Northern Cardinal 8
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3 all males
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Eastern Meadowlark 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 11
Baltimore Oriole 1
Purple Finch 2
Pine Siskin 1 fly over, may have been more than one
American Goldfinch 6

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rail Trail Amherst

White throated Sparrow, Rail Trail, April 25, 2011

American Goldfinch, Rail Trail, April 25, 2011

American Robin, Rail Trail, April 25, 2011

Arrived at dawn at the rail trail in Amherst trying to get a little birding in before the weather deteriorated again. Another productive morning although all the new arrivals seemed to very camera shy or where just too far away. Some first of season birds included Black throated Blue Warbler (early), Yellow Warbler, Green Heron, Eastern Kingbird and Baltimore Oriole. Every day brings in more species. Some really good numbers of Yellow rumped Warblers feeding on the multitude of insects. The rain arrived after a couple hours and cut the day short.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Atlas "work" begins

Spent the morning checking out one of the atlas blocks in central Quabbin. A great day to be outside despite the early fog. I will just include the list for a few hours of time spent there this morning.

Canada Goose 2 on nest
Wood Duck 1
Mallard 5
Ring-necked Duck 5
Bufflehead 2 pair in small pond
Hooded Merganser 3
Ruffed Grouse 14 all drumming
Wild Turkey 8
Common Loon 1 flyby
Cooper's Hawk 2
Broad-winged Hawk 2
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 24 minimum, probably several more
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 8
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Eastern Phoebe 7
Blue-headed Vireo 6
Blue Jay 21
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 16
Black-capped Chickadee 23
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Brown Creeper 5
Winter Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 24
Hermit Thrush 6
American Robin 30
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 77
Black-throated Green Warbler 1 heard and seen
Pine Warbler 39
Palm Warbler (Yellow) 7
Eastern Towhee 16
Chipping Sparrow 17
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 17
Swamp Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 19
Red-winged Blackbird 21
Common Grackle 14
Brown-headed Cowbird 20
Purple Finch 4
American Goldfinch 13

Moose 1
White tailed Deer 1

Friday, April 22, 2011

Arizona April trip part one...Tucson area

Verdin, Saguaro NP, April 10, 2011
Pyrrhuloxia, Tucson, AZ, April 11, 2011

Black Phoebe, Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, AZ, April 11, 2011

Curve billed Thrasher, Tucson, AZ, April 10, 2011

Wilson's Warbler, Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, AZ, April 11, 2011

Lucy's Warbler, Saguaro NP, April 10, 2011

A quick post on the first couple days in Arizona on my last trip out there earlier this month. These two days were spent around Tucson with visits to both units of Saguaro National Park, Sweetwater Wetlands, Arizona Sonaran Desert Museum and other areas around the city.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back from Arizona

Broad-billed Hummingbird, Madera Canyon, AZ

Just returned from a week long trip to Southwest Arizona and had a great time. I managed a total of 147 species, 15 lifers and 29 new to Arizona for me. Lots of good stuff. I will post more photos and details as I get the time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nesting begins

Wood Ducks at nest box, Covey WMA Hooded Merganser pair, Covey WMA American Robin, Covey WMA
Red winged Blackbird, Covey WMA
Common Grackle, Quabbin Park

Made another trip by Quabbin Park and Covey WMA. No real changes from the birds of yesterday but some nice looks at some of them nonetheless. The ice is ever so slowly leaving the reservoir and the Common Mergansers continue to take advantage. Hooded Mergansers and Wood Ducks continue to check out the various nest boxes. Red winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles are gathering nest material and Canada Geese and Common Ravens are all ready sitting on nests. Just the beginning of the many breeding birds to come.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring continues...slowly

Eastern Phoebe, Covey WMA
Tree Swallow, Covey WMA
Blue Jay, Covey WMA
Blue Jay, Covey WMA

I spent the morning at Quabbin Park and Covey WMA checking on new spring arrivals. Most of the snow from yesterday has already disappeared. The main Quabbin continues to be almost totally frozen but there were a few small open areas of water and these contained some groups of Common Mergansers (total of 62). The Bald Eagle continues on the nest and seemed to be moving around quite a bit so perhaps there are hatchlings in the nest. The numbers of migrants continues to be low but given the weather conditions that is not surprising. A handful of calling Eastern Phoebes, a few Tree Swallows, a singing Winter Wren and Fox Sparrow added some flavor to the morning as did a successfully hunting female American Kestrel, a flyby male Northern Harrier and a group of three Cooper's Hawks together moving north. It appeared that some sparrows were on the move today as well as groups of crows and jays. Spring appears to be arriving, even if it is a bit slow.