Sunday, November 21, 2010

Odds & Ends...Photos from past weeks

I've posted some recent photos from trips close to home and up to the North Shore and Southern Maine.
Cattle Egret - Easier to find in the eastern part of the state than here in the west. Always nice to locate one. (Hellcat/Plum Is. Oct 31,2010)

Shorebirds on the move....Even though the Curlew Sandpiper hadn't been seen in four days prior to our trip, we headed out to Sandy Point. These Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers and Sanderlings  were on the move...When looking for rare shorebirds, a Peregrine Falcon is not what you want.

Peregrine Falcon- A great bird, but not when scoping through large flocks of shorebirds.

Sandhill Crane- Bird of the day on October 31st....definitely a treat!

King Eider-young male in Ogunquit Maine. (Perkins Cove)

Perkins Cove- Ogunquit, Maine.

Gray Kingbird- 2nd State record for Maine. (Perkins Cove)

Fox Sparrow- Goodell Street Feeder.

White-throated Sparrow- Feeder.

Tundra Swans- Quabbin Res. This group of 19 was found by the Hampshire Bird Club (Tom Gagnon & Larry Therrien leading) Nov. 20, 2010

Cackling Goose- Umass Campus Pond/Amherst. 11-21-2010

Cackling Goose- Bird #2 at the Campus Pond.

American robin and Winter berry

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chasing the Curlew Sandpiper....

Curlew Sandpiper- Juv
Curlew Sandpipers are not very common migrant in the state, if fact you could make a reasonable case that they are down right...rare. However- It seems one or two get found every year, but usually adults. This bird that was found by Suzanne Sullivan in early October was a juvenile, a plumage that I've never encountered before. So I headed out early Saturday morning on  the 23rd and headed directly to the south end of Plum Island to Sandy Point. The tide was on the rise and I first came upon the Curlew out of the mud flats. After photographing the bird for a while, I move towards the beach where I relocated it roosting with White-rumped Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers in the dunes. I was pretty impressed that this bird hung around for as long as it did, the last report on October 28th. 

From Plum Island, I headed to Concord to take in the Barnacle Goose that had been recently found by David Sibley. I arrived in the late afternoon and was please to find the bird with a flock of Canada Geese.

Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin- Sandy Point

Semipalmated Plover

White-rumped Sandpiper
This napping Raccoon was right next to the main road at the Plum Island airport.
Barnacle Goose- Concord.

Berkshire Lakes

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to update my blog, and during that time I've had the opportunity to visit the Berkshire Lakes region as well as Plum Island on the North Shore. I headed up to the Pittsfield area on October 17th to take in the fall colors and locate some waterfowl on the various Lakes and Reservoirs. Ian Davies and I departed early from Amherst and made it to Windsor just at dawn. Although we had quietly hoped for an early Northern Shrike or perhaps a Northern Goshawk, (denied on both accounts) we had a nice dawn movement of birds. (American Robins 1500, Sharp-shinned Hawk (14), Common Raven 4, American Pipit 3, Palm Warbler 6, Field sparrow 2, Lincolns Sparrow 1, Eastern Meadowlark 1, Rusty Blackbird 1, Purple Finch 8, Pine Siskins 3)

From windsor, we headed to Cheshire Reservoir and the large lakes around the Pittsfield area. Both Chershire and Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield would be the most productive bodies of water this day.(variety) Some of the highlights...(Gadwall 2, American wigeon 1, Northern Pintail 1, Green-winged Teal 6, Ring-necked duck 1, Greater Scaup 2, Black Scoter 5, Red-breasted Merganser 5, Pied-billed Grebes 4, American Coot 6 ) Our last stop at Mud Pond yielded a good number of Ring-necked Ducks (610) and one Ruddy Duck.
Black Scoter- Cheshire Reservoir

Canada Geese...coming in
Another perfect landing with fall colors
American Coot

Fall New England in the fall.

Next.....Plum Island area