Monday, March 30, 2015

Beyond Massachusetts and Back!

So yesterday my regional birding gears kicked back in. I had to go and chase the mega-rare Surfbird that had been present for a week as of yesterday. I started planning the trip out on Wednesday. I asked my buddy Ryan if he wanted to do a real bird chase.  He obliged. The whole family was coming for this one. When we arrived to Biddeford Pool, Maine we immediately were greeted by a very white (as opposed to the darker birds we are used to do down here) Snowy Owl on a roof. After letting Ryan and myself snap a picture or two we continued down to the mega area.  While approaching Hatties Restaurant we could see about 20 birders out in the marsh with scopes out. The best sign one could hope for while chasing a lone rarity. We hustled through the wet marsh (tide just receded) towards the birders now waving their hands frantically for us to hurry and look through their scopes before it flies. Great people. Then, there it was. A bit distant but, great through the scope. I probably got my worst record shot ever of it. Lifer! Sometimes a bird is too easy and sometimes a bird is impossible. After leaving there we decided to head down to Wells, Maine for a Gyrfalcon. My grandparents and my parents all own condos there so I'm very familiar with the area. We arrived and within minutes I called out Peregrine Falcon. Then all the other birders screamed Gyrfalcon. My photos ended up proving Peregrine Falcon. Bird just seemed small from the jump as it chased some pigeons.  We weren't gonna invest much time waiting for the bird. But now a few of us birding were questioning how many people thought they saw a Gyrfalcon over the weeks when it was a Peregrine Falcon. After our sighting yesterday the listservs started saying Gyrfalcon YES. Another reason I am pro camera! Last week Liam Waters was able to get photos of the bird. So it's still around!  Lunch was our next stop. Then I saw a crow on a wire. I thought it's gotta be a Fish Crow. Those still flag as rare there. Sure enough it started calling! Another state bird! For whatever reason I have a minimum goal to try and see at least 100 species in each state. I needed 5 for Maine and 3 for New Hampshire as of yesterday. Next we headed down to Adam's Point WMA in Durham to try for the Red-headed Woodpecker. Rook about 5 minutes for him to pop up. On to the next! Headed west to Manchester, New Hampshire for Bohemian Waxwings and Barrow's Goldeneye. The Waxwings were easy to add to the state list. The Barrow's on the Merrimack River took some work I was able to see a female. 

Of course since I left the county birds had to show up. Osprey, Snow Geese, Tree Swallows and an Iceland Gull (near my house although I already have) showed up. Today I will try for a couple things after work. 

So after work I got a call from Kim that there was a Snowy Owl at Worcester Airport. It ended up being a male Northern Harrier. Still a bird that was needed for the county!

New County Year Bird

Northern Harrier-Worcester #75

County Upgrade

Common Merganser

Yesterday's Out-of-state Chase

Surfbird...I promise!! lol

Peregrine Falcon

Red-headed Woodpecker

Bohemian Waxwings

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