This morning I went for a walk in town. I added Ovenbird to my year list but wasn't able to actually see it for a picture. Oh well. On the way to my walk I did snap a photo of a Chimney Swift. Later in the afternoon Marsha Paine from Sterling posted in the Central Mass Birders page that her Red-headed Woodpecker came back. This is a county bird for me. In 2013 I found one on my own in Essex County. Very lucky! I raced to Sterling but unfortunately it didn't show up. I may head back in the morning to give it another shot. If not then definitely on Sunday I will spend lots of time there.
I woke up at 6am this morning thinking I was going to Mt. Wachusett to put some time in for Winter Wren. A last minute decision was made to try Bolton Flats out. Thank God I did! After nailing Spotted Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs I checked the ducks again and BAM a Blue-winged Teal. I had checked those ducks about 8x prior to seeing it! Feels so good that I got that bird out of the way. I was losing hope!! I then headed to Mt. Wachusett and hiked the Bicentennial Trial to the Pine Hill (or is it just Pines?)Trail. I didn't hear any wrens. So I headed back down.....and BOOM right near the visitor's center there was one going crazy! He wouldn't sit still. Non-stop singing and perching. The best looks I have ever have! What shall tomorrow bring.....
I did try St. Phillips Cemetery for a few minutes this morning so I could look for you know....Blue-winged Teal. Nope. I went to Westborough to see if I could knock out a Yellow Warbler. I was at the boat ramp going through a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers when I noticed a bird sitting silently. I got on it and saw it was an Eastern Kingbird. Snapped a record shot of it when it came in closer. Right after that I heard a Yellow Warbler sing 1x. Finally was able to actually find him. He stayed high in the tree's but I was able to get a record shot!
Today I set out for 2 birds....Winter Wren and Eastern Meadowlark....why lie...3 birds...the damn Blue-winged Teal (still didn't get it) As soon as I walked out of my house today a House Wren greeted me. He was singing like crazy!I spent some time photographing him. I headed to the Worcester Airport area...behind the airport actually on Route 56. As soon as I stepped out of the car an Eastern Meadowlark was singing on a damn fence! Boom! Right from there it was off to Wachusett area for Winter Wrens. I wasn't able to get one but I did upgrade a few species today. At one spot that I stopped at that looked good for the wren I had a calling but not singing Northern Waterthrush. Wachusett Mountain was PACKED. No parking anywhere. But I searched all the roads around it. This bird will have to wait for a weekday. I spent over an hour at Bolton Flats again today. Basically no ducks around. Did have 2 Pied-billed Grebe. On the way home I spotted 2 Chimney Swifts but when I pulled over they were gone and didn't return. Those will be easy!
First off I wanna say that the Swallow-tailed Kites re back in Rhode Island exactly where we were yesterday! Frustrating.
Moving along. This morning I wanted to get back to Douglas State Forest for Broad-winged Hawk. The was my last stop. I went to Uxbridge Community Gardens to try and nail a Savannah Sparrow. While in route I found a new Common Raven nest. I stopped and was able to upgrade my photo of that species. At the community gardens I was also able to photography a Savannah Sparrow. I didn't have much time today before work but I would of liked to put some work in there and upgraded my Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow photos....another time.
At the state forest it only took about 5 minutes from them to start flying overhead while calling. I couldn't find any perched so an overhead shot for now will have to do! Also upgraded my Red-tailed Hawk photo....and as always....no Blue-winged Teal yet. I knew this was going to be a problem bird. This coming week is a good week for scoters and Long-tailed Ducks....fingers crossed they won't be a mile out at Wachusett Reservoir. I still do not have Red-shouldered Hawk or Cooper's Hawk. Have them on the year but not photographed. Winter Wren I have seemed to always struggle with in the spring...hope this year is different!
When I got up this morning I didn't plan on doing any real birding. I grabbed the 3 boys and headed down the road to St Phillips Cemetery in Grafton. Again on some off chance that I'd tick a Blue-winged Teal....negative.....again. I have had one here in the past but in the fall. I was able to photograph a Barn Swallow. I had one here the other day for my first of the year but I couldn't snap a pic. Today was hardly better as the photo I did capture was blurry but it IDs the bird. Also there was a Bank Swallow there that I tried like hell to refind among all the Tree Swallows to photography but I couldn't. No early Green Herons there yet either. After leaving there we headed to a private farm in Millbury where I had a Winter Wren last winter. I was hoping maybe he would nest or something. Nope. I was able to upgrade an Eastern Phoebe and Brown-headed Cowbird photo there. I was going to go home but I was so close to Sutton at that point that I'd figured I would try Ring-necked Pheasant on Town Farm Road. NO pheasant but on the farm I did see a Bald Eagle sitting with a Common Raven and a handful of American Crows. When the eagle took flight everyone was attacking everyone! I turned the car around and headed home when I noticed a Merlin sitting in a tree watching all the action that we just witness. Posed nicely for some shots and off we all went. Early afternoon we decided to head to Rhode Island to chase Swallow-tailed Kite.....long story short. Didn't find them :(, i knew it would of been a long-shot but had to try it!
Still no Blue-winged Teal! Now I am on the lookout for Green Heron. Every year right around this date I get a Black-and-white Warbler in Millbury. Today was no different. Same spot 3 years in a row for me. Always "early". Yesterday I was able to photograph a very cooperative Blue-headed Vireo! I have never seen them so low in the trees before. There were 2 birds chasing each other all over the place constantly! Hopefully some rarities will show up. I need to head to Bolton Flats tomorrow to see if any shorebirds came in.
The past couple of days I have been in full Blue-winged Teal finding mode. Although I haven't found one yet unfortunately. This has taken me to Bolton Flats numerous times. I was able to add Virginia Rail, Vesper Sparrow and Purple Finch. The Virginia Rail was at Bolton Flats and pretty cooperative as far they go. No Sora or anything else like that...yet. I didn't count on getting a photo of Sora or Coomon Gallinule this year....who knows. Pine Hill Grasslands provide great looks at Vesper Sparrows....no Ruffed Grouse which is where I usually grab it. I stayed at my parents house last night in Charlton on a Beaver Swamp. I was able to photography 2 Purple Finches. The female finch photo came out the best so I used that. I was able to update some other birds photos as well in my travels! Enjoy! currently at 111 Species...
I needed some outdoor time today. Needed to get out the house and clear my mind, if only for a few hours. I started at Alan Marble's house waiting on his Purple Finch's to NOT show back up. I went to Purgatory Chasm in Sutton and the first bird I heard when I got out of the car was the Blue-headed Vireo. 2 males were singing and willing to be photographed. I then headed on over to get my Swallow game on (is that appropriate?) I was able to photograph a Northern Rough-winged Swallow that nest under the dam at West Hill Dam in Uxbridge. I thought I was going to be done for the day however Tim Spahr's Westborough WMA report came through and the Ruddy Duck and Great Egret sightings kept eating me alive. I have never seen breeding plumaged male Ruddy Ducks. I did get to see 3 of them. It was awesome! I knew I would get them in the fall but these were spectacular. Great scope views but horrible photos. I did find the Great Egret despite Tim stating it landed somewhere and didn't have a pinpoint on where it was. I was able to add Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Brown Thrasher to top the day off. I couldn't refind the Northern Shoveler but I did have 43 species at Westborough WMA. Not bad.
Blue-headed Vireo- Sutton #103
Northern Rough-winged Swallow- Uxbridge #104
Ruddy Duck- Westborough #105
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher- Westborough #106
Great Egret- Westborough #107
Brown Thrasher- Westborough #108
Additional Photos and Upgrades.
I don't think I have ever seen 2 Brown Thrashers together never-mind 2 in 1 pic.