Archivos de diario de febrero 2021

20 de febrero de 2021

Ornithology - Feb. 20, 2021

Date - February 20, 2021

Start time - 9:59 am
End time - 10:34 am
Location - Saxon Hill Recreation Area
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Weather (temperature, wind speed/direction, precipitation) - Partly cloudy with some light snow on and off. Temp in the mid 20s.

Spent some time walking the woods roads in the Saxon Hill Recreation Area in Essex. The woods were extremely quiet which was a bit surprising to me since I often have success with going out a bit later in the morning in the winter time. Despite the quiet, we had an exciting sighting of a group of roughly 15 Red Crossbills. They were foraging in the top of a large red pine along with a small group of Red-breasted Nuthatches. I was surprised by how small they were but the color and the calls were quite distinctive. We weren't able to see white wing patches and concluded that they were Red Crossbills. They were rather wary of us, despite being so far off the ground, and flew off after a little bit. I noticed that they only called when they were moving from tree to tree or when they completely flew away, but got silent as we watched, either out of caution of us or because they were busy foraging.

Habitat(s) - Mature red pine stand with hemlock and spruce in the understory as well as some regenerating red pine and some hardwoods.

Start time - 10:57 am
End time - 11:55 am
Location - Saint Michael's College Natural Area
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Weather (temperature, wind speed/direction, precipitation) - Sunny. Temp in the mid 20s.

Habitat(s) - Mixed forest and farmland. Patches of hardwoods with cornfields, open scrubby field, and woods roads. Compost pile in one area.

We had much more success at this location. We parked by the cemetery and walked down the road through a scrubby area to where the compost pile was located and on through the woods and by a cornfield. Given the mixed habitat, there were many more species. Highlights included 3 Red-Tailed Hawks, 6 Eastern Bluebirds, a Carolina Wren foraging on the compost pile, and a Black Vulture. The Carolina Wren was very loudly and boldly defending its compost pile treasure, which was a foraging strategy I'd never seen from Carolina Wrens before. I know they are fairly common feeder birds, but it was still surprising to think of them in more of a scavenger role and to be so boldly out in the open. Ironically, the huge flock of crows in the trees surrounding the compost pile seemed to want nothing to do with it. I want to believe they were a bit scared of the little guy. See sketch of the CAWR at

Towards the end of our birding, we spent some time watching the group of three Red-Tails. They spent time perched in a large, many-branched snag and would periodically out over the scrubby field area with their distinctive flap-flap glide style of flight. This flight pattern was much more similar to the Black Vulture we saw than the Black Vulture's flight pattern compared to that of the Turkey Vulture. Besides the white wing tips, large size, and overall black appearance, the flight pattern and the silhouette of the Black Vulture were distinctive ID clues.

Publicado el febrero 20, 2021 11:26 TARDE por lizamorse lizamorse | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de febrero de 2021

Ornithology - February 25, 2021

Date - February 28, 2021

Start time - 10:24 am
End time - 11:54 am
Location - Colchester Causeway
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Spent the morning on an out and back walk down Colchester Causeway. There were a number of snags in the cedar stand between the parking lot and the causeway itself, but the only cavity nesters we observed/heard were Black-capped Chickadees, a Nuthatch (couldn't tell if it was White- or Red-breasted based on call), and a Downy Woodpecker. We were able to spend some time with some of the water-based birds on the recent ID quizzes -- namely Common Goldeneye and Herring Gull. Perhaps the most exciting sighting of the day were a sizeable flock (about 20) of Snow Buntings foraging on the ground on the Causeway.

Date - February 25, 2021

Start time - 8:11 am
End time - 8:47 am
Location - Saint Michael's College Natural Area
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I kept my eye out for snags on my walk at Saint Michael's College Natural Area. I walked down from the intersection of College Parkway and Campus Road through the scrubby habitat. Because of the general shrubbiness of the habitat and small size of the trees, he there weren't many snags and the only one of the few I did see were anywhere approaching 10 inches dbh. Unfortunately, another aspect of biology forced me to head home for a pit stop, but when before I turned around, I was able to reach the river, where the presence of larger trees meant a few larger snags. Almost immediately upon seeing the larger snags I heard the drumming of either a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker (the consistent fast drumming pattern).

Start time - 9:36 am
End time - 10:16 am
Location - Shelburne Bay Park
eBird Checklist -

After my stop back home, I headed back out for a bit longer. I started at Shelburne Bay Park and walked along the bike path that borders the TNC LaPlatte River Marsh Natural Area. Snags were much more frequent there -- particularly around the marshy areas and in the large pine stands. In the large stand of pines there were more snags of larger diameter and on said snags, there was evidence of Pileated Woodpecker foraging. I also heard a Pileated Woodpecker calling in the same pine stand.

Publicado el febrero 25, 2021 06:00 TARDE por lizamorse lizamorse | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario