Three (yes... three!) birders met up at the Scusset park and ride for a day of birding in the Crane WMA region of Falmouth. Relieved upon their arrival at Crane they found many of their friends had already arrived and were birding without them!
So to back up...
On July 15th, 2018,
Nine enthusiastic birders met up in the Crane WMA parking lot north of 151 in Falmouth. Essentially not moving at all from their arrival, most of the grassland specialty birds that this location hosts were encountered; a Blue Grosbeak heard singing then seen along the edges of one of the kettle holes, a Grasshopper Sparrow skulking in the tall grasses, American Kestrels perched on tiny branches in conspicuous locations, an Eastern Meadowlark sitting as high up as one can go singing its heart out, and a Northern Bobwhite giving the typical "Bob-WHITE!" call in the distance. One might have thought "Wow, it can't get any better than this"... and they were probably right, but the rest of the walk had some fantastic sights that made not getting back in the car and calling it a day well worthwhile. Making a loop around the kettle holes east of the parking lot, we found dozens upon dozens of birds in the small kettle hole directly east of the southernmost portion of the parking lot. Chipping Sparrows and orioles were the primary feature here, but finches, bluebirds, a kingbird, and a Yellow Warbler were also present in the group. Throughout the rest of the walk here we encountered small groups of post-breeding dispersal orioles and had better looks at the grassland specialties we all came hoping to see. Oh, and yeah we saw a flyover Double-Crested Cormorant!
|Blue Grosbeak, photo by Moe Molander|
|Eastern Meadowlark, photo by Brian Vigorito|
|Grasshopper Sparrow, photo by Jack Molander|
From here we crossed south of 151 to the quail fields portion of Crane WMA. These fields were teeming with blooming wildflowers, providing a beautiful backdrop and abundance of butterflies. Here we saw or heard several Indigo Buntings, Orchard Orioles, and an Eastern Kingbird riding (!!!) a Red-tailed Hawk. Oh, and yeah we saw some flyover Double-Crested Cormorants!
|Monarch Butterfly on Common Milkweed, photo by author|
We ended the trip at Ashumet Holly, another incredibly scenic area which is basically an overgrown garden. Here we found a Wood Duck in the pond, some Red-breasted Nuthatches, a forest filled with angry birds and no clear answer as to why, and two Great-horned Owls. Oh, and yeah we saw a flyover Double-Crested Cormorant!
|Great Horned Owl, photo by Joe Molander|