Monday, May 6, 2013

Fowl Meadow - Milton/Canton 5/5/2013

This trip started early (6AM) and it was cold, 37F! Ten people showed up anyways and the temperature slowly moderated under mixed clouds and calm winds. The spring migration has continued to be slow. The only migrant bird species in attendance this morning were Blue-headed Vireos (2). The group had nice looks at one right from the parking area to start. Migrant warblers were non-existant, but several species that typically breed at this location were on territory in varying numbers. Yellow Warblers are in, but Common Yellowthroats (2) and others like Gray Catbirds (1) and Baltimore Orioles (0) are nearly as common as Yellows at this point in May.

Blue-headed Vireo
 Early into the walk we pass by marsh/meadow habitat, which is slowly succeeding into swamp. Here we had nice looks at a Green Heron in flight and several Swamp Sparrows singing from the cattails. A little further down, a Wilson's Snipe was flushed from the side of the raised path and gave brief views. This is an uncommon bird in the area and is slightly late at this date. Warbling Vireos were singing, but frustratingly distant and hard to see. As we made our way down the habitat transitioned into red maple swamp. We heard the songs of Northern Waterthrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Blue-winged Warbler and had nice looks at a few of them. Many of the resident birds were seen carrying nesting material and one of our sharp-eyed observers found a Gnatcatcher nest! The drama was unfolding above us as the pair of Gnatcatchers were furiously trying to drive off 3 Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Towards the end of the trail we ran into a few Black and White Warblers, some of which will stay to breed in the swamps here. Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles were their typical vocal selves, but one call coming from the swamp sounded slightly different, like the "squeaky gate"call of a Rusty Blackbird. Common Grackles, however have a very similar call and we wanted a visual. Eventually, a couple of people had brief looks and were able to confirm that it was a late Rusty Blackbird (pale-colored eye and short, squared-off tail).

Blue-winged Warbler
*Compare and contrast this year's trip list to the 2012 trip on this Blog.

Canada Goose 7 -   With goslings
Wood Duck 2
Mallard 4
Common Loon 1 - migrating high overhead
Great Blue Heron 2
Green Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Buteo sp. 1
Wilson's Snipe 1
Herring Gull (American) 10
Mourning Dove 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Warbling Vireo 5
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 8
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Veery 1 - Heard only; 'veer' call.
American Robin 13
Gray Catbird 1
Ovenbird 1
Northern Waterthrush 2
Blue-winged Warbler 3
Black-and-white Warbler 4
Common Yellowthroat 2
Yellow Warbler 21
Pine Warbler 2
Eastern Towhee 4
Song Sparrow 17
Swamp Sparrow 6
Northern Cardinal 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Red-winged Blackbird 45
Rusty Blackbird 1 - Calling from swamp, brief views. Getting late.
Common Grackle 40
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
American Goldfinch 5
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

*Pictures by Steven and Christine Whitebread

Vin Zollo

No comments:

Post a Comment