Monday, December 9, 2013

Marion & Mattapoisett - 12/08/2013

We covered the south coast towns of Marion and Mattapoisett, mostly in the coastal/bay sections south of Route 6. This area comprises many small bays and pockets of coastal thickets among the many estates that dot the landscape. The waters here in early December already have the full array of "bay ducks", many of which will spend the winter months. The thickets regularly host "semi-hardy" birds, like Catbirds, Towhees, Hermit Thrush, etc. These species are mostly gone in the more northerly and inland sections of the state at this date.

The weather was mostly cloudy with a light north wind and temps ranging from 25-35F. Nine people joined in the fun as we made several quick stops to scan the bays and "work" the thickets. The bays in these towns regularly have modest numbers of Greater Scaup and Long-tailed Ducks. Nice looks were had of both species. Noteworthy thicket birds included a few Gray Catbirds and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and couple Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrows too. Birders always hope for a Yellow-breasted Chat mixed in, but no luck in that department.
A real highlight of the trip was at the waste water treatment plant on Benson Brook Rd. in Marion. Dabbling ducks were here in good numbers, and among the many Mallards and Bufflehead were 85 American Wigeon, 18 Gadwall, 3 Green-winged teal, and 4 Northern Shovelers.
Noticeably absent during our time out were Brant geese. A few hundred Canada Geese were instead foraging along the bay shore in the Brant's absence.
For the few folks that stuck it out until the bitter end, we were treated to a pair of duetting Great Horned Owls, a nice way to "wrap up" the day!

Canada Goose 340
Mute Swan 5
Gadwall 18
American Black Duck 125
American Wigeon 85
Mallard 70
Mallard/Am. Black Duck Hybrid 2
Northern Shoveler 4
Greater Scaup 590
Common Eider (Atlantic) 400
Surf Scoter 9
White-winged Scoter 70
Black Scoter 65
Long-tailed Duck 110
Bufflehead 350
Common Goldeneye 22
Hooded Merganser 28
Red-breasted Merganser 65
Common Loon 8
Horned Grebe 47
Red-necked Grebe 1
Great Cormorant 4  Rocks near Ram Island
Great Blue Heron 3
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Ring-billed Gull 119
Herring Gull (American) 175
Great Black-backed Gull 9
Great Horned Owl 2 Duetting at dusk. Mattapoisett Neck area
Mourning Dove 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 11
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
Blue Jay 14
American Crow 8
Black-capped Chickadee 30
Tufted Titmouse 23
Red-breasted Nuthatch 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 12
Brown Creeper 1
Carolina Wren 13
Golden-crowned Kinglet 8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 300 Estimate. At every stop. Many were feeding on red cedar berries
Gray Catbird 4
Northern Mockingbird 4
European Starling 48
Cedar Waxwing 58
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 10
American Tree Sparrow 10
Field Sparrow 3 Pine Island Road
Fox Sparrow (red) 2
Song Sparrow 44
Swamp Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 35
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 109
Northern Cardinal  19
House Finch 8
American Goldfinch 25
House Sparrow 45

(63 species)

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo

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