Monday, January 6, 2014

Scusset Beach State Reservation - 1/4/2014

Let me quote PB Shelley to describe early Saturday morning January 4th 2014

The cold earth slept below;

Above the cold sky shone;

And all around,

With a chilling sound,

From caves of ice and fields of snow

The breath of night like death did flow

Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;

The green grass was not seen;

The birds did rest

On the bare thorn’s breast,

Whose roots, beside the pathway track,

Had bound their folds o’er many a crack

Which the frost had made between.

All 6 of us agreed that although we started at temps of -3 F, because there was no wind and we were all dressed for the cold, we were actually not freezing. I have certainly birded Scusset and felt a lot colder.

The birds did not rest however, on the contrary they were very active feeding and amazingly finding seeds on the mostly snow covered ground

Scusset delivered all the expected bird highlights; Horned Larks, Snow Buntings and as many Yellow-Rumped Warblers as I’ve ever seen there.

It seems wherever we turn this winter, we run into Snowy Owls – Scusset proved to be no exception!

Thank you for posing so beautifully!

Because we were trying to get to Warren Harrington’s Memorial on time, we did not have a chance to check out the large raft of Eiders we spotted right at the end of the trip in the middle of the canal – here is hoping the King Eider was not hiding among those…

Below is the full list of birds observed:

Scusset Beach State Reservation, Barnstable, US-MA
Jan 4, 2014 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.3 mile(s)
Comments: South Shore Bird Club trip; -3 to 25degF; sunny, deep snow
36 species

Brant 7
Common Eider 400
Surf Scoter 3
Black Scoter 1
Common Goldeneye 5
Red-breasted Merganser 10
Red-throated Loon 1
Common Loon 12
Great Cormorant 2
Northern Harrier 1
Sanderling 1
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Snowy Owl 1
Belted Kingfisher 1 Heard.
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
American Crow 8
Horned Lark 4
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Carolina Wren 1 Heard.
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 80
Northern Mockingbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 12
Snow Bunting 60
Yellow-rumped Warbler 30
American Tree Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 32
White-throated Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Northern Cardinal 5
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 1

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Christine and Steven Whitebread

Friday, January 3, 2014

Taunton-Middleboro Christmas Bird Count - 12/29/2013

We had thirty two people in the field this year and we tallied 81 species. This is about average for the count and not bad considering the circle has no ocean views. Thanks to Mark Faherty, we added another exciting species to the Taunton/Middleboro CBC list: MacGillivray's Warbler. Last year we added Northern Lapwing to the list. I sure hope this is a CBC trend we are experiencing.

The Taunton/Middleboro CBC took place on December 29th, 2013. Thanks again for your participation! The weather was difficult in the afternoon with periods of heavy rain, reduced visibility, and increased wind. Despite the inclement conditions later in the day, we managed to find some nice birds.

Notable species observed during the count include the following: a Brown Thrasher, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and thirty Rusty Blackbirds. In addition, the high count of six Bald Eagles and eleven Gray Catbirds was interesting. The Gray Catbird high count was surprising since there are no coastal thickets within the count circle.

Canada Goose 2,408
Mute Swan 24
American Black Duck 116
Mallard 456
Ring-necked Duck 1 (low count)
Greater Scaup 212
Lesser Scaup 4
Scaup sp. 6
Bufflehead 235
Common Goldeneye 146
Hooded Merganser 65
Common Merganser 70
Red-breasted Merganser 29
Wild Turkey 98 (high count)
Common Loon 2
Great Blue Heron 2
Bald Eagle 6
Northern Harrier 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper's Hawk 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 4
Red-tailed Hawk 29
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Ring-billed Gull 723
Herring Gull 2,072
Great Black-backed Gull 268
Rock Pigeon 97
Mourning Dove 246
Eastern Screech-Owl 20
Great Horned Owl 6
Belted Kingfisher 7
Red-bellied Woodpecker 34
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 85
Hairy Woodpecker 17
Northern Flicker 61
Blue Jay 154
American Crow 75
Horned Lark 11
Black-capped Chickadee 165
Tufted Titmouse 79
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 76
Brown Creeper 6
Carolina Wren 113
Winter Wren 8
Marsh Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 99
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Eastern Bluebird 16
Hermit Thrush 7
American Robin 861
Gray Catbird 11
Northern Mockingbird 33
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 1,760
American Pipit 16
Cedar Waxwing 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler 27
Pine Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 1
American Tree Sparrow 149
Chipping Sparrow 4
Field Sparrow 24
Savannah Sparrow 12
Fox Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 230
Swamp Sparrow 30
White-throated Sparrow 229
Dark-eyed Junco 904
Northern Cardinal 206
Red-winged Blackbird 160
Rusty Blackbird 30
Common Grackle 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 22
House Finch 90
American Goldfinch 173
House Sparrow 490

Happy New Year!

Jim Sweeney