Monday, July 14, 2014

Breeders and Babies - 6/28/2014

Four birders joined us for our trip on a beautiful morning on the south coast. We started at Demarest Lloyd State Park in Dartmouth. This is a beautiful location early in the morning before the beach goers arrive. It is also the site of one of the most successful breeding colonies of Piping Plovers in the area. There are six breeding pairs there and 30 breeding pairs of Least Terns. This we found out from Jamie Bogart of the Lloyd Center who monitors them along with the Diamondback terrapins who also breed there.

We started by observing a flock of Common Eider with many young of various sizes. We pleasantly observed many Piping Plovers with young. Least Terns were abundant, but it was either on the early side for the young or they were more hidden. Killdeer breed there and there was a family that quickly hustled their young behind the vegetation as we rounded the bend. An Osprey platform nearby lent us great views of Osprey and their young. There were also Willets that were enjoying hanging out in the trees that were fun to view.

Our next stop was nearby Slocum’s River Reserve. We stopped here because the week prior there was a large colony of Bank Swallows present. There were only a couple present this morning, but we were treated to a pair of Orchard Orioles. We observed them collecting food and bringing it to a particular tree, but we were unable to hone in on the nest.

Next we visited Parsons Reserve just up the street. As it was getting late in the morning and hot, it was on the quiet side to be sure. However, it was well worth the stop as we were treated to a pair of very busy Worm-eating Warblers. Everyone got great views!

Our final stop was Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport. A wonderful Willow Flycatcher was singing his heart out as we approached and hung out by the bridge. Saltmarsh Sparrows were present and one was was seen carrying food. An interesting occurrence was that a mylar balloon floated in and riled up the birds. Willets, swallows and blackbirds swooped at the strange intruder as it approached and landed in the marsh. The activity caught the curiosity of a Short-billed Dowitcher that flew by. After that, we ended up being distracted by the many crabs swimming around by the bridge! We were entertained by them for quite awhile before calling it a day.

40 Canada Goose
2 Mute Swan
33 Common Eider
3 Double-crested Cormorant
2 Great Blue Heron
5 Great Egret
3 Snowy Egret
8 Osprey
12 Piping Plover
4 Killdeer
1 Spotted Sandpiper
26 Willet
1 Short-billed Dowitcher
31 Herring Gull
8 Great Black-backed Gull
24 Least Tern
3 Common Tern
8 Mourning Dove
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Willow Flycatcher
2 Eastern Phoebe
5 Eastern Kingbird
2 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
36 Tree Swallow
4 Bank Swallow
28 Barn Swallow
5 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
3 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Carolina Wren
2 Veery
12 American Robin
6 Gray Catbird
2 Northern Mockingbird
2 European Starling
8 Cedar Waxwing
1 Ovenbird
2 Worm-eating Warbler
8 Common Yellowthroat
4 American Redstart
4 Yellow Warbler
1 Prairie Warbler
1 Eastern Towhee
3 Chipping Sparrow
1 Saltmarsh Sparrow
9 Song Sparrow
3 Northern Cardinal
21Red-winged Blackbird
9 Common Grackle
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
4 Orchard Oriole
2 Baltimore Oriole
4 American Goldfinch

Amy O'Neill and Liam Waters

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