Friday, November 28, 2014

Pair of trips: Webb State Park - Weymouth & Great Pond - Randolph/Braintree & vicinity 11/22&23/2014

   Seven birders (led by Kathy Rawdon) gathered at Webb State Park in Weymouth on an unseasonably cold and brisk Saturday morning. The temperature to start was 24F, but the sun was shining and visibility was good. This park is a small peninsular of open space that juts out into Hingham Bay. The habitat is mostly early successional with areas of dense thickets. Bird numbers and diversity were low (especially land birds), although bay ducks, namely Common Eider and Buffleheads  showed well in good light. We were able to hear the males in a small flock of Common Eider doing their courtship calls, sounding something like a low-pitched "wa-oooo".

Webb State Park
   This walk turned out to be one of those times when one bird made the trip. In amongst a distant flock of Common Eiders we noticed one that had more black on it's back. After zooming in we realized that this was a King Eider! Everyone seemed to have more "spring" in their step for the rest of the walk.
   The trip extended to nearby Stodder's Neck to follow up on a recent report of an "Audubon's" Warbler. This is a sub-species of the Yellow-rumped Warbler found normally in western North America. Stodder's Neck is a well known dog walker's park and not often frequented by birders. Despite large numbers of dogs there happened to be some quality birds! Once again, land birds were in short supply, but we finally came upon a flock of Dark-eyed Juncos and mixed in with them was a Lark Sparrow! This was quite unexpected and the bird was very cooperative, giving all of us wonderful views. On our way out, having successfully placed our feet in all the right places, we encountered a small mixed flock of birds and had brief views of the "Audubon's" Warbler.
   The group was rewarded in the end, despite the challenging weather conditions and will be fondly remembered.

32 Canada Goose
22 American Black Duck
7 Mallard
1 King Eider - male
120 Common Eider (Atlantic)
10 Surf Scoter
1 White-winged Scoter - low
4 Long-tailed Duck
65 Bufflehead
2 Common Goldeneye - low
1 Hooded Merganser
45 Red-breasted Merganser
2 Red-throated Loon
1 Common Loon
1 Horned Grebe - low
4 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Red-tailed Hawk
8 Ring-billed Gull
35 Herring Gull (American)
3 Great Black-backed Gull
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
7 American Crow
14 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Carolina Wren
5 American Robin
4 Northern Mockingbird
37 European Starling
20 Cedar Waxwing
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) - Stodder's Neck
3 American Tree Sparrow
1 Lark Sparrow - Stodder's Neck
10 Song Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrow
10 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)
6 Northern Cardinal
3 House Finch
3 American Goldfinch
2 House Sparrow

   My annual mid-November waterfowl trip to inland bodies of water starts at Great Pond which is located on the Randolph/Braintree border. Four of us spent a few hours this Sunday morning trekking around this large body of water. Species diversity was about normal, but numbers were below average. Highlights included approx. 30 Green-winged Teal and 2 Bald Eagles (one near adult, one juvenile). We felt fortunate to observe the adult Bald Eagle grab a fish. The ducks seemed to be quite skittish and we wondered out loud if the eagles presence could be the cause.

Great Pond
   The four of us stopped at Reservoir Pond in Canton seeing 200+ Ruddy Ducks and 24 Lesser Scaup. We rounded out the day at Ricchardi Reservoir in Randolph with a nice flock of about 70 Ring-necked Ducks.

200 Canada Goose
1 Mute Swan
4 American Black Duck
76 Mallard
30 Green-winged Teal
71 Ring-necked Duck
4 Greater Scaup
24 Lesser Scaup
13 Bufflehead
19 Common Goldeneye
9 Hooded Merganser
6 Common Merganser
225 Ruddy Duck
1 Common Loon
6 Double-crested Cormorant
2 Bald Eagle
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
3 Red-tailed Hawk
15 American Coot
49 Ring-billed Gull
7 Herring Gull (American)
1 Great Black-backed Gull
20 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
3 Mourning Dove
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
7 Downy Woodpecker
7 Blue Jay
52 American Crow
19 Black-capped Chickadee
9 Tufted Titmouse
7 White-breasted Nuthatch
10 Carolina Wren
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
4 American Robin
2 Northern Mockingbird
29 European Starling
6 Song Sparrow
19 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)
6 Northern Cardinal
1 House Finch
6 American Goldfinch
24 House Sparrow

This trip summary was created using the BirdLog app for iPhone and iPad.
See BirdLog for more information.

Vin Zollo

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