Saturday, September 10, 2016

Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, September 10, 2016

Eight club members met at the sanctuary in hopes of seeing some migration action, but the cold fronts have not moved through yet to bring any warblers, vireos, and the like to the woodlands and edges of the property.  Nevertheless, we did have some endearing sightings like this young Red-tailed Hawk that buzzed us repeatedly during the first part of our walk.  Thanks to Terry MacAskill for the great photos.

With almost no water in the panne, bird sightings from the blinds were limited.  Virtually no shorebirds were present and the main action came from frogs jumping onto the mud from the small pool near the east blind.  At the mud flats along the River loop, Least Sandpipers were seen foraging, but were hard to pick out. Much to our amusement, a Great Blue Heron went strolling down the boardwalk in front of us. Two Northern Harriers were tumbling through the air seen from Fox Hill, and one later was seen cruising over the fields.  Tree Swallows, Grey Catbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, and Starlings were seen abundantly everywhere.

14 Canada Goose
2 Mute Swan
3 Mallard
2 Wild Turkey
4 Great Blue Heron
2 Great Egret
2 Northern Harrier
3 Red-tailed Hawk
7 Least Sandpiper
24 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
7 Eastern Phoebe
11 Blue Jay
30 American Crow
100 Tree Swallow
15 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
10 American Robin
22 Gray Catbird
12 Northern Mockingbird
150 European Starling
4 Song Sparrow
3 Northern Cardinal
1 Red-winged Blackbird
15 Common Grackle
30 Brown-headed Cowbird
5 House Finch
16 American Goldfinch
12 House Sparrow

Number of Taxa: 31

Sally Avery

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Squantum section of Quincy - 8/28/2016

Nine of us poked around Squantum during the morning hours and enjoyed some nice weather and a few noteworthy birds. The skies were fair, with bright sunshine on the shorebirds in salt pans along East Quantum Street. Temperatures were comfortable and ranged from 66-79F.

A nice variety of shorebirds were present in these salt pans at high tide including several Greater Yellowlegs and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Also in the mix were Short-billed Dowitchers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, and a few Least Sandpipers. Out of nowhere a Merlin made a quick pass at the shorebirds and was gone in a flash.

As the tide started to wane a bit we checked out some of the sand spits in the area for additional species. Birds of note included a few American Oystercatchers, a Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plovers, and 2 Sanderlings. The highlight of the trip was seeing 5 Caspian Terns together in flight from Squaw Rock Park. We were alerted to their presence by the very unique and loud "grating" call. The birds eventually circled back around and settled on the Thompson Island spit and nice scope views were had by all.

Not much in the way of landbird migrants, although the group heard a Black-billed Cuckoo call a couple of times.

Complete list:
51 species

American Black Duck  6
Double-crested Cormorant  90
Great Blue Heron  8
Great Egret  10
Snowy Egret  20    Estimate
Osprey  5
American Oystercatcher  3
Black-bellied Plover  2
Semipalmated Plover  10
Killdeer  4
Ruddy Turnstone  1    Uncommon; Thompson's Island spit
Sanderling  2    Uncommon here; Thompson's Island spit
Least Sandpiper  4
Semipalmated Sandpiper  150
Short-billed Dowitcher  12
Greater Yellowlegs  55
Lesser Yellowlegs  6
Laughing Gull  120    Estimate; typical numbers for late summer
Ring-billed Gull  35
Herring Gull (American)  150
Great Black-backed Gull  7
Caspian Tern  5    Thompson's Island spit. Local in MA; but regular here during fall migration. All were adults. These bird were quite vocal while in flight. Photo.
Common Tern  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  25
Mourning Dove  18
Black-billed Cuckoo  1    Heard only; Squaw Rock Park
Chimney Swift  2
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Merlin (Taiga)  1    Made a pass at the shorebirds at Squantum salt pans.
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1    Squaw Rock Park
Eastern Kingbird  1
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  4
Tree Swallow  17
Barn Swallow (American)  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  1
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird  15
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  300
Cedar Waxwing  6
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  1
Song Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  8
Common Grackle  5
Baltimore Oriole  3
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  100

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo