Friday, October 21, 2011

A short excursion 10/21

I worked on various things all morning, then headed out a little after noon, expecting to see little given the time and the winds. I think that checking these areas early in the morning would result in far more birds.

At the Bill Rice complex, in about an hour of walking around, I found the highest number of meadowlarks I have ever seen in eastern MA. At least 10, but easily could have been double that number.

Eastern Meadowlark, Wrentham, 10/21/11

Additionally, there were at least 60 Savannah Sparrows with assorted other birds, including this really gray female Ring-necked Pheasant.

Ring-necked Pheasant, Wrentham, 10/21/11

Savannah Sparrow, Wrentham, 10/21/11

I moved on to the compost facility where I found the best bird of the day, a Lincoln's Sparrow, amidst a large group of sparrows. I saw it on two separate occasions, so it may have been two birds. The compost people just turned over many of the piles and opened up the wetland, so I expect even more birds in the coming days. 
Lincoln's Sparrow, Wrentham, 10/21/11

For the first time ever, I got kicked out of this spot - apparently they do not like birders there when heavy equipment is in use. The guy was nice and basically just said he wouldn't want any injuries. I still plan on birding there in off hours as it is a great spot.

Field Sparrow, Wrentham, 10/21/11
The model airplane fields had no Rusty Blackbirds - yet - and barely anything at all, though the Field Sparrow pictured above was feeding with a Savannah Sparrow on the edge of the parking lot. I then hit Lake Pearl and saw a huge raft of coot - 160+ - and a few Pied-billed Grebes, but all were distant.

Besides the birds, there was some insect activity. For butterflies, only a single monarch and a handful of Orange Sulphurs were out, whereas many Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum), a couple Anax junius and a single Pantala flavescens were the dragonflies flying. Also present were many grasshoppers (mostly spur-throats, Melanoplus spp.) and a couple European Mantids.

Savannah Sparrow, Wrentham, 10/21/11

Back to work!

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