The House Wrens have been chattering for weeks out in the back yard. The eggs in the nest box finally hatched.I've been watching the wrens bring bits of food to their young ones. Once in a while, a House Sparrow will sit right on top of the nest box. The wrens don't seem to like this too much.
Last Saturday, I went on a field trip to Mclean Game Refuge in Granby. It's about 4,000 acres of preserved land. Much of the area is loaded with big pine trees. It is a great area to visit in the summer, because the pines keep the area cool, dark, and light on the bugs.
Here are a couple of highlights from that trip: First of all, the trip leader was really excellent(Paul Cianfiglione). He can pick up birds equally well through sight or sound-(I some times wonder if he smells them too).
We had a lot of fun watching a Hairy Woodpecker encroach upon the nesting area of a pair of Great-crested Flycatchers. The Woodpecker seemed to have tunnel vision. It was pecking its way through a tree looking for bugs. The Flycatchers were making a lot of noise and swooping down near the woodpecker. The Hairy seemed totally unfazed. It just kept Pecking away. We watched the three of them for about ten minutes.-Lot of fun to watch. Later, we saw a Pileated Woodpecker Flying across the path.
Another thing that stood out was an almost sighting of a Winter Wren. Someone played back the song of the Winter Wren a couple of times. The wren came out to challenge the recording to a sing-off. Instead of staying low as these birds almost always do, it perched fifty feet up in the top of a tree to sing. We never saw it.-Beautiful song though. We also heard a Hermit Thrush singing deep in the woods. I was able to get some really nice views of waterthrushes. The first one was a very young bird. We were unable to make a definitive identification as to whether it was a Northern or a Louisiana Waterthrush. Further down the trail, we were able to get a nice view of a Northern Waterthrush.
A new birding blog I've been reading is called:
Birding North Central Massachusetts...And Beyond by Tom Pirro. Tom has been birding for about 20 years. He concentrates on birding mostly in his local area, and seems to do a thorough job of it. If you like birding, you should take a look.
TRYING TO KEEP UP
I haven't been reading the blogs that I enjoy as much as I would like to. I've been working two jobs. Every weekday starts at 7am, and I often don't get home until 9pm (except tgif). There are times, I don't have enough left in my tank to blog, read, reply, and comment on my favorite blogs. I will do the best I can to catch up on weekends though.
QUICK SUMMARY OF WHAT I'VE BEEN SEEING LOCALLY
Portland Riverfront Trail:
- I recently saw a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the nearby field.
- Last week, there were still plenty of Yellow Warblers, and American Redstarts around.
- Great-crested Flycatchers, Baltimore Orioles, Wood Thrush, House Wrens and Carolina Wrens remain active in this area.
Old Marlboro Turnpike Power Lines:
- Note Prairie Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, and Eastern Towhee singing in the vicinity.
Portland Fairgrounds and Portland Reservoir-
- Bank Swallows and Belted Kingfishers were seen at both locations.
One other note-I saw an AMERICAN KESTREL hovering in a patch of field near exit 33 as I was heading south on 91.
My neighbor, Bob, reported a European Starling with an all white tail. It must have been a partial albino, or someone forgot to empty the bleach out of their birdbath.
O.K.,-that's all I've got for today. Hopefully, I'll be able to read some blogs later tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend!