Friday, October 11, 2013

No Black-backed Woodpecker Victory For Me

 During my stay at Groton State Forest I found a place called Peacham Bog on the map. The bog is estimated to have formed about 7,000 years ago in an area where a glacial depression was formed. There was a 4.5 mile loop trail through the area including a boardwalk leading through a portion of the bog. I saw several White-throated Sparrows near the bog and  dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos. 

 My most interesting sighting of the day was a grouse I saw along a portion of trail which was lined with spruce trees. I determined that it was a Ruffed Grouse and not a Spruce Grouse. The bird seemed to vanish into thin air when I reached for my camera. I may change that sighting to- Ghost Grouse. I'm currently waiting for verification from avian paranormal investigators.
 I believe these are what they call pitcher plants. Insects are attracted to the cup of the plants then drown in the liquid within until they are eventually converted into mineral nutrients that are absorbed into the plant. it's enough to make me glad that I'm not a fly. These plants grow in areas where the soil is too acidic for most other plants to grow.
 The morning that I left my campsite I traveled further north to a town called Victory. The estimated population was 97 individuals as of the year 2000. A sighting of a Black-backed Woodpecker was reported there in the month of September so I thought  I would give it a shot. I've never seen one before and thought it would be great to have a blog post with a title something like: "Search For Black-backed Woodpecker Ends In Victory! " I spent the day searching suitable areas along a road leading through the Victory Basin Wildlife Management Area. I had some nice sightings including Purple Finches, Blue-headed Vireos, and White-crowned Sparrows. 

I  heard more whining Red-breasted Nuthatches than I ever have before. Their nasal sounding calls going back and forth almost made it sound as if they were complaining to each other. Do you know how they have terms for a flock of a particular species of birds such as: "A murder of Crows"?  I've decided that from now on that when I encounter a group of vocal nuthatches I'm going to refer to them as: "a nag of nuthatches". 
I made a good effort and found some great woodpecker habitat at the end of this soggy trail. I did scare up another grouse along the way but in the end there was no Black-backed Woodpecker to be found. The only woodpecker to be found was one little downy. You'd think I was wearing woodpecker repellent or something!
I could always change my title to "Search for Song Sparrow Ends In Victory" but it probably wouldn't have the same impact.

11 comments:

JosephAlsarraf said...

Nice picture of the bird. I like small birds the best!

Larry said...

Joseph-thanks for stopping in to have a look.

TexWisGirl said...

that song sparrow shot is gorgeous, though! beautiful country you were in. i haven't seen a pitcher plant since i lived in wisconsin. actually, i think we had jack-in-the-pulpits there - sort of similar. :)

Cindy said...

A "Nag of Nuthatches" ! Perfect! They've been coming to my yard for about three years now..the first time I heard them was a surprise..What in the world was making all that noise? I welcome their chatter..they seem to be one species thriving! Great scenic photography..lovely place.. Have you any word in the Ghost Grouse ;-)?

Larry said...

TexWisGirl--Thanks-Yes,they do have a similar shape to Jack-in-Pulpits.

Cindy-They picked up some sort of orb shapes in photos around the area where the grouse were seen.

lostgander said...

Too bad about missing the Black-backed, but it sure looks like beautiful country. I haven't been to Vermont in quite a few years, and these photos are reminding me I'm long overdue for another visit. Thanks for sharing!

Rose Ragai said...

The pitcher plants look unique!

Larry said...

lostgander-Thanks-Next time I'm going for the sure thing-nesting season.that way they have to be near the nest.Many parts of Vermont are beautiful.



Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Larry - so sorry you missed. But looks like a beautiful day and a lovely experience.

We had our life Black-Backed Woodpecker in Vermont this summer as we were hiking the Appalachian Trail, plus a Bicknell's Thrush on Stratton Mountain!

Good Birding!!

Larry said...

Warren & Lisa Strobel-thanks-No big deal but I'm going to try for the sure thing next year during nesting season.

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, this looks like an AMAZING place! I love your "nag of nuthatches!" It's perfect! I looked up the collective noun for nuthatches and it is "a jar of nuthatches." I like yor collective better!