Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Royalston, Wachusett Res, Worcester Airport, and Sterling (1/09 - 1/22)

I changed the name of the blog. It was way too close to a certain commentator's new book. I'll pass on that. It's now called "Bourinot's Birding Blog" because well, that's what it is.

Two weekends ago I tried to catch up with the pair of Barrow's Goldeneye at the reservoir. Mark Lynch and Sheila Carroll first spotted this species in South Bay on the Worcester Christmas bird count (see my earlier post). The ice was rapidly expanding around the reservoir and I knew they wouldn't be around much longer. Although I didn't get them, I did get looks at a few Bald Eagles on the ice. The group of Scaup were also present, but acting very skittish. Now, waterfowl are few and far between.

Last weekend I decided to check out the winter finches that have been reported around the town of Royalston. It was very slow birding and the recent snowfall made the roads extremely difficult to pull off. I spent about three hours driving around looking at feeders. I eventually caught up with a large flock of common redpolls on Fitzwilliam Road. I estimated over 40 redpolls in that group. Only a few stuck around in the treetops for distant looks. Then, I had the only Evening Grosbeaks of the day; 2 fly-overs. In that same area 4 Common Ravens flew by, which was a nice addition. While looking at a feeder, suddenly there was a commotion among the feeder birds. Everything was in alarm and flushing. A Northern Shrike arrived in a tree by the feeders. Unfortunately, it took off when it noticed me. On my way home I was driving down route 68 and noticed a small bird in the middle of the road. As I got closer I realized the bird was a female-type White-winged Crossbill which was picking up seeds off the road. I've been hoping to run into one of these as there's been a bit of an irruption in recent weeks. Overall, I had a great variety of Northern species, but it was very tough hunting them down.

On Sunday, I made another trip to Worcester Airport to check out the buntings and larks. I was not disappointed. The numbers have picked up to well over 100. I know I already posted on these birds, but they're worth a re-post.

Lately, I've been searching for a Red-headed Woodpecker that Dan Berard spotted in Sterling last week. No luck yet. Landon and I will be searching for it this week before daycare. While searching we did get these sexy Eastern Bluebirds.


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