Sunday, January 2, 2011

Uxbridge CBC - 01/01/2011

I agreed to take over a sector for the Uxbridge CBC because the leader was "retiring" after many years.  Unfortunately, the Quabbin CBC was on the same day and Beck and I usually help out Mark and Sheila with their area, which is inside gate 40 (the old town Dana). It's a wicked fun count and I was bummed we couldn't do it this year. Hopefully they won't be on the same day next year.

My area is in the towns of Blackstone and Millville, which are directly on the Rhode Island border. A good chunk of the Blackstone River runs through this block and open water this time of year is a magnet for wintering waterfowl. There are good tracts of power lines and a few areas with conifers.

This was my last count of the CBC season so I would need to give it my all; that means no bathrooms, no eating, not talking, no breaks, no phone calls. Just count. I ended up breaking a few of these rules as the day went on.

Walking to my car at about 3:30AM I was glad to hear my yard Great Horned Owls dueting again. I'm not sure where they'll nest, but there is good habitat all over. I got to the sector at about 4:30AM to perfect weather for owling. I ended up getting two Eastern screech and five Great Horned owls. When the sun came up I immediately drove to the Blackstone river to get some ducks, but my first non-owl ended up being this Cooper's Hawk, which likely lives off the group of pigeons in its view.

I made it to the river while ticking away common landbirds on the way like this Dark-eyed Junco.

Pair of Northern Cardinals
Mourning Dove
 White-throated Sparrow
 Song Sparrow
 Northern Mockingbird

There was a good variety of waterfowl on the river.

Wood Ducks
American Black Ducks
 Hooded Merganser (male)
This Belted Kingfisher was fishing the area as well

There is a mill building, which was converted into apartments. Check out how the residents let their cats out!
While driving around I noticed a flock of European Starlings with one different bird in the flock. I had no idea what it was until about 20 minutes later when I spotted this leucistic starling sitting on a wire.

I was pretty excited to find 2 Winter Wrens since I completely dipped on my other counts.
I had quite a few Red-tailed hawks throughout the day.
 Northern Flicker
 I turned up a Field Sparrow.
 I had a nice flock of Greylag Geese on the banks of the Blackstone River.

I saw a Turkey Vulture soaring around and I eventually found the roost with 11 more vultures, but it was outside the count circle in Woonsocket.

Overall, it was a pretty decent count with unbelievable weather and some late species lingering around.  

Here's the list:

Canada Goose (11)
Wood Duck (12)
American Black Duck (10)
Mallard (168)
Hooded Merganser (17)
Common Merganser (18)
Great Blue Heron (1)
Turkey Vulture (1)
Cooper's Hawk (4)
Red-tailed Hawk (6)
Ring-billed Gull (39)
Herring Gull (1)
Great Black-backed Gull (3)
Rock Pigeon (102)
Mourning Dove (37)
Eastern Screech-Owl (2)
Great Horned Owl (5)
Belted Kingfisher (2)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (7)
Downy Woodpecker (18)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)
Northern Flicker (3)
Blue Jay (144)
American Crow (156)
Black-capped Chickadee (171)
Tufted Titmouse (133)
White-breasted Nuthatch (34)
Brown Creeper (1)
Carolina Wren (18)
Winter Wren (2)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (19)
American Robin (66)
Northern Mockingbird (5)
European Starling (184)
Cedar Waxwing (34)
Field Sparrow (1)
Song Sparrow (43)
White-throated Sparrow (44)
Dark-eyed Junco (282)
Northern Cardinal (51)
House Finch (34)
American Goldfinch (99)
House Sparrow (401)

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