I went to Bolton Flats last Sunday evening to see if I could hear the American Bitterns pumping. There ended up being pumping the entire time I was there! I was scanning through the muddy cornfield when I came across a large shorebird. It had gray legs and a long, thick bill. It confused me for a minute because although they're common along the coast, I've never seen a WILLET in Worcester county! I took some photos through my scope with my iPhone. Not the best quality, but the bird is identifiable. My phone ended up dying so I couldn't get the word out, but luckily a few other birders saw it ealier that day. There has been mention of the possibility of this being a Western Willet, inornatus subspecies. May not be identifiable by this photo, but any comments would be appreciated.
Bolton Flats has been great for shorebird stop-overs these last few weeks: DUNLIN, PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. Also, down the road at Wachusett Reservoir there has been a great variety of coastal migrants stopping by. Huge numbers of BRANT have sought refuge on the water (and at third base on Clinton HS baseball field). RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS also. Last night was great at gate 40 with a COMMON TERN and a BLACK TERN. Who needs the coast???
Friday, May 27, 2011
# Species Reported
Let's just put February behind us. March was much better. I got out more during lunch and on the weekends. However, March also shows somewhat of a 3-year decline in my winter birding effort. I do need to mention that weather plays a major role in the number of species seen during spring migration. Bolton flats was perfect in '09 and '10, but this year was terrible for waterfowl stop-overs.
# Species Reported
One of my favorite trips in March was to High Ridge Wildlife Management area in Princeton. The first signs of spring were in the air.
I had a flock of 11 FOX SPARROWS
And this PILEATED WOODPECKERMarch was kind of upsetting for waterfowl with everything freezing late. Most stuff passed through. Although, I did get a pair of Blue-winged Teal at Bolton Flats. And then.......the neotropical migrants started showing up in mid April!