Friday, January 29, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker

I was in Pittsburgh for a business trip and had a later flight so I got up early to do a little birding.  I couldn't find any specific nature centers or parks so I decided a cemetary would do.  By luck I found a really large cemetary. I think most of the birds were smarter then me though because it was about 7 degrees and there was little movement.  However, I got a few lucky shots. 

I've seen the damage left behind by Pileated Woodpeckers, but never got a close up shot.  The head is a little blurry because it was moving 100 mph, but it is a handsome bird.  I always think of the cartoon Woody Woodpecker whenever I see a PW.  The cartoon was really obnoxious. 

As is typical, when you see one Jay you hear a whole lot more.  Today was no different.  They were squawking away about something.  It may have been a herd of deer in the area or me.  I sat and watched this bird try to eat a frozen grape.  Alittle too much for him to swallow. 

There were also 12 to 15 Common Northern Flickers flying around too.  This one found a nice hole to investigate. 

I saw a few other birds, but couldn't photograph them (Hairy woodpecker, gold finch, crows, tufted tit mouse).  Not a banner day, but the PW gets the prize.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cooper's Hawk, Bridgewater, MA

After an unsuccessful attempt at capturing the Coop on a previous attempt, I was lucky enough to be late for work on Friday by a few minutes.  On my way out the door the Coop flew right over my head and landed above our bird feeders.  These shots are through my kitchen window so they are slighty blurry.     

Went to the South Shore Bird Club annual meeting last night.  Good time had by all.   Plum Island with the Bird Club next weekend.  Hopefully lots to report next Sunday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coastal Birds-Massachusetts

It was a warm morning in Massachusetts (32 degrees) so I decided to hit the road for trip through some of my typically great spots for viewing.  Unfortunately, overall it was not a real successful Saturday morning.  I visited Mass Audubon Daniel Webster and their North River properties in Marshfield first.  Kind of a bust. 100 or so Canada Geese and a Tufted Titmouse.  So I decided to move along the coast toward Scituate Harbor.  I found a few birds pictured below that I couldn't ID.  I think they are Purple Sandpipers.  I couldn' get a great picture. 

Scituate Harbor-Tons of Ring-billed Gulls, a few Common Eider, about four male and six female bufflehead and 4 red-headed mergansers.  Then I moved on to Minot, along the rocky coast.  There were tons of different gull species.  The Brants were all over the rocks too.  I also saw several common loons, a few surf scoters, and a white-winged scoter.  I have a woodworking class next weekend, but plan to go to Plum Island on Jan 30th so that will likely be the next report.   Cheers, jhm

Purple Sandpiper, Marshfield, MA

Domestic Goose on the run

Female Bufflehead

Female Common Eider

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spring 2008

Was planning to upload only pictures I've taken from 2009 on for the blog, but was bored tonight so I figured I'd post a few older ones that were unique for me.  Hope you enjoy!

Clark's Nutcracker-Grand Teton National Park  Talk about an annoying bird.  Here we are at 7000 feet gazing out across the most amazing views in the GTNP and he was squawking, barking and chirping.  Shut it, bird...enough of you.  If I was a bird I think I'd hang out with him.  Great conversationalist! 

Praire Warbler, Burrage Pond, Halifax, MA

Common Yellow Throat, My Back Yard, Bridgewater, MA
I know this is a common bird, but it doesn't make it any less beautiful.  I love watching them.  They are very silly birds. 

Gambel's Quail, Tucson, AZ (wish I was there now)

Great Horned Owl, Salt Lake City

Hooded Oriole, Tucson, AZ

Baby Killdeer, Hyde Park, MA

Palm Warbler, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Scarlet Tanager, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
I've never seen such a social tanager.  He followed me around for an hour. 

Red Shouldered Hawk, Bridgewater, MA
Looking to feast at my bird feeders.  NO SEED FOR YOU!

Tom Turkey guarding his post.  He was challenging me.  He wouldn't let me pass.  Strutting, snorting, stamping and walking back and forth.  It was so amazing I couldn't help but laugh which pissed him off even more. 

Immature male orchard oriole (first year) Burrage Pond, Halifax, MA

Male Orchard Oriole, Burrage Pond Halifax MA

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Help ID this bird

Originally a quiz, but Andy from Nature Potpourrie at labeled the bird.  My friend Wendy also supported Andy's expert sleuth work.  Thanks for the help. 

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Birds of Plymouth, MA and Scusett Beach

I traveled down to Plymouth Harbor and Scusett Beach yesterday morning. It was mighty frigid out and the wind off the water took my breath away, but I was able to visit all my ususal sites and get a few good pics and some blurry ones (enough for me to ID the birds.) Just can't wait for SPRING!!

Common Eider, Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, MA

1st Year Male Red Breasted Merganser, Plymouth,MA

Female Common Eider, Plymouth Harbor, MA

Female Red Breasted Merganser, Plymouth, MA

1st Year Male Barrow's Golden Eye, Plymouth Harbor, MA

Male Bufflehead (he's on the hunt for a rather attractive female right ahead of him.  I deleted the picture as this is a family page. :)

Male Red Breasted Merganser, Plymouth, MA

Terrible picture of a male Surf Scoter, Plymouth Beach (they were riding the surf and then diving up and down the beach).  It was so cold that even the salt spray was freezing in the air.
Common Loon (although these are a common sight for winter, the bill on this loon was darker (for this time of year) then I'm used to seeing which lead me to question the ID. 

Assorted gulls, Brants, and American Black Ducks
(Can anyone help with the ID of the gulls?) Most are ring bills, but there are a few without the characteristic black wing tips.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Backyard in the snow!

Tons of familiar species today.  Had a Cooper's Hawk.  Grabbed my camera and was snapping away.  Once it took off I realized I forgot my memory card.  No photos!  So goes the life of a true amateur.

American Tree Sparrow (notice the distinct black mark on its chest)
House Finch and American Gold Finch (GF was flapping the wing to tell me to get my sorry ass out to fill the feeders.)

Morning Dove

Male Northern Cardinal (8 of them today!)

Male Downy Woodpecker

Oliver Mill Park, Middleboro, MA

Took a short drive to Middleboro, MA to check out my normal viewing spots and happened upon a few good shots. Disappointed I'm not able to get out today due to the snow. Photography rots in the snow. Anyway hope you enjoy.

Female Bufflehead (not sure why I couldn't get a better photo.  She kept diving.)  No male for this lonely duck. 
Hooded Merganser (8 males and 2 females)