Sunday, September 7, 2008

Staying Local

Not sure when we might see some precipitation from tropical storm Hanna, we decided to bird locally on Saturday. (I think Mark was also being considerate, although he may not admit it, since I have a pinched nerve in my neck and pulled muscles in my back.) Anyway we had a quiet trip to Rutland State Park, hoping that some warblers would be moving.

Things were pretty quiet and we had to work to coax some of the birds out of hiding. This immature House Wren was one of the more inquisitive birds we found along Prison Camp Road.

And driving through the park without a lot of people around can be enjoyable, and it gave me a chance to look for some of my favorite flowers -- Closed bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), Cardinalflower (Lobelia cardinalis) and Nodding ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes cernua) a late-blooming member of the orchid family.

This morning we decided to head out and see if we could find any unusual birds which were "assisted" northward by Hanna. We started out at Worcester Airport where we found this American Golden Plover. Neither photo is "great" but it does provide appropriate documentation for an uncommon bird migrating through Worcester County. You can certainly see them in the Connecticut Valley in fall, but we don't often find post-breeding adults in the city of Worcester! And it's important to note that the Upland Sandpipers were still present, along with two Least Sandpipers and a good number of Killdeer. We also had a half dozen Kestral flying around the western end of the runway near Mulberry Street.
We then wandered out to Wachusett Res. and Bolton Flats. Nothing of note at the reservoir and Bolton Flats parking lot was under water -- looking more like a spring morning instead of a fall one. We did stop by the Clinton High School on the way home to check on the increasing numbers of Killdeer. Yesterday we had about 35 flying out of the 'A' field and landing on the school roof; today we only had about 15 birds. I wonder whether the rest of them headed out early after the storm or were simply up on the roof out of sight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sheila,
    Nice shots of the Golden Plover and wild flowers. It will be very nice to catch a "view" of your many trips into the field with Mark.
    I was not able to catch a big flight of nighthawks this fall, seemed to me the numbers up my way were off a bit. though, I was not in the field every evening and could have easily missed them.