Sights and Sounds of Spring - April 26 & 27, 2014



On Saturday morning in West Newbury, we saw the ancient, native Marsh Marigold.
Marsh Marigold is blooming in the wet woodland edges.  It becomes most lush in 
partial shade.  The kidney-shaped leaves are 1 - 6 inches across, with thick,waxy texture. 
The stems are hollow.  The flowers are yellow, 1 -2 inches in diameter, with 4 - 9 [mostly 5] 
petal with multiple, yellow stamens.  A great variety of insects visit these flowers for pollen 
and for the nectar oozing from the small depressions.  I've seen hummingbirds nectaring 
on Marsh Marigolds along the Merrimack River during cold, wet Springs.

We had two good looks at Palm Warblers.  The Blue Jays were vocal.  Green-winged Teal were in the wetlands, and a drake Hooded Merganser loafed under a nest box.   We came across a group of Wilson's Snipe in the wild rice fields along the Merrimack River. The snipe seemed one with the flotsam & jetsam in the cove.



On Sunday, we explored the wet meadow in Newburyport's Industrial Park and had Killdeer
and Northern Flickers.  We saw Great Egrets with green lores in all their finery. Tree & Barn 
Swallows were on the wing, seeking prey items in the cold dampness. On Scotland Road in
Newbury, we found two Wilson's Snipe very close to the road, offering prolonged and excellent views.




A behavior we lingered to watch was that of Common Grackles.  Grackles are very social and intelligent birds. We came across three together, on a mulched area near a building.  One was flat and spread on the dark mulch.  I've seen grackles hunched over on the ground, wings spread, allowing ants to crawl over their bodies and feathers. This anting is a frequent practice among many bird species. Ants secrete formic acid, and this rids the bird of parasites. Our observation proved that this bird wasn't anting.  The bird on the mulch twitching, and the other two were attentively close.  We saw the two birds approach the injured bird as if offering assistance. The one twitching likely was a victim of a window collision.  I covered the injured bird with a cloth and moved it to a weedy area.  The bird then expired in the shroud in which I'd wrapped it.

In West Newbury, we were watching a Great Egret in a pond when a Great Blue Heron approached.  The Great Blue Heron with a longer, more formidable bill and longer legs became aggressive. Sharing that pond wasn't something the heron was going to do.  Double-crested Cormorants were showing off their crests and turquoise eyes. 

We came across three Belted Kingfishers enjoying the small fish in a shallow pool.  I spoke about the syndactyl feet of the Belted Kingfisher which are key in creating their nest cavity in the top of a cut-away bank.  The second and third digits are fused for a portion of their length.  The syndactyl foot structure serves as a trowel for scraping and kicking back the earth.  Their nest cavities are excavated with their bills and feet.  I've seen a few kingfishers with worn bills. 






Good birding,
Sue

Hummingbird Nectar

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Time to Make the Nectar…

Hummingbirds like their nectar fresh!
  1. Combine one part white table sugar and four parts water.
  2. Slowly heat the solution for 2 - 3 minutes to help the sugar dissolve and slow down fermentation.
  3. Allow the solution to cool completely before filling feeders.
  4. Change the nectar in the feeders every two or three days.  

Shored Up

Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 PM, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Newburyport


Shored Up, directed by Ben Kalina, is the first feature-length film about rising sea levels in the US and won the Sundance Award for best documentary in 2013. It asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land, utilizing footage captured in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, specifically in New Jersey and North Carolina. What will a rising sea do to our homes, our businesses, and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay?
In Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are struggling with these issues. Beach engineering has been our only approach so far, but is there something else out there to be explored? Our development of the coastlines put us in a tough predicament, and it’s time to start looking for solutions.

"I thought of the barrier islands: a pile of sand in the ocean that we're trying to hold in place," said Kalina. “This film deals with adaptation to climate change as opposed to how do we stop climate change. It lends itself to people talking about things that are local and regional," he said; “places where people can actually create change – in local land use decisions, development policies and environmental regulations."


Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Sightings - April 24, 2014

Plum Island Point, Newburyport:
Purple Martin

Blue Sky Farm, Essex:
Cattle Egret

Broad Street, Merrimac:
Baltimore Oriole 

Meadow Pond, Amesbury:
Osprey, Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck, Great Blue Heron

New England Biolabs, Ipswich:
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Wild Turkey, Great Egret, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse,  
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow,  
Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird

Powderhouse Pond, Exeter, NH:
Brown Thrasher

Central Street, Byfield:
Great Blue Heron

Argilla Road, Ipswich:
Cattle Egret

Island Road, Essex:
Tri-colored Heron    

Trustees Coolidge Reservation, Manchester:
White-eyed Vireo 

Newburyport Harbor:
Bonaparte's Gull, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Little Gull, Gadwall, Mallard, Greater Yellowlegs, American Crow, Osprey, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull

Ash Street Swamp [Crane Neck Wildlife Management Area], West Newbury:
Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Tree Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker

Crow Lane, Newburyport:
Wild Turkey, Song Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon

Linebrook Road, Ipswich:
Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker

River Road, West Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Mallard, Song Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker

Stackyard Road, Rowley:
Northern Flicker, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 
House Finch, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird, Tree Swallow, Osprey

Boston Road, Newbury:
Pectoral Sandpiper, Eastern Meadowlark

Various Areas in West Newbury:
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Hooded Merganser, Green-winged Teal, 
Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant,
Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Red-tailed Hawk, 
Cooper's Hawk, Turkey Vulture, American Crow, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Mourning Dove,
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Parula, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler,Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch

Patmos Road, Rowley:
Wild Turkey, American Robin, Northern Flicker, Red-tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, Tree Swallow, Red-bellied Woodpecker 


Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury/Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture, Wild Turkey, American Woodcock, Great Egret

Gilman Park, Exeter, NH:
Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard         

Carter Field, Boxford:
Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, Tree Swallow, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Bluebird

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury:
Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler

Green Street, Newbury:
Carolina  Wren

J.B. Little Road, [Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area] Groveland:
Pileated Woodpecker,  Broad-winged Hawk, Barred Owl, Ring-necked Duck, Tree Swallow, Pied-billed Grebe, Rusty Blackbird 

Route 1A Saltmarsh, Rowley:
Snowy Egret

Hay Street, Newbury:
Hooded Merganser, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse

Nahant Causeway, Nahant:
Manx Shearwater

Bald Hill Reservation, Boxford: 
Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, 
Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Fish Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, 
Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, 
Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, American Goldfinch

Perry Way, Newburyport:
Great Egret, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Canada Goose, American Robin, Common Grackle, European Starling,
Song Sparrow

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH:
Osprey, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Savannah Sparrow

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Purple Martin, Brant, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, 

Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common
Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Wild Turkey, Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret,
Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, American Coot, Piping Plover,
Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Upland Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,
Mourning Dove, Snowy Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Phoebe, 
Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown
Creeper, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, 
Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee,Chipping Sparrow,
Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, 
Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow

Newman Road, Newbury:
Snowy Egret, Great Egret

Artichoke, Reservoir, West Newbury:
Bufflehead, Tree Swallow, Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Wood Duck

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Winter Wren, Glossy Ibis, Dunlin, Osprey, Tree Swallow, Merlin, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk,
Sharp-shinned Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle

Cherry Hill [Indian Hill] Reservoir, West Newbury:
Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Palm Warbler, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Tree Swallow, Cooper's Hawk, Eastern Bluebird

Salisbury Beach State Reservation: 
Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Mockingbird, Common Grackle, European Starling, 
Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, American Black Duck, Common Loon, Common Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, 
Common Goldeneye, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, American Crow, Cedar Waxwing, Black-capped Chickadee, 
Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Common Egret, American Robin

Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield;
Tree Swallow, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Pipit, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs,
Canada Goose, Mallard, Great Egret, Killdeer, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird,
European Starling, House Sparrow 

Wenham Canal, Topsfield & Wenham:
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,   
Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe,  
Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Eastern 
Bluebird,  American Robin, European Starling, Pine Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, 
Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Goldfinch

Coolidge Point, Manchester:
White-eyed Vireo, Double-crested Cormorant, Little Blue Heron, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle

The Wrack Line - Parker River NWR's Newsletter

The Wrack Line Parker River NWR's Spring newsletter is out:



Good birding,
Sue

Sights & Sounds in West Newbury - 4/19/14

Paula McFarland & I led a small group in West Newbury this morning. 
We visited Withers Conservation Area which is off Middle St., and we
walked out to a point on the lower Artichoke Reservoir.  Then we went
to Cherry Hill Reservoir area and finished at Ash St. Swamp.


Northern Parula by Tim Spahr


Canada Goose 
Mute Swan
Mallard
Ruddy Duck - Cherry Hill Res.
Hooded Merganser - Ash St. Swamp
Green-winged Teal - drake 
Ash St. Swamp
Common Merganser -  Cherry Hill Res.
Double-crested Cormorant -  Ash St. Swamp
Great Blue Heron - Withers Conserv. Area
Great Egret  -  Cherry Hill Res.
Red-tailed Hawk - 
Withers Conserv. Area
Cooper's Hawk   -  Rogers St.
Turkey Vulture  -  
Cherry Hill Res.
American Crow - mobbing the RT Hawk
Ring-billed Gull 
Herring Gull 
Mourning Dove
Pileated Woodpecker - 
Withers Conserv. AreaRed-bellied Woodpecker     "
Downy Woodpecker            "
Northern Flicker                  "
Blue Jay 
Tree Swallow  
Black-capped Chickadee - pair excavating a cavity,  one landed on a branch above us and showered us with wood chips
Tufted Titmouse 
White-breasted Nuthatch 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Northern Parula    
1 [early] - seen well at Withers Conserv. Area
Palm Warbler                                                           "
Pine Warbler                                                            "
Yellow-rumped Warbler                                          "
Chipping Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird 
Common Grackle 
American Goldfinch 
With best wishes,
Sue 

Doug Chickering's New Book - Reflections On A Golden-Winged Warbler

Reflections On A Golden-Winged Warbler

  Doug Chickering has put together a book of his wonderful essays on the joys and aesthetics of birding. Doug's best essays are now a book, Reflections On A Golden-Winged Warbler.  The launch party will be at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 2:00pm. Doug will read some essays from his book and will be available until 4pm to sign copies. Light refreshments will be served.   For more information on the book: http://bardbrookpress.com/reflections-on-a-golden-winged-warbler.html

Wood Ducks & Open Houses

 Yes, even though it's a cool spring, the real estate market is hot!!  Location,
location, location... This neighborhood has mature trees, a small pond, is close
the commuter rail and is frequented by birds and birders often during spring
migration.

At Oak Hill Cemetery in Newburyport,  I left my car at the compost area to just
wander about.  I was alone; the dog walkers hadn't arrived yet.  I heard Wood Ducks;
then a pair of Wood Ducks flew over the Larch trees and continued southeast over near
the water tower. They landed briefly, then flew  tree to tree.  Again, they landed.
The hen peered into a cavity ~ a home that Northern Flickers held the deed to just a
season ago.  The drake Wood Duck perched above horizontally; he was attentively
watching the hen.  She flew to another tree; he followed.  He again landed above on a
branch of girth; he watched and waited as the hen fulfilled her role.  She's the inspector
of the grand opening; that entry is her concern for herself and the sharp-clawed young.
Frank Bellrose's "Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America" states that when Wood
Ducks are seeking nest sites, "They leave their water area shortly after daybreak, fly to
wooded areas adjacent to or, rarely, more than a mile away."  I stayed with them as they
did their fly-bys in search of a suitable home.  I likened it to the drive-bys we've done prior
to that "Open House" scheduled for a Spring, Sunday afternoon.

The pair flew down to the water to that secluded cove and landed.  I watched with binoculars and then with my scope.  They started to toss their heads back, pointing their bills skyward.  Then they were showing off their throats and chins, those white patches that we use as key field marks from afar.  

The Stokes' "A Guide to Bird Behavior  Vol. III" calls this the "Bill-Jerk", a  visual display. The drake took a drink; the hen swam, and the drake followed her.  The drake approached her, then held on to her with his bill while his genetic material was passed on.  Afterwards the drake swam in front of her, and she freshened herself with a wiggle and a splash. 
She left the water and flew up past those Larches.  I heard her drawn out "wee-e-e-ek" as she perched.  The drake joined her, putting down above her in an oak.  They continued with a few more home inspections and then worked their way back to the water. 

I'm not one who's known for watching television; I enjoy watching people and bird behavior. This early morning show was a thrill for me, and there was no remote.

Male Wood Duck by Margo Goestchkes


Good birding,
Sue

Green Fire! - Aldo Leopold

Earth Day Celebration at Parker River NWR at Refuge Headquarters
Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 
Time: 7:00 pm


There will be a showing of a great, new documentary about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold
in the visitor center auditorium capacity is 75 - so please arrive early.  No preregistration
needed. 


Here are some details about the 73 minute movie:

"Join us for a screening of Green Fire!. See the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made 
about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy! Green Fire shares highlights 
from his extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental 
movement. It also illustrates how Leopold's vision of a community that cares about both people and land 
continues to inform and inspire people across the country and around the world, highlighting modern projects 
that put Leopold’s land ethic in action in a multitude of ways."

Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, a writer, a forester, an educator a philosopher, an outdoor
enthusiast and considered by many as the Father of wildlife management.

I hope to see you there,
Sue

Essex County & South New Hampshire Bird Sightings - April 17, 2014

High Street Marsh, Ipswich:
Canada Goose, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Eurasian Green-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Rough-winged Swallow,  
Tree Swallow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle 

Quill's Pond, Newbury:
Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe

Bradley Palmer State Park, Hamilton/Topsfield:
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, 
Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, 
Pine Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch

Cashman Park, Newburyport:
Osprey, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Great Black-backed Gull, Killdeer, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Northern Mockingbird, 
Mourning Dove

Route 1, Salisbury:
Great Egret, Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Belted Kingfisher

Fellows Road, Ipswich:
Pine Warbler, Brown Creeper, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Brown-headed Cowbird, Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Bluebird, Red-tailed Hawk 

Essex Center:
Bald Eagle

West Shore Road, Merrimac:
Mute Swan, Lesser Scaup, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Mallard, Bufflehead, Northern Flicker, American Robin, House Finch, 
Eastern Phoebe, Chipping Sparrow 

High Street, Newburyport: 
Eastern Phoebe, Turkey Vulture

County Road, Ipswich:
Eastern Towhee, Barred Owl, Chipping Sparrow, Fish Crow

Newman Road, Newbury:
Snowy Egret, Eastern Screech Owl

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Facility, Exeter, NH:
Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Tree Swallow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle,
Rock Pigeon

Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area, Groveland:
Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Purple Finch, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee, American Goldfinch,  Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle

Niles Beach, Gloucester:
Horned Grebe

Route 110, Salisbury:
Turkey Vulture

Hanover Street, Newbury:
Northern Flicker, Eastern Towhee, Pine Warbler

Heartbreak Road, Ipswich:
Virginia Rail 

Storey Avenue, Newburyport:
Eastern Phoebe, Red-tailed Hawk

Salisbury Beach State Reservation:
Northern Harrier, Snowy Owl, American Robin, Turkey Vulture, Great Egret, Double-crested Cormorant, American Black Duck, Common Loon, Common Eider, American Crow, Common Grackle, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-breasted Merganser, Herring Gull,  Ring-billed Gull

Battis Farm, Amesbury:
Eastern Bluebird

Crane Beach, Ipswich:
Brant, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Piping Plover, 
Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Red-breasted Merganser, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed
Gull, Snowy Owl, Short-eared Owl, American Kestrel, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Savannah Sparrow,  American Goldfinch

Plum Island Point:
Snowy Owl, Greater Yellowlegs, Long-tailed Duck

Mill Pond, West Newbury:
Tree Swallow, Bufflehead

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Gadwall, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe,   
Glossy Ibis, Northern Harrier, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, Snowy Owl, Northern Flicker,    
Peregrine Falcon, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrasher, Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, American Tree Sparrow,   
Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Purple Finch    

Newburyport Compost Center:
Eastern Phoebe, Canada Goose, Wild Turkey, Killdeer, Carolina Wren   

Hamlin Reservation, Ipswich:
Wild Turkey, Snowy Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker,  
Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Northern Mockingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, 
Purple Finch 

Crooked Pond, Boxford:
Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield:
Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Wilson's Snipe, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker,
Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Hermit Thrush, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Swamp Sparrow

Route 22, Essex:
Chipping Sparrow, Great Blue Heron, Red-shouldered Hawk

Route 133, Ipswich:
Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Solitary Sandpiper 

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island:
Tricolored Heron, Whip-poor-will, American Woodcock, Hermit Thrush, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Gadwall, Northern
Pintail, Killdeer, Red-tailed Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Brown Creeper,
Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Field Sparrow, Blue Jay, Fish Crow, American Crow, Common Raven,
Eurasian Wigeon, Snowy Owl

Manchester - Essex Woods, Manchester/Essex:
Tree Swallow

Candlewood Road, Ipswich:
Glossy Ibis

Odiorne Point State Park, Rye, NH:
American Black Duck, Mallard, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common
Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture,
Osprey, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Purple Sandpiper, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Black-backed
Gull, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Merlin, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee,
Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, 
Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch

Island Road, Essex:
Eastern Meadowlark, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Osprey, Double-crested Cormorant

Ferry Road, Salisbury:
Cooper's Hawk, Osprey

Willowdale State Forest - East Sector, Ipswich:
Wood Duck, Mallard, Broad-winged Hawk, Herring Gull, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, 
Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, 
American Robin, Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird,
Common Grackle, American Goldfinch

Scotland Road, Newbury:
Glossy Ibis, Snow Goose, Wilson's Snipe, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel

John Wise Avenue, Essex:
Cattle Egret

Northgate Road, Ipswich:
Savannah Sparrow

Good birding,
Sue

Plum Island - (April 16, 2014) - Raptors

Plum Island, MA - Newburyport
Daily Raptor Counts: April 16, 2014


Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total

Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0             25             25
Osprey                       4             11             12
Bald Eagle                   0              2              2
Northern Harrier             0             77             86
Sharp-shinned Hawk           0             14             14
Cooper's Hawk                0              3              3
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              1              1
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              0              1              1
Rough-legged Hawk            1              1              1
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             0            367            367
Merlin                       2             19             20
Peregrine Falcon             0              1              1
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                7              7              7
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0
Snowy Owl                    0              0              1

Total:                      14            530            542

Observation start time: 07:00:00
Observation end   time: 13:45:00
Total observation time: 6.75 hours

Official Counter:        Ted Mara


Weather:
NW 16-33 mph, intermittently N 17-25. 0-6 degrees C. Cloudless skies.
Visibility 10+ miles.

Local conditions appeared ideal as a very cold Arctic front swept into the
area with strong northwest winds, driving out a low that left rain, sleet,
and about an inch of snow in its wake.  Few migrants seen, likely due to
fact that winds in Connecticut and Rhode Island were due North 14-35 mph,
apparently bringing migration to a halt.

Raptor Observations:
Seven buteos were reported in a distant kettle on the western horizon.
Local TVs and Ospreys seen, along with a local adult Redtail. Good looks at
the roughleg as it moved north. At least two Snowy Owls still in the
immediate area.


Predictions:
Next several days do not look good with offshore winds for two days,
followed by weak land breezes.

Report submitted by Paul Roberts (phawk254@comcast.net)
Plum Island MA information may be found at:
http://massbird.org/EMHW/

Parker River NWR on Plum Island - 4/16/14

Morning visit:
Canada Goose
American Wigeon (2) - pair at large saltpanne
American Black Duck
Mallard - a few.
Northern Shoveler (4) - 2 drakes, at saltpannes; pair at south end of the Bill Forward Pool
Northern Pintail (2) - pair saltpannes
Green-winged Teal (3) - drake, saltpanne; pair at The Wardens
Wild Turkey (1) - The Wardens
Double-crested Cormorant (3)
Great Blue Heron (1)
Great Egret (3)
Northern Harrier (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (1)
Greater Yellowlegs (3) - main saltpanne
American Woodcock (1) - Refuge road, north of Goodno Woods crossing.
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove (3)
Snowy Owl (3) - 2 on PI Turnpike, 1 on staddle in marsh north end of S-curves
Northern Flicker (1)
American Crow (3)
Black-capped Chickadee (4) - Hellcat.
Brown Creeper (1) - Refuge road in sassafras grove in S-curves
Golden-crowned Kinglet (2) - Hellcat.
Hermit Thrush (5) - roadside, S-curves
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird (1)
Eastern Towhee (2) - S-curves
Song Sparrow (2)
Northern Cardinal (5)
Purple Finch (2) - 1, after lot #1; 1, roadside, near Hellcat

Plastics, Birds, Oceans, & Shores

A plastic bags from a shopping trip to the grocery store will float in the ocean for 10 to 20 years, a foam coffee cup remains
in water for 50 years, a photo-degradable plastic beverage holder [on a six pack of beverages] will drift in the currents for 6 
months and a plastic beverage bottle will be around 450 years.  We all need to rethink plastics and the way we dispose of 
them.

Here's a link to a graphic film about plastic as a perils to pelagic birds:

http://www.midwayfilm.com/


Here's a list the "dirty dozen" - the twelve items most frequently found in the ocean and along our shores:

1. cigarette butts
2. paper products
3. plastic pieces
4. styrofoam
5. glass fragments
6. plastic food bags
7. plastic caps and covers
8. metal beverage cans
9.  plastic straws
10. glass beverage bottles
11. plastic beverage bottles
12. styrofoam cups

Please recycle!


Good birding,
Sue

Wet Meadows - Newbury, Newburyport & W. Newbury 4/13/14

This morning Paula McFarland and I led a delightful group. Here are our highlights:


Glossy Ibis 2 in field with Snow Goose - flushed by a hawk but resettled
Great Egret Nbpt Industrial Park & Rogers St, Scotland Rd. & W. Newbury
Mute Swan 2 nesting pair Artichoke Res. Plummer Spring area
Wilson's Snipe 60 on Scotland Rd. counted while in flight - likely others in field
Great Blue Heron 1
Osprey 2
Red-tailed Hawk Nbpt Industrial Park & Scotland Rd.
Northern Harrier 1, female Scotland Rd.
Killdeer 2, Nbpt Industrial Park
Yellow-shafted Flicker
American Kestrel 1
Eastern Phoebe
Black-capped Chickadee pair excavating a cavity near observation platform
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Turkey Vulture 2, roosting on Scotland Rd.
Snow Goose 1 in field with Canada Geese - clamshell field
Downy Woodpecker 1, Hale St.
Canada Goose
Mallard
American Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck 6, beaver pond on Scotland Rd.
Ring-billed Gull
Belted Kingfisher 1, beaver swamp on Scotland Rd.
Tree Swallow beaver swamp on Scotland Rd.
Barn Swallow beaver swamp on Scotland Rd.
American Robin
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

Glossy Ibis by Phil Brown
Snowy Egret in background


With best wishes,
Sue

Plum Island - 4/14/14 - 70 Raptors

Plum Island MA
Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 14, 2014


Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total

Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               2             25             25
Osprey                       2              7              8
Bald Eagle                   0              2              2
Northern Harrier             6             77             86
Sharp-shinned Hawk           5             14             14
Cooper's Hawk                0              3              3
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          1              1              1
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              1              1              1
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            50            367            367
Merlin                       3             17             18
Peregrine Falcon             0              1              1
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0
Snowy Owl                    0              0              1

Total:                      70            516            528

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end   time: 14:30:00
Total observation time: 6.5 hours

Official Counter:
Ted Mara

Weather:
Winds 5-32 mph SW, 20-27 degrees, 75 % light thin cloud cover. At 8:00 am,
we started with a sea breeze briefly before the SW winds started revving up

Predictions:
Tomorrow's forecast is not favorable, but Wednesday's forecast looks
excellent.

Report submitted by Paul Roberts (phawk254@comcast.net)
Plum Island MA information may be found at:
http://massbird.org/EMHW/

Site Description:
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is located in parking lot #1 of the Parker River
Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, Newburyport, MA, approximately 32 miles
northeast of Boston. It is a volunteer-run spring watchsite with coverage
between mid March to mid May.

Plum Island Raptors 204! 4/12/14

Plum Island, MA
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 12, 2014


Male Northern Harrier



Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total

Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0             23             23
Osprey                       1              5              6
Bald Eagle                   0              2              2
Northern Harrier            19             71             80
Sharp-shinned Hawk           5              9              9
Cooper's Hawk                0              3              3
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              0              0              0
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel           173            317            317
Merlin                       6             14             15
Peregrine Falcon             0              1              1
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0
Snowy Owl                    0              0              1

Total:                     204            446            458

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end   time: 17:30:00
Total observation time: 9.5 hours

Official Counter:        Ted Mara


Weather:
Winds started NW 5-10 mph, died and shifted to E at 5 mph until 12
noon, when they shifted to W/NW at 10-25 mph. 14-22 C, 0-20% OC

Raptor Observations:
10 of the 19 harriers were adult males (Gray Ghosts)
1 Resident Bald Eagle adult
4 Ospreys local nesters
2 Snowy Owls remain in area

Report submitted by Paul Roberts (phawk254@comcast.net)
Plum Island MA information may be found at:
http://massbird.org/EMHW/

Site Description:
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is located in parking lot #1 of the Parker
River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, Newburyport, MA, approximately 32
miles northeast of Boston. It is a volunteer-run spring watchsite with
coverage between mid March to mid May.