Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cone Crop & Winter Birding

Dave Govatski of northern New Hampshire sent along this cone crop update.
By Phil Brown

Common Redpoll by Phil Brown

The red, white and black spruce cone crop for the upcoming winter finch forecast and rated it as excellent in Northern New Hampshire and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Spruce cone seeds are the primary food supply for red and white-winged crossbills that periodically irrupt into our state in winter. Both crossbills are already being seen in small numbers in northern NH and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It has been an excellent year for crab apples, mountain ash berries, beaked hazelnut, beech and a number of berry producing shrubs. There's a good cone crop for Norway spruce, hemlock and larch while the pine cone crop was poor. White birch catkins were only fair and this is one of the primary seed sources for redpolls. The heart-leaf birch which is found above 3,000 feet in elevation in our New England mountains has an excellent catkin crop.

Reporters from different regions send in their reports to Ron Pittaway of Ontario who consolidates the findings and comes out with an anxiously awaited winter finch forecast around mid-September each year. Irruptive species like crossbills, pine grosbeaks and redpolls generally travel no further than where they can find a good food supply. If there is plenty of food in Canada we may only get a small number of irruptive species. Some years we have to wait until the winter finches eat their way south from Canada while in some years we see them in good numbers by October.

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - August 27, 2015

Little Blue Heron by Bob Stymeist


Morgan Avenue, Newbury:
Eastern Screech-Owl

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Least BitternGadwall, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Common Loon, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Glossy Ibis, Northern Harrier, Common Gallinule,  Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Red-necked Phalarope, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Least Tern, Black Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Forster's Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Northern Waterthrush, Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole

River Court, Amesbury:
Common Nighthawk, Tree Swallow

Ferry Road, Salisbury:
Wild Turkey, Fish Crow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Osprey, Tree Swallow, American Woodcock

Moulton Street, Newburyport:
Common Nighthawk, American Redstart, White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Goldfinch, Chimney Swift, Mourning Dove, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Brown-headed Cowbird  

Pine Island Road, Newbury:
Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Least Sandpiper, Killdeer, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Willet, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee

Center Street, Groveland:
Common Nighthawk, Tree Swallow 

Newburyport Industrial Park:
Hooded Merganser, Eastern Kingbird, Wild Turkey, Cedar Waxwing, Mallard, Tree Swallow

Plum Island Turnpike, Neewburyport/Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Killdeer

Bray Street, West Gloucester:
Little Blue Heron

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:

Whimbrel, Laughing Gull, Tree Swallow, Piping Plover, Least Tern, Common Tern, Sanderling, Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning  Dove, American Crow, Barn Swallow, Gray Catbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee

Dow and Daniel Boone Parks, Ipswich:
Turkey Vulture, Least Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch, 


Cashman Park, Newburyport:
Fish Crow, Tree Swallow

Lake Attitash, Amesbury/Merrimac:

Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Mallard, Mute Swan, Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper

Artichoke Reservoir, West Newbury:
Pied-billed Grebe, Mute Swan, Mallard, Wood Duck, Barred Owl, Eastern Kingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Barn Swallow

Ipswich River, Ipswich:
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Western Sandpiper Double-crested Cormorant, Mallard, Turkey Vulture, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Belted Kingfisher, American Crow, Downy Woodpecker


Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH:
Blue-winged Teal, Bobolink

Elm Street, Salisbury:
Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Killdeer, Tree Swallow, Mallard, Wood Duck, Chipping Sparrow

Hilldale Avenue, South Hampton, NH:
Eastern Bluebird, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Nighthawk, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Barn Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Wild Turkey, Cooper's Hawk, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl 

Parker River, Newbury:
Least Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Willet, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis

Various Areas in West Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, Wood Duck, American Goldfinch

Route 1 Traffic Circle, Newburyport:
Pine Siskin, Turkey Vulture, Chimney Swift, Tree Swallow

Granite State Whale Watch out of Rye, NH:
Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Northern Gannet, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Red-necked
Phalarope, Eastern Kingbird, Bay-breasted Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Warbler Species 

Maudslay State Park, Newburyport:
Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Tree Swallow

Various Areas in Boxford:
Common Nighthawk 

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel, Black Tern, Arctic Tern, Roseate Tern, Red Knot, Whimbrel, Little Blue Heron, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Short-billed Dowitcher, Piping Plover, Laughing Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Peregrine Falcon, Western Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Black Guillemot, Cory's Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Tree Swallow, Willet, Fish Crow, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, American Bittern, Merlin 

Sunset Boulevard, Newbury:
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Eastern Kingbird

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Gray Catbird, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Mockingbird, Song Sparrow, Blue Jay, Northern Flicker, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, Common Yellowthroat, American Goldfinch,  Black-capped Chickadee, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, American Crow

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Pied-billed Grebe is a Feather Eater!

Pied-billed Grebe by Rick Heil

I've seen a Pied-billed Grebe at the salt pannes a few times on the Refuge recently.  I introduced the bird to a new birder on Thursday evening.  Grebes do fascinate me!


Gill's "Ornithology" mentions “…grebes have high wing loading.  To take off, they must run over the water, flapping their wings to gain enough lift for flight."  Lots of energy is expended to take flight; an apprehensive grebe will dive, sink or swim to escape predators. Once while foraging in vegetation a grebe sunk and revealed only its bill above water; I thought of a submarine, a ship that can operate both under and on top of the water, 
and that bill was the periscope. 


Grebes have tiny, saw-like teeth on the edge of their bill which aid them in feeding on aquatic invertebrates, vegetation, insects, fish and frogs.  This chicken-like bird is usually absent from our landscape from the middle of November to the middle March.  In late fall, they migrate south where it’s certain to be more hospitable.  Veit and Petersen’s “Birds of Massachusetts” reports Pied-billed Grebes are first “irregular in winter” and secondly, “During mild seasons, when ponds and bays remain unfrozen, Pied-billed Grebes are capable of surviving the entire winter in Massachusetts.  Most birds are found on Cape Cod and the island, but there are midwinter reports from inland localities…”

Grebes compress air out of their feathers and air sacs by contracting the firm and toned abdominal muscles which regulate their buoyancy and shape.  Their plumage is satiny and well preened.  They are similar to coots and phalaropes in that their toes are lobed and each toe has lobes extending out on the sides providing extra surface area for paddling. The grebe's tarsi are laterally compressed. 
Highly designed for water with legs set far back on the body like "divers", making them efficient waterbirds.  They’re gawky on the solid part of the earth's surface and come to land to nest. They bathe and preen in the sun while I peered through my scope.  I watched as they used their billsto obtain oil from the oil gland.  Grebes are often described as tail-less, and Proctor & Lynch’s “Manual of Ornithology” refers to the tail of the grebe as vestigial. 
I read in Alexander Wetmore's “Water, Prey and Game Birds of North America” that grebes eat their own feathers. Wetmore states "Strangely, grebes eat their own feathers, retaining them in their stomachs in a tight ball until they disintegrate enough to pass through.  The clumps may hold back such objects as fish bones until they are soft enough to digest."  Wetmore, a past president of the American Ornithologist's Union, lists the Pied-billed Grebe’s monikers as “hell-diver, water witch and dabchick”.

“The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior” notes “The feathers may protect the stomach from puncture by indigestible parts of the grebe’s prey and prevent hard items from entering the intestines.  They also provide the base material of regurgitated pellets that contain undigested material such as fish bones.”

Good birding,
Sue

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - August 20, 2015

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Phil Brown

Granite State Whale Watch out of Rye, NH:
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Red-necked Phalarope, Great Blue Heron, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Cory's Shearwater, Laughing Gull 

Moseley Avenue, Newburyport:
Tree Swallow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Bray Street, West Gloucester:
Little Blue Heron

Erie Avenue, Newburyport:
Red-bellied Woodpecker, House Wren,  Northern Cardinal

Plum Island Point, Newburyport:
Purple Martin, Common Tern

Willowdale State Forest (East Sector), Ipswich: 
Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Spotted Sandpiper, Barred Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Veery, Wood Thrush, American Robin,  
Gray Catbird, Ovenbird, Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch

Water Street, Newburyport:
Peregrine Falcon, Mallard, Great Egret, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, American Crow, 
Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 

Nahant Thicket, Nahant:
Hooded Warbler, Northern Waterthrush

Moulton Street, Newburyport: 
Eastern Screech-Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Chipping Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird

Rocks Village, East Haverhill:
Double-crested Cormorant, Tree Swallow, Spotted Sandpiper, Chimney Swift 

Essex Causeway, Essex:
Sandhill Crane

Center Street, Groveland:
Scarlet Tanager, Tree Swallow, Blue-winged Warbler, Chimney Swift

Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury/Newburyport:
Killdeer, Red-tailed Hawk, Double-crested Cormorant, Tree Swallow, Great Egret 

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Hairy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Eastern Phoebe, House Sparrow   

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Cerulean Warbler, Whip-poor-will, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Common Eider, Common Loon, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Sanderling, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, Stilt Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern, Black Tern, Common Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed  Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow

Hanover Street, Newbury:

Tree Swallow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Goldfinch   
Newburyport Harbor, Newburyport:
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture, Black-bellied Plover,Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, White-rumped Sandpiper,Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,Least Tern

Ring's Island, Salisbury:
Spotted Sandpiper, Osprey, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, Common Tern, Double-crested Cormorant, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Chimney Swift, Rock Pigeon

New Hampshire Seacoast:
American Black Duck, White-winged Scoter, Common Loon, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover,
Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 
Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Carolina Wren, Saltmarsh Sparrow

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern New Hampshire - August 13, 2015

Little Blue Heron by Bob Stymeist

Artichoke Reservoir, West Newbury:
Eastern Kingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Canada Goose, Tree Swallow. Song Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Wood Duck, Eastern Wood-Pewee

Bray Street, West Gloucester:
Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, Mourning Dove

Parker Ridge, Newburyport:
Eastern Phoebe, House Wren, Northern Cardinal, Chipping Sparrow

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Killdeer, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Eastern Phoebe, House Wren, Mourning Dove, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, European Starling, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Mallard, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch,  Red-tailed Hawk,  Song Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, American Crow, Blue Jay, House Sparrow

Powow River, South Hampton, NH:
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-capped Chickadee, Cedar Waxwing, White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Phoebe, Great Blue Heron, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker   

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Common Eider, Common Loon, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Avocet, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs,
Ruddy Turnstone, Stilt Sandpiper, Sanderling, Baird's Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern, Black Tern, Common Tern, Rock Pigeon,
Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed  Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow
Newburyport Harbor, Newburyport:
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Peregrine Falcon, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Turkey Vulture,Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern

Ring's Island, Salisbury:
Spotted Sandpiper, Osprey, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Common Tern, Double-crested Cormorant, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Chimney Swift, Rock Pigeon

Chase Street, Newburyport:
House Wren, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, House Finch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker

Mill Pond, West Newbury:
Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Mallard, Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, American Crow, Canada Goose, American Goldfinch, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone,  Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Belted Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole 

MassWildlife & Piping Plover Recovery

Piping Plover by Rick Heil

Did you know that Massachusetts is a leader in the protection and recovery of the Piping Plover, a threatened shorebird that nests on beaches from North Carolina to Newfoundland?  In 1986, the Atlantic Coast plover population was listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with only about 800 breeding pairs. Massachusetts also listed the Piping Plover as threatened pursuant to MA Endangered Species Act, with an estimated 140 breeding pairs present in 1986.

Since the listing, beach operators and owners, including many municipalities, have worked with MassWildlife to
implement beach management measures to aid Piping Plover recovery. This commitment to Piping Plover management in accordance with guidelines developed by MassWildlife has led to a significant increase in the Massachusetts Piping Plover population. From 1986 – 2013, the population increased from an estimated 140 to 652 breeding pairs.  Because of this progress, Massachusetts now supports about 37% of the Atlantic Coast plover population.

All of this is great news; however, a healthier Piping Plover population can lead to greater challenges for beach managers trying to effectively manage habitat alongside recreation. For example, there are increasing incidences of Piping Plover nests in busy beach parking lots or chicks attempting to cross active roads. In these cases, avoiding all “take” (harm or mortality) has resulted in significant disruption of recreational beach use (e.g., parking lot or road closures). A larger population is also characterized by increased numbers of late-season nests, resulting in restrictions during the busy summer recreational season.  This situation threatens to erode community support for Piping Plover conservation, potentially jeopardizing the progress towards Plover recovery.

In order to ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a leader in Piping Plover conservation while maintaining and improving the public access, recreational opportunities, and economic activity associated with the Commonwealth’s beaches, MassWildlife is working to develop a Statewide Piping Plover Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). This plan is written with input from stakeholders including local, state, and federal government; landowners; beach managers; non-governmental environmental organizations; and beach user groups. 

MassWildlife is pleased to be working cooperatively with beach managers on this important initiative to advance Piping Plover conservation in the Commonwealth while maintaining and improving recreational opportunities associated with our beaches.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - August 6, 2015

Common Tern by Jeremiah Trimble

Union Street, Newburyport:
Black-crowned Night Heron, Common Tern, Chimney Swift, Bonaparte's Gull, Herring Gull, House Finch, House Sparrow

Gloucester Harbor, Gloucester: 
Northern Gannet

Point Shore, Amesbury:
Baltimore Oriole, American Robin, Carolina Wren, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Cardinal, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Bald Eagle, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Gray Catbird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Goldfinch, Mallard, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow 

Moseley Woods, Newburyport:
Sharp-shinned Hawk, Double-crested Cormorant, Pine Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee 

Maple Street, Amesbury: 
Eastern Wood-Pewee, Chimney Swift, Northern Cardinal

Crow Lane, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture, Wild Turkey, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Song Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Baltimore Oriole 

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH: 
Wilson's Phalarope, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Traill's Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Gray Catbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow

Water Street, Newburyport:
Chimney Swift, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern 

Stackyard and Patmos Roads, Rowley:
Eastern Wood-Pewee, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Willet, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl  

Newman Road, Newbury: 
Spotted Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow 

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury: 
Barn Swallow, Brown Thrasher, American Robin

Pine Island Road, Newbury:
Osprey, Black-capped Chickadee, Tree Swallow, Willet, Black-and-white Warbler 

Captain Bill's Whale Watch out of Gloucester: 
Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Red Phalarope, Bonaparte's Gull,  Cory’s Shearwater,  Great Shearwater,  Northern Gannet, Great Black-backed Gull 
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Willet, Sanderling, Semiplamated Sandpiper, Roseate Tern

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island: 
Double-crested Cormorant, Ruff, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Osprey, Wild Turkey, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-back Gull, Common Tern, Least Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, American Crow, Tree Swallow, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Martin 

Cashman Park, Newburyport: 
Fish Crow, Spotted Sandpiper

New Hampshire Seacoast: 
Green-winged Teal, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Red Knot, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, American Kestrel, Purple Martin, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow Warbler  

Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury/Newburyport:
Killdeer, Tree Swallow, Willet, Eastern Kingbird, Rock Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Newburyport Birders' August & September Update 2015

Birders,

I hope you can join us at one of our upcoming programs.  


We're offering an evening of birding at the North Pool on Plum Island. Doug Chickering will read from his book Reflections on a Golden-winged Warbler. Light refreshments will be served and copies of the book will be available for Doug to sign.

There are evening sessions in August, an early morning session and 
an evening stroll along the Merrimack River in September.


WHAT'S AHEAD
In August, you can observe the shorebirds and Peregrine Falcons migrating along the coast.  The crescent moon on the 12th will leave the sky dark enough to view the Perseids meteor shower.  One may see as many as 60 shooting stars blaze overhead hourly.  The August supermoon will look like a big, bright globe in the night sky on the 29th.  As the month progresses, you can observe pre-migratory flocks of Chimney Swifts and Tree Swallows.
September is the best time to observe the migration of Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged Hawks.  The Olive-sided flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds are preparing to head to South America.  Autumnal equinox is on the 23rd when the length of the day and night are equal.  By month's end, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are ready to head to Central America and Mexico.  The September moon is going to be closer than the August moon, making it the second supermoon of the year.


BIRDING PROGRAMS 


Watching Bird Migration
 
Date: Wednesday, August 12
Time: 6:00 pm - dusk
Meeting Location: Parking Lot #1
Fee: $20

Join Sue for a birding program focused on the importance of the Refuge during bird migration. Plum Island is one of the finest places for viewing birds during fall migration. Many bird species are moving south along the coast. 
On Plum Island, the extensive mudflats, the salt marshes, the salt pannes & the pools are excellent feeding areas & roosting sites for these migrants. I hope we catch the meteor show too.


Book Reading & Birding At The North Pool Overlook...
 
Date: Wednesday, August 19th 
Time: 6:00 pm to dusk 
Location: North Pool Overlook at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Free Program! 

Join us for an evening of birding at the North Pool on Plum Island. Doug Chickering will read from his book Reflections on a Golden-winged Warbler. Light refreshments will be served and copies of the book will be available for Doug to sign.

Doug Chickering has for nearly three decades been a frequent and passionate birder and chronicler of Essex County, one of the most famous and historic birding locations in the world. His essays in the Newburyport Birders' newsletter were extremely popular. He has published his essays on birding in Winging It, Bird Observer and The Quail.  Doug is frequently invited to read his works on Ray Brown’s radio program Talkin’ Birds

Here's what readers are saying about Doug's book: “Birding is all about sharing the adventure, and in this collection of entertaining essays, Douglas Chickering has shown how varied the world of birding can be. A wonderful read for any birder.” - Don and Lillian Stokes, authors of The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America

“It was the magic of Doug Chickering’s prose, observed on the Massbird Listserv, that led ­me to begin reading them on my radio show and to inviting Doug to read some himself. How wonderful that many of his beautiful and thoughtful pieces have been assembled in this ­delightful book. I recommend Reflections on a Golden-Winged Warbler heartily to all who love birds and to all who enjoy wise and insightful observations expressed with beauty, ­eloquence, and a clearly-expressed love for our natural world.” - Ray Brown, host of the Talkin’ Birds radio show

“The short birding stories of Douglas Chickering are truly inspirational. He demonstrates the pure joy and exhilaration of coming face to face with a plethora of birds on his beloved Plum Island and surrounding countryside. I have had the privilege of birding Plum Island often with Doug, and even 20 years on, I still have wonderful memories of those halcyon days. If ever a man has demonstrated the delights of ‘Patch Birding’ it has to be Doug. This book is a must have for anyone wanting to share those emotions.” -Derek Moore, British ornithologist and nature conservationist 



Along The Merrimack River 
- Evening Birding 
Date: Sunday, September 6th
Time: 5:00 pm - dusk
Meet at: The Park & Ride on Storey Ave., Newburyport 
- we'll carpool from there.
Fee: $20 

We'll be looking for migrating birds! During our program, we'll focus on the many aids to field identification, including physical characteristics, habitat preference & feeding techniques.


Early Morning Birding in 
West Newbury 
Date: Monday, September 7
Time: 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Meet at: 
The Park & Ride on Storey Ave., Newburyport - we'll carpool from there.
Fee: $20

We'll be watching for migrating birds! We'll teach you aids to field identification, including physical characteristics, habitat preference & feeding techniques. 


TIMESHARE ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD FOR SALE




For Sale Fall Timeshare on Martha's Vineyard!
Birders Getaway late October/early November week
Saturday to Saturday availability: $600.
Fall timeshare week at Harbor Landing Inn in Vineyard Haven:
Unit has 2 twin beds
Private full bath
Cable TV
Small refrigerator
Unit with individually controlled heat and air conditioning
5 acres park the adjoining the property

Access to common areas with fully equipped kitchen, recreation room, deck overlooking the harbor and grilling area on the patio.



Convenient to the ferry, the famous Black Dog Tavern, golf course, beaches, excellent fall birding on The Vineyard, YMCA's pool and fitness center.

May exchange timeshare week for anywhere in the world through Interval International.

For owner's contact information, please email Sue at: newburyportbirders@comcast.net

 

GET OUTSIDE 

There's a natural draw to appreciating birds. Get outside and observe, appreciate and identify birds. Birding is good for you! Birding can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve concentration. Take a deep breath of fresh air, listen to the sounds of the birds and appreciate their colors.  There are millions of active birdwatchers in the United States who collectively spend more money watching birds than all Americans spend on movie tickets.


BIRDING ETIQUETTE  

Are you ready to head into the field and see dozens of birds?  Knowledge and enthusiasm shouldn't get in the way of basic birding etiquette. Tread lightly in the field and be respectful. Be prompt so the group can head out together as one unit. Birds' keen senses alert them to our presence; when the group walks as quietly as possible and whispers, we see more. Take cues from the leader who might signal for quiet as the group approaches a bird. Walking quietly will help us listen for birds. While birding in a group, we enjoy sharing our findings. If you're new to birding, please don’t be shy; there's a knowledgeable leader willing to share tips and sightings. But most importantly, enjoy yourself! 
Birding is meant to be fun and informative. 

I look forward to birding with you during the fall migration!

Best Wishes,
Sue 

Sue McGrath 
Newburyport Birders
Observe ~ Appreciate ~ Identify
Newburyport, MA 
Website: www.newburyportbirders.com
Blog: http://nbptbirders.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @ nbpt_birders