Date: 10/14/19 9:48 am From: Barbara Volkle <barb620...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Special trip/Newburyport area
Thanks to Strickland Wheelock for the following report.
Barbara Volkle Northborough, MA <barb620...>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:22:29 +0000 (UTC) From: Strickland Wheelock<skwheelock...> Subject: Special trip/Newburyport area
Sometimes birding trips are extra special and Sunday the 14th was that as a Drumlin Farm group headed to the Newburyport area in beautiful clear weather, mild temperatures, low winds and excellent birding experiences & education - note foliage was stunning to add to the day. The highlight for the group were some of the side by side comparisons of various species, esp at the Salt Pannes at Plum Island. In one tight flock of shorebirds close to the road & with the sun at our back, we were able to study in detail all the winter ID features from comparative body sizes, bill shapes, leg color, primary feather projections, overall feather coloring of these shorebirds - in the group were a Western Sandpiper, several Dunlin, Sanderlings, Least & Semipalimated Sandpipers, Wht-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalimated Plovers, Greater Yellowlegs. Short time later we had an excellent look at a sitting Pectoral Sandpiper, a fly over Black-bellied Plover and a pair of feeding Am. Golden Plovers in a field with many Killdeer. Another great learning experience were with all the ducks at the refuge and ones off the shore. Again in great light between Hellcat and Bill Foreward Pool, we had excellent comparisons in all features, ages and M/F coloration's of Northern Shoveler, Am. Widgeon, N Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Gadwalls along with all the Mallards and Black Ducks - later we had Ring-necked Ducks and Ruddy Ducks. Off the shoreline near Emerson Rocks, we enjoyed comparing all 3 Scoter species [Wht-winged, Surf & Black], Common Eiders along with N Gannets and C. Loons. Another very special experience/comparison for the group was having sitting side by side immature Yellow-crowned and Blk-cr. Night Herons at this park in Newburyport - while enjoying these species, a calling Kingfisher flew by, in the trees close to us we had Yellow-rumped Warblers along with a few Ruby-cr Kinglets, Black-thr Blue and Nashville Warbler, Carolina Wren & more - earlier in the Pines at PI, we had great looks at several Golden-cr Kinglets. Some other species that gave us special looks was a Merlin sitting on a post allowing us to walk us so close to it & admire all it's features, a large flock of Am. Pipits calling and flying low over our heads, flying Sharp-shinned Hawk and N. Harriers for ID practice. a sitting Bonaparte's Gull in the harbor - some more challenging bird ID's were at the boat ramp on PI with a Marsh Wren, Seaside & Nelson's Sparrows [species that only give you fleeting looks]. At the end of the day, we had only 74 species as we did not spend much time with the passerine migrants but focused with the group on these comparison & educational opportunities these cooperative shorebirds, ducks, etc gave all of us - combine all that with the beautiful foliage, great weather, all of us had special day in the field.