I stopped to take pictures of a bird that was along high up in a tree making a shrieking sort of noise since I thought it might be a type of hawk. Upon getting home; however, I discovered it was merely a robin!
And a BirdingGirl post wouldn't be complete without a Mystery Bird!
Here's the progress I've made so far: At first glance I thought it was just a house sparrow since it had brown and white feathers, but it was by itself and that made me pay more attention. Next I tried getting a closer look at the coloring and saw that there were markings on the head. It also hopped and clung upside down more than I've seen house sparrows do. I managed to get some pictures through the trees, but unfortunately the branches obscured most of them. This is the best picture I have to work with. Once home I pulled out my Sibley Guide and first started trying to identify if by the coloring on the breast and flanks, but that wasn't enough. The next identifying feature I saw was the beak, which is long and narrow. That helped rule out finches and sparrows. I picked up on the resemblance to the ovenbird I saw at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania, but I remembered that bird was large and kept to the ground.
Here are my guesses- feel free to shoot me down!
Swainson's Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, or Hermit Thrush- narrow beak, spotted breast and white eye-ring (which can be seen just barely in the photograph); I'm leaning toward Swainson's because the tail seems to be more gray than red.
Ovenbird- again, I doubt that it is this, but the spotted breast, white eye-ring and stripes on the crown make me consider it.
Last but not least, I have to report on the Snowy Owl we saw. I'm still trying to verify that there have been other sightings at Drumlin Farm, but I am 99% positive that's what I saw, especially after having seen one already at Crane Beach in Ipswich.
I first spotted it as we came up the hill where Hayfield Loop meets Drumlin Loop. I saw it swoop down from a big evergreen over the hillside. I remember the distinct slow beating of the wings, along with the very long wingspan. I kind of shook it off as possibly a seagull, but then as we continued along the ridge of the hill I saw it come back up from the field and fly into another large tree up ahead. At this point the weather was getting really bad and I didn't want to expose my camera to anymore sleet and wet snow so we didn't hang around long enough to see it again. Not to say we didn't try- we did linger for another 10 minutes or so. But after all the time we spent tracking the snowy owl at Crane Beach we felt we had gotten that out of our system.