Monday, September 29, 2008

Eastern Phoebe- a First-time Backyard Visitor

There was finally a break in the weather yesterday so I decided to make a quick birding trip to nearby Stiles and Hart Conservation Park. According to the park profile it's "A Bird Watchers Paradise—A Nature Lovers get away right downtown." Despite having high hopes for my third trip to Stiles and Hart, I walked away without any good pictures. Sightings included the usual suspects-- blue jays, chickadees, titmice, downy woodpeckers, a flicker, among others.

Surprisingly, the best pics of the day came from my very own backyard. I have a suet basket, along with two birdfeeders set up, and noticed this Eastern Phoebe earlier in the day and was able to catch it on a return trip later in the day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Domestic Goose Hybrid (Swan Goose?) in Farm Country

I just keep striking out today. First, I can't find my Sibley Guide (that's what moving will do to you) and now the Cornell bird site, All About Birds, is down. With the resources I have available I've come to the conclusion this is a White-fronted Goose, although I can't find pictures of any with such a huge bump on the beak. I first was looking at pictures of the Greylag Goose, but they were lacking the white band at the base of its beak.

These pictures were taken right after we moved into our new place in Bridgewater, aka "Farm Country" according to me. I've always been able to identify the region where I lived—I grew up on Cape Cod, I went to college in Central Pennsylvania, I've been living in and around Boston for the last 5 years. Now that we've moved to Bridgewater I'm at a loss. Maybe we live on the South Shore? That's the closest 'region' name I've been able to come up with so I decided to make up my own since I don't really feel like we live on the South Shore. I like Farm Country :)
And how appropriate that the first birding pic I took in our new town is of an agricultural bird! We were exploring the conservation land behind our house and came up on this large goose wading in this little river.

Here are some other pictures from the day:

Notice the birdhouse in this last picture. There are several throughout the conservation area. I can't wait to go back there again. The last few trips I made with my camera I didn't have much luck. I'm hoping to catch some migratory birds- that is, if they stop over in Farm Country. I hope so!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Juvenile Herring Gull

It's tradition to take a walk down to the beach whenever we have a family party. This one was at my aunt's house in East Sandwich, on Cape Cod.

I stopped to take some pictures of this beautiful juvenile herring gull, then moved on and photographed some sanderlings and semipalpated plovers. On my way back; however, I saw the same juvenile gull picking at a dead fish. I took some video of it pecking at it, so if you're squeamish you might want to pass on this one.

Here's the video: