Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Riley boys & the Screech box

On this fine October morning, 2 generations of Riley's set out to build a fine home for a screech owl. The saga went something like this...

Ipswich Redtail

So I stopped by my parents property to try to see if the nesting Coopers Hawk’s young had hatched, not so much. However the resident Redtail was about and put on quite a show for me. Initially I noticed the bird because it was chasing a chipmunk around a tree on foot. Catch number one. The bird then flew to a near by limb and proceeded to eat the chipmunk, then preen its feathers seemingly unbothered by me. This is a bird my father swears is a “close friend” of his, perhaps so. I was about 15 feet from the Redtail for about 45 minutes. Right as I was about to leave the bird left the perch and snagged another chipmunk. 2 in an hour, one has to wonder how long a population can last with such high success rates.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cranes Beach this summer

This summer I volunteered for the Cranes Beach Migratory shorebird program. Essentially the goal was to keep frantic beach-goers away from the birds, who were resting / migrating down to their wintering grounds in South America. Predominantly the species seen were; Semi-palmated Plovers, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, and Sanderlings. In addition to the migrating species, the beach also holds a breeding population of least terns, and piping plovers. Both species which are starting to make a come back along the Eastern seaboard. I also included a picture of a hudsonian godwit which made an appearance for a few weeks. For the peeps, the high while I was working was around 3,500 birds, while the goal was to have them not “flush” it was very impressive to see that many birds in flight.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Machias Seal Island

If you have not been to Machias Seal Island, you need to plan a trip. The island sits on the boarder of Maine and Canada, and is currently in the midst of international dispute. Canada seems to be winning as it is manned by a year round Canadian staff. Casey and myself spent a few nights camping in Acadia, before boarding the boat out to Machias. The island is one of the bigger breeding colonies for Alantic Puffins, Razorbills, and Murre. The island also holds a small population of Artic Terns, and various gull species. As you approach the island the water is filled with Puffins. Apparently sometimes boats are not allowed to actually get out onto the island, but we were fortunate and got to land.

Having substandard camera equipment we were able to get one of the best blinds closest to the nesting areas. After shutting the blind door, the puffins re-swarm the blind. All you can hear is a continuous scurry of puffin feet. The views are amazing, truly incredible to see. The smell well….that is just as interesting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Great Horned Owl Nest Hamilton

Thanks to Phil Brown I was shown this nest in Hamilton. Big momma had 3 owlets, and she looked to be very tired. The nest was over 60 feet up in a pine so I had to digi-scope these shots. I checked in on the family every week or so until one day, no more owls.