Thursday, December 10, 2015

Snowy Owls

Lots of Snowy's around again this year. Perhaps not as many as the last few years, but no problems locating them. Today at work while making my way around Belle Isle this little lady was sitting on the boardwalk. Yesterday 2 Snowy's had a quick battle at the reservation then headed over towards Logan Airport. Belle Isle has alot of squirrels, rabbits, voles, and with so much prey I think it is a pretty good location to see this beautiful large raptors this winter.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Final Banding stats

So the banding team wound up catching 168 Saw-whets this season. 8 of these birds had already been banded at other sites. The trend of a higher percentage of second year birds being caught continued through the season. If data trends prove correct Kathy thinks that next year will be a boom year (typically every 4 years) probably correlating with prey booms in northern forests.  Clutch sizes are more like passerine species with Saw-whets laying up to 9 eggs, typically 5-6. If a rodent boom occurs many of the owlets will live to fledge and migrate. Sad to see the season end, but I always feel lucky to help out the awesome team at Drumlin who have been studying this amazing owl species for a long time now. Now on to Short-eared Owls and Long-eared Owls !

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Little Blue Heron

A very late and somewhat rare Little Blue Heron ( this one is an immature bird, not yet showing its blue adult plumage)  has been at Belle Isle for almost a week. Also the resident Red Tail was hanging out with me this morning, a very tolerant bird.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

More from Belle Isle

                                        Some early morning shots of the marsh at Belle Isle.

I also caught a mixed flock of Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers in a freshly mowed salt-hay field on Plum.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Snowy Owls & Belle Isle

Snowy Owls have started to arrive, so far I have seen 3 birds on Plum Island.
                          Not a great shot, but one gets the idea. 

So I have started working at Belle Isle, which affords alot of great birds through out the day. This week a large push of Sparrows is moving through. I also had a very late Snowy Egret fly in this afternoon, but I did not have a camera.

                                                             Belle Isle salt Pannes

                                                                  Tree Sparrow
                             White-throated Sparrow one of many moving through the reservation

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Shorebird flock

About 300 + Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings and Dunlin have been roosting by the lot 5 platform. A little bit further down the beach at lot 7 I caught some Dunlin and Sanderlings foraging. They must have just arrived because they did not seem to mind human proximity.

                                            Mixed flock of Dunlin and Sanderlings

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Winter is coming !

On a short trip up the coast looking Snowy Owls (which have arrived again) my buddy Geoff & I found a good sized flock of Snow Bunting & Horned Larks.

Also on a quick trip over to Winthrop a Juvie Red Tail was perched up at my friend Lauretta's house. She also had a nice spread of Horned Grebes out in front of her spot.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Bohemian Waxwing & Western Kingbird

A few great birds today ! The earliest Bohemian Waxwing I have ever had in Massachusetts. Also a Western Kingbird, a very late Baltimore Oriole, and a number of American Golden Plovers. Not to shabby.
                                                       Bohemian Waxwing

                                                            Western Kingbird
                                                           Baltimore Oriole

2 Bald Eagles out on the dike

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Banding & Yard Birds

I know for most people birds like Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches  and  Chickadee's are "common" yard birds. But having these guys in our yard on Plum Island is exciting. I've seen more Snowy Owls from my old yard than Downy Woodpeckers. Anyways...really enjoying my new yard birding. Lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers moving though this week as well.

                                                               Northern Harrier
                                                              Y.R. Warbler
I have a field note in the October Bird Observer, you can get copies at Bird Supply in town or online at


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Various pictures

Lots of stuff building up in the old camera, even some sunset and forest shots ! I'm so artsy...
                                                        Light through the trees
                                                    Sunset from the new house
                                                       Golden-crowned Kinglet
                                             American Golden Plover in Rumney Marsh

                                                              Savannah Sparrow

Saw-whet banding has begun, a slow but steady stream of birds is moving though. More second year birds this year than last season. More on banding to come with the awesome team at Drumlin Farm. 
                                                            Dear lord....adorable
                                        Even being adorable those feet can still get ya !!!