Bird-a-thon 2010 was held this past Friday evening & Saturday, May 15 & 16 and fine weather, minus the gusty breezes, was a pleasant change from past very rainy events. Our team, lead by Captain Steve Grinley and his merry band of birders, Margo Goetschkes, Linda Ferraresso and yours truly, had our usual assignment check off the odd bird from this and that location in Essex County. Our only miss of the day was the White-faced Ibis which had been seen the day before.
A few of the highlights captured digitally along the way:
A pair of Ring-necked Pheasant walking along the side of the road afforded close looks. The male seen above is especially colorful while the female below is a "bit" more subdued.
Seeing the tufts erected on the males head was a 1st for many of us. They appeared to be a mated pair.
An earlier stop had these very cute young Barred Owls sitting atop the nest box. I think there are 3 in this image with the 3rd on the left with just its wing showing.
They were nowhere to be found on a return trip the following day!
The "changing of the guard" was seen at a Pileated Woodpecker nest later in the day.
Steve & Jane Mirick, birding Cape Ann for the Bird-a-thon, found a Purple Gallinule eating gypsy moth worms in a Maple tree along High St in Gloucester.
This southern "Water Chicken" was certainly the most unusual bird found that day!
A return trip Sunday morning found the Gallinule feeding fairly close to the road as seen in these two images.
It's feet are a bit large for walking along the thin Maple branches.
The last bird Steve & Jane Mirick located, after the Bird-a-thon had ended and we were all on our way home, was this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron that ate very large worms from a lawn in Newburyport.
A very interesting day of birding was had by all!