I'm an avid birder and nature photographer wishing to share some of my sightings & images taken while out in the "wilds" of Cape Ann and surrounding New England countryside. More images can be found on my web site at New England Birds Plus Enjoy, Phil Brown

"Click" on any image below for a larger version....

Comments & Question - nebirdsplus@gmail.com

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Waterthrush & Fox Kits - Salisbury, MA - April 25, 2011

A stop at Crooked Pond in Boxford found the recently arriving Louisiana Waterthrush in full song just past the 1st stream crossing. Though I didn't manage any photos of the bird on this dreary day I did record it's song with the stream and an occasional Pine Warbler signing in the background. What I like about the recording is the lack of car noise, something that is hard to get away from in Massachusetts.

1 minute Louisiana Waterthrush recording

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Ron Grant of Salisbury pointed me in the direction of a Fox den this morning and much to my delight the kits were out playing in the light rain that fell most of the day. One of the few shots I managed of the foursome that was at this den.

A brief video of the kits playing in the dune grass.

Another pair was seen a bit further west. Wish there had been a bit of sunshine!


White-faced Ibis - April 24, 2011

The White-faced Ibis reported from Plum Island just west of lot #3 was present on Sunday morning and paused for a moment for the image below.

Of all the improbable things to happen.... A Peregrine Falcon killed and ate the White-faced Ibis on Tuesday April 26, 2011 and even more incredible... Michael Blust, Professor of Biology at Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT had his class on Parker River NWR, not only watching the entire event but video taping it as  well. The take down of the Ibis by the Peregrine can be seen on You Tube at:

A stop in the Industrial Park in Newburyport on Easter Sunday found a male American Kestrel making a meal out of a meadow vole. He disappeared shortly after catching it, I'm guessing he took it to the female as she sits on their nest.

A Green Heron was back on territory in a small pond just north of the Parker River along Rte 1 in Newbury. All in all a very pleasant day of birding with temps in the 60's and the reported showers not materializing.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rainy Day Yard Birds - April 23, 2011

A check of the feeders after work this afternoon found a Swamp Sparrow watching the many Blackbirds that visit for several weeks each spring. The newly emerged grass made for a colorful out of focus background.

A bit of video of the Swamp Sparrow as it watched all of the feeder birds.

Another brown capped Sparrow that visits through the summer while nesting in the yard arrived a few weeks ago. Chipping Sparrows are a regular visitor for 3/4 of the year.

A bit of selective black and white applied to the next image gave this American Goldfinch a bit of pop on this otherwise gloomy day.

Cox Reservation - Island Road, Essex - April 22, 2011

A few stops along Island Road in Essex this week turned up several American Kestrel, stopping for some food and a brief rest before heading off to continue migrating to their breeding grounds. A half dozen Glossy Ibis were a treat to see as well.

A bit of time spent on the evening of the 22nd at the Cox Reservation along Eastern Ave. in Essex did not find me spending any quality time with the pair of Osprey that appear to have taken up residence on the nest platform placed along the marsh. They can be seen below in this very distant image (1/2 mile or more) as they had a bite to eat atop the poles in the top right.

Though they did eventually flyby the platform they appeared to be heading inland a bit to roost for the evening. Some of the other birds that passed by while I watched included 20 Great Egret heading to roost just off the coast at Kettle Island in Magnolia.

and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds that have taken over one of the many nest boxes for this years season. The female stopped long enough  for the image below.

Earlier in the week I was given a tour of the Merrimac Woods by Merrimac's very own Bonnie Buxton with the Broad-winged Hawk, seen below, being one of several highlights. Thanks Bonnie!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yellow-legged Gull (probable) April 17, 2011

A stop at Kalmus Beach in Hyannis this morning found the probable Yellow-legged Gull in the parking lot for several minutes. It gave it's long call once which can be seen and heard (with quite a bit of noise from the 20 - 25mph winds) in the 8 second video below. A larger version can be seen on Vimeo at: http://vimeo.com/22531129

A few photos of the gull

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recent Arrivals - April 2011

A stop in Winthrop this past weekend found 4 American Oystercatchers noisily flying around Snake Island. This adult was just coming on for a landing.

Island Road in Essex is a great spot to find an early Snowy Egret or two. This one is showing it's breeding plumage off to several others nearby.

The office has quite a few spring flowers that come up early each year from the heat the raised foundation holds. The Daffodils are a favorite of mine.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Burrowing Owl and Crested Caracara Video - March 2011

A visit to Cape Coral, FL in March of 2011 afforded a visit with several Burrowing Owls at their burrows situated on vacant lots around town.

Burrowing Owl - Cape Coral, FL - March 2011 from Phil Brown on Vimeo.

A 2 minute video of a Crested Caracara as it feeds on a road killed Armadillo along Rte 80 outside of Fort Myers, FL in late March 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Great Horned Owls - April 03, 2011

I visited a Great Horned Owl nest in Hamilton this afternoon, one adult & 2 youngster, and was amused by their indifference to the very windy conditions. That's quite a ride as you can see in the brief video below.

and a still shot of the threesome as they sit approximately 40' up in a White Pine

Ding Darling NWR - last few hours of vacation - April 02, 2011

An early morning stop at Ding Darling prior to my flight home found the tide and birds in sync for the 1st time since my arrival 10 days ago. Spoonbills in flight, loads of awesome reflections and way too many birds in motion at once, nice problem to have!

American White Pelicans & Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

White Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

White Ibis - Roseate Spoonbill

 Tri-colored Heron

White Ibis

A few shots of what the waders were dining on.

Great Egret

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Reddish Egret

White Ibis

and a few more Burrowing Owl images from the night before.

What a fabulous end to a very enjoyable vacation.