Friday, April 17, 2015

Ruddy Ducks!

This was another day full of new spring birds!  My first treat was to find a Pine Warbler eating suet in the backyard.  I've never put out a suet feeder before this year, but this was an unexpected surprise.  I didn't know they visited feeders at all!  It was pretty dark and rainy this morning, so of course, I apologize for the poor photo quality.

At lunchtime, I took a hike at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  I was disappointed to find my camera battery was dead as I started out, and I didn't have a backup with me.  Used to be, I never left home without my camera bag, but this winter I lightened the load and started just carrying the camera and a spare battery.  Oops.  Gotta get back to basics.  I can't stand this kind of mistake.  I missed beautiful closeups of an Eastern Bluebird male and also a wonderful Savannah Sparrow (first of year).

I should add that both when I left the house and when I returned, I saw the Eastern Bluebird in the nesting box!  Yeah!

Just as I was finishing my work day, I noticed a report on Central Mass Birders that there were Ruddy Ducks on Lake Chauncy in Westboro.  I've only ever seen them in the winter, in non-breeding plumage, and I really wanted to see them in breeding plumage.  Their bills turn blue during breeding season, too.  Usually, I have zero luck when I "chase" reported birds, but it was a nice evening, and I had plenty of time, so I took the chance.  This time it worked!  Thanks to Justin for the tip on the best spot to look for them!

Ruddy Duck!

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Suddenly, the light was going fast.

The sky was gorgeous!!!

I stopped by my favorite Route 9 tree to catch its silhouette against those clouds.  Beautiful!

My last stop of the night was a quick stop at Chestnut Hill Farm in Southboro.  I wanted to check out the sky there too.  When I stopped I noticed a small herd of White-Tailed Deer in the back of the meadow, so I walked back to try to catch a photo of them.

 Love how the sun was reflecting in the windows on the barns.

Even though I was happy to find the Ruddy Ducks, I think the sky won this prize for best sighting of this evening.

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