Thursday, May 21, 2015

Forbush Bird Club Field Trip to Bolton Flats and Pine Hill WMA

Another field trip.  I am trying to learn from all the people that have been birding so much longer than I have.  It helps to hear  how they identify a bird song or call (or tricks to remember them).  So I'll keep going when I can.  Tonight I helpfully identified a Tree Swallow as an Eastern Kingbird.  So as I said, I will keep trying!  And I need to remember to identify birds at home on my computer, rather than out in the field!

First stop - Bolton Flats

Bird sightings included:  Willow Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, American Goldfinch, American Bittern (pumping), Virginia Rail (heard only), Tree Swallow, Swamp Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-Winged Blackbird.  Yellow Warblers ruled in this location and were seen over and over again!

Willow Flycatcher

Funny, this was a bird that I saw and heard for the first time this morning in Westboro, but it didn't cooperate for a photo.  Tonight I had a second chance!

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Kingbird
Bite your tongue.
It's a Tree Swallow!!!

Yellow Warbler

The sky stole the show!

2nd stop - Pine Hills WMA

I didn't get any good bird photos at this location because by this time darkness was falling, but we had great birds, including Great Blue Heron, Eastern Towhee, Wood Thrush, Canada Goose, Common Nighthawk, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Veery, Prairie Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, American Woodcock, and Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills.

I can't even begin to tell you how neat the Whip-Poor-Will calls sound.  They join in together and it becomes a chorus.  Several people said that they used to hear them in their yards when they were kids, but that is rare these days.  I would participate on this trip every year just for the chance to hear this call.  It's beautiful, and it's rare.  Here's a short sound bite so that you can hear it too!

Whip-Poor-Will call

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