Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall migration at Plum Island

Yellow-legs, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
I decided this morning that this was the day I was finally going experience fall migration this year. It was a perfect October day, crisp and sunny and not very breezy.
Eastern Phoebe, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
The star of the last couple of days has been an out-of-place Say's Phoebe. Lots of folks staked out at "The Wardens." Many positive reports. I was there to experience migration, not to check off a life bird, so I took a photo of our constant friend, the Eastern Phoebe, and drove down to Hellcat.
Eastern Towhee, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
I was greeted at the entrance by a friendly towhee (hey, I saw your west-coast relatives last month!)
Red-breasted Nuthatch, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
And the ubiquitous red-breasted nuthatch, doing quite a bit of fly catching (as were most of the birds, from warblers to waxwings).

From this point on the photos got bad but the experience got heart-meltingly good. Warblers of all sorts, including a strikingly beautiful fall-plumaged magnolia and a black and white so unconcerned about me that it practically landed on my arm. The photo below is not focused but it does offer a classic head-on view.
Black and White Warbler, head on
Kinglets and vireos were also present in close-up abundance. But the most fun was a couple of yellow-bellied sapsuckers (bad photo below).
They were chasing each other up and down the boardwalk, "mewing" loudly. Many times they didn't seem to realize there were humans around and practically took our heads off.


1 comment:

Chris Rich said...

How fortuitous,

I was in Rowley on Monday to shoot some video of a new Mass Audubon acquisition, Rough Meadow, along Patmos Rd off of Route 1A.

It is part of a multi organization drive to get as much of the Great Marsh under protection as possible.

The main trunk trail was blocked by high tide so I waited for it to recede. It was well worth it.

It is the main hang out for Great White Egrets among others.