Thursday, October 7, 2010

MA - Bicknell's moving through? - 10/05

Alders bordering stream, Gill, MA - a convenient hiding place for skulking migrants, including Swainson's Thrush on October 4th, Bicknell's Thrush on October 5th and a gambelli White-crowned Sparrow on October 6th.

As well as the White-winged Scoter at Barton Cove on October 5th, another good local find was a calling Bicknell's Thrush in our yard in Gill. This bird gave about 8 clear, descending 'peeez' calls from the Alder thicket at about 11:45 am. Assuming it was just a random event, I didn't think too much more about it other than being frustrated that another excellent yard bird had eluded the camera. But today (October 7th), a cursory glance of the New England list-serves produced two other reports;

One bird photographed as a possible by Pam Hunt at Penacook, NH, October 3rd
and one picked up dead after flying into a window at a residence in Maine on October 7th.

The usefulness of identifying Bicknell's by call was brought home to me at Cape May last fall when Cameron Cox was kind enough to point out a calling bird at dawn from the dike at Higbee Beach. Interestingly, that bird was heard on October 1st, 2009 so perhaps the first week of October would be an excellent time window to look for this rarely detected Catharus thrush in migration.

The Xeno Canto website offers a selection of Bicknell's calls recorded mostly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.



Arun said...

2 Banded at Kiptopeke VA this week too

Arun Bose
Richmond VA

James P. Smith said...


Very cool indeed! Thanks for the info.