Thursday, May 12, 2011

MA - everyday yard birds...but still very cool! - 05/10

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks - Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. At least two different males visited the feeders today. The bird in the first image is a mature male in full breeding plumage as shown by the solid black upperparts and black remiges. The bird below is a first-summer male showing a more mottled appearance to the nape and mantle, and clearly worn, brown secondaries and primaries.

The birds in our Gill yard continue to impress, even aside from the daily arrivals of warblers, the feeders still attract many Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches. The Chipping Sparrows and the few remaining White-throated Sparrows have now been joined by newly arrived Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings. There may have been a Brown Thrasher lurking around the Alder patch since late April but this afternoon I found him, boldly turning leaves out in the open.

Chestnut-sided Warbler - Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. Like most of the warblers in the yard at the moment, Chestnut-sideds are more often heard than seen. This one showed well in late afternoon whilst giving a quiet alternate song. Up to four have been present since early May and with suitable habitat within the perimeter of the yard, there's a good chance a pair will breed here.

Indigo Bunting - male, Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. The same male, photographed at the same time of day on the same branch but with images taken from two different angles (actually bedroom window - uppershot, and basement - lower shot). I heard my first local Indigo Buntings singing just one day earlier.

Brown Thrasher - Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. Often a real skulker and a real treat to have this one foraging out in the open!

White-throated Sparrow - Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. At least some White-throated Sparrows have been present daily since late September but numbers have dwindled sharply in the last couple of days with no more than three birds remaining, presumably as birds disperse to breeding areas.

Pine Siskin - Gill yard, Franklin Co. MA. May 10th, 2011. Up to twenty remain, visiting the feeders on a daily basis and likely breeding in the local area.

Other notable birds in or close to the yard today; Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireos, Blue-winged, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Nashville and Pine Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Louisiana Waterthrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow and Field Sparrow (singing). I also may have heard a Blackpoll Warbler briefly singing in late morning.