Orchard Oriole - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. June 24th, 2011. Male of a breeding pair close to the Connecticut River off River Road in Gill.
Aside from a few incidental observations, and feeling like I'd neglected local field birding this month, I decided to check a small cattail pond off River Road in Gill this morning. The pond held no less than 4 Virginia Rails on May 6th, so I returned with confidence hoping to at least hear a couple of rails, perhaps with a very long shot at Least Bittern. I came up empty on both species but the morning yielded a nice surprise in the form of a breeding pair of Orchard Orioles. The male showed best, occasionally bursting into song, the female being rather more shy and furtive. To add to the flavor of primarily south-eastern species, two Yellow-throated Vireos were singing along River Road as soon as I stopped the car.
I also enjoyed close views of a singing and calling Willow Flycatcher at the same spot whilst Red-tailed and Broad-winged Hawks soared overhead, along with numerous Turkey Vultures. Back home in Gill, a Belted Kingfisher and a Louisiana Waterthrush were on the brook behind the house this morning.
Cedar Waxwing - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. June 24th, 2011. One of about a dozen feeding at the edge of the cattail pond.