Wednesday, May 29, 2013

MA - Olive-sided Flycatchers and more 05/28

Gill - Yesterday (05/28) I once again had the pleasure of surveying our neighbor's property ('Blake Farm') to the SW of Mountain/Main Roads in Gill. Conditions were pleasant beginning with a cool 45 deg F start ranging through to the upper 60s by the time I finished just before noon. Perhaps the cooler start influenced bird behavior but it wasn't until after 09:00hrs that the tempo really began to pick up. Indeed, the most productive period was the last hour.

All images taken at 'Blake Farm' property, Gill, Franklin Co., MA on May 28th 2013
using a Canon Powershot G10. 

Alder Flycatcher
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Compared to my last visit on May 8th, species diversity was way up as might have been expected for late May. There was no strong evidence of any migration other than a couple of isolated species and there was a distinctly curious absence of some species that might have been expected such as Downy Woodpecker, Warbling Vireo, Wood Thrush, Magnolia Warbler and Least Flycatcher. On the upside, quite a few species had arrived since my last visit and were present in numbers: Alder Flycatcher (2 singing with nest building observed)), Great Crested Flycatcher (3), Eastern Wood-Pewee (4), Red-eyed Vireo (14), Gray Catbird (10), Chestnut-sided Warbler (8), Veery (10), Scarlet Tanager (5) and Indigo Bunting (4).

Black-and-white Warbler
Indigo Bunting

The most interesting species included Red-shouldered Hawk, singing Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos and a pair of Olive-sided Flycatchers. The latter were vocalizing in potentially suitable breeding habitat and the male responded aggressively to a few bursts of playback. Olive-sided Flycatchers are among the very latest of passerine migrants to pass through Massachusetts in spring, so with this in mind I'll be keeping a careful eye on this pair into June. However, they're also known to be "very uncommon" and localized breeders at higher elevations in the western part of the state so the potential would certainly seem to be there as the habitat looks ideal. The same habitat also has breeding White-throated Sparrow, Indigo Bunting and Eastern Towhee to mention just a few.

All in all, it was a tremendously successful survey recording over 60 species.

Olive-sided Flycatcher (three images above).
Habitat frequented by Olive-sided Flycatchers, Indigo Buntings,
Eastern Towhee and White-throated Sparrow among others.

White-throated Sparrow

Chestnut-sided Warbler

1 comment:

Larry said...

That's a pretty good bird you got there. I only saw an Olive-sided Flycatcher once in Connecticut Lakes in New Hampshire.