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Showing posts from June, 2019

Massachusetts Highlights

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After spending a night in Vermont, Jacob and I headed to Cape Cod for five nights at parents' house. It rained a couple of the days but we were still able to get out and see lots of fun birds and things.  I was intrigued by the recent reports of a Kentucky Warbler and Worm-eating Warbler mingling at Santuit Pond in Mashpee so we went to check it out.

Pine Warbler

We managed to find the right spot, briefly heard the Kentucky singing, then nothing.  A Cooper's Hawk tore through and silence ensued.  A calling Fish Crow was a nice bonus but we gave up without the target warblers.

Painted turtle, trail hazard

That evening we drove out to a spot to listen for Chuck-will's-widow and Eastern Whip-poor-will.  It turned out to be very residential and awkward, so we headed over to Crane Wildlife Management Area where I'd heard woodcock last year.  Immediately we could hear several Eastern Whips calling.



Lifer!  Initial recordings were drowned out by toads, like this puddle singer:


New Hampshire/Vermont

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Last week Jacob and I flew out to New England to visit my brother at his house in Vermont, and my parents in Massachusetts.  Jacob had never been to New Hampshire so when we drove through part of it to get to Vermont I looked for a birding hotspot close to the highway.  That's how we ended up at Ballard Pond in Derry, home of the Taylor Mill Historic Site.  Also home to this snapping turtle that seemed stuck but was not:


We walked part way around the pond as mosquitoes attacked and Jacob unknowingly acquired five ticks.  Birding was mellow but our first pink lady's slippers of the trip were sweet:

New Hampshire's state wildlfower, Cypripedium acaule

We picked up 15 New Hampshire bird species here with the last being the only photographable one, an Eastern Bluebird perched above its nest box.



Surprisingly this was the only bluebird of the trip.

We finally reached my brother's house but he was finishing up a hike with my nephew on the mountain that can be seen from his de…