August 2018

Posted on 31 August, 2018 in Summaries

Back to Massachusetts for family summer vacation/holiday, and as with Florida earlier in the year, I was able to hit some familiar hot spots.

First I was keen to visit Allens Pond for specialty Saltmarsh Sparrow (2) and life tick SEASIDE SPARROW (3), identified as dark, short-tailed birds in the marshes. I did also see one at close quarters in a small marshy area next to the path. Non-breeding Bobolink (5) and Willow Flycatcher (1) were other highlights amongst the typical coastal birds. A Groundhog was also on the path as I walked into the woods. The mosquitoes that assailed me before I doused myself with deet were definitely not a highlight!

At Egypt Lane I was hoping to connect with a rail or two, but did not, however I did see both Black-Crowned (1) and Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron (2). Also Green Heron (2) were unhappy with the prowling Cooper's Hawk.

A week later I was at Gooseberry Neck where I started out on my own, sighting a target life tick ROSEATE TERN (1) at the north end of the island, but I was soon joined by Marshall Iliff and Beverly King who were looking for a kingbird. I had seen what I assumed to be an eastern as I was videoing the large Tree Swallow flocks of >500, but after they caught up to me and explained what they had seen earlier, it was decided to stay in the area, with Marshall walking through some of the nearby bushes to get a view from a small rise. Eventually the WESTERN KINGBIRD took flight over our heads to the north-east of the island, Marshall calling it out to Beverly and I. Unfortunately it wasn't seen again after that and I didn't get any photos as the sight was so brief, but a fantastic life tick.

The day after, I took a nostalgic walk at Leverett Pond where a Spotted Sandpiper was among the usual frequent birds.

Next day a family beach day at Round Hill Town Beach, yielded the usual beach species.

The final day took me back to Gooseberry Neck again, with Marshall there again in the car park vis-migging with a group of a dozen or so. As the migration activity died down I walked around the car park looking for, and finding, life tick LARK SPARROW which had been present for several days but which I had dipped on a few days before. I was able to get several other people on it, giving good views in the open in the car park before it flew off to the grass tussocks on the beach. On the way out I connected with it again and got some great photos that I'll publish soon. White-Winged Scoter (2) and Black Scoter (8) were other highlights.

A fine way to end a productive month in a beautiful part of the world in the summer.

Friday 17th, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Bristol County, MA, USA.

Tuesday 21st, Egypt Lane Ponds, Fairhaven, Bristol County, MA, USA.

Tuesday 28th, Gooseberry Neck, Bristol County, MA, USA.

Wednesday 29th, Olmsted Park--Leverett Pond, Suffolk County, MA, USA.

Thursday 30th, Round Hill Town Beach, Bristol County, MA, USA.

Friday 31st, Gooseberry Neck, Bristol County, MA, USA.