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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Swan Point Cemetery, Providence RI, cloudy rainy 50`, 7:00-9:20am May 10, 2011




Yesterday morning we visited Swan Point Cemetery where we were treated with 2 year birds, 2 RI year birds and 1 life bird.

Our first stop on our walk was generally one of the better spots which is in between two sections of the woods and has an unused road lined with bushes, pine trees and some small flowering trees (where we saw the Swainson's Thrush recently). Here we had Magnolia Warbler (a year bird), Common Yellowthroat (not a year bird) and an American Redstart (an RI year bird). All three were peaceably flitting about a flowering Flowering Crab Apple (the second flowering is part of the name).

We then did a loop in the woods but we didn't see a thing.

We walked on down to the pond passing a very handsome House Finch perched precariously on the tip of a grave angels wing.

At the pond we found a Red-eyed Vireo and a lovely male Black-throated Blue Warbler which seemed to follow us around and around the pond (we walked around the pond twice).

We then ventured to the compost area. Not surprisingly the compost area is where they keep the compost and a very small patch of bird friendly woods. In this section highlights included: Baltimore Orioles, a male Bobolink (an RI year bird) and a life bird Solitary Sandpiper!

We discovered the Solitary Sandpiper bobbing around a small mud puddle (it literally was a mud puddle. Solitary Sandpipers live up to their names - if they didn't then there wouldn't have been enough room for all the sandpipers around this puddle). It was an average sized shorebird most resembling a Spotted Sandpiper in shape, size and behavior. It had a plain back which was littered with small white spots, it had a white pair of spectacles (a field mark most commonly observed on older, short-sighted birds), its breast had a light brown wash. It bobbed its head and tail almost non-stop. We snuck closer, it took wing and flew to another puddle. We came closer, it took off again and vanished over the tree tops.

Back at the main woods some crows afforded us some quick glimpses of one the Great-horned Owls.

Later that day we went to Brickyard Pond in Barrington. Highlights included: 20 or so Double-Crested Cormorants, Ospreys (one of which was eating a fish), Great Egrets and Great-blue Herons on the heron roost(or is it a heron rookery?) and a pair of Bald Eagles resting on some submerged roots in the pond. There was an adult and a third year eagle; the third year eagle was eating a fish. A few minutes after we started watching them they both took off from the roots and landed in the shallow waters feet from their original perch (in water just a few inches deep). We left them there.

Not a bad day all in all!

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