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Friday, June 24, 2011

Borderland State Park, Mansfield Massachusetts June 24, 2011 10:30-12:40 am cloudy 68`

Today we went for a 7 mile run at Borderland State Park, the best of all our running spots. We heard three or four thrush species (Hermit(?), Wood, Veery and American Robin); their ghostly songs were constantly ringing through the woodlands. White-breasted Nuthatch (seen), Scarlet Tanager (heard), Great Blue Heron (smelled), and Barn Swallows (touched) along with many other birds were all enjoyed on this moist and soggy run. I was considering tasting a Tufted Titmouse but that would go against my vegetarian diet.

But by far the best find of the outing was the exciting discovery of a Vesper Sparrow! A lifer! Vesper Sparrows are much commoner in the West than in the East. Besides it being uncommon they also aren't supposed to be found in moist woodlands. But just the same this was a Vesper Sparrow we found hanging about on the path.

It is an averaged sized sparrow and such a drab bird that at a distance we couldn't see any field marks on its body. In fact the only two ways that we positively identified it was 1. the distinctive white edges to the tail and 2. the fact that we didn't recognize it. Juncos also have white on the edges of the tail but this bird was too light for an immature junco. This leaves Vesper Sparrow as the only possibility. If there was another explanation for this bird then I would definitely take it but there is none as far as I can see.

I really enjoyed the large numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming to the Hummingbird Feeder which they had cleverly positioned inches from the window. I got some nice photos of them which will post on my flickr page soon. We all enjoyed watching the hummingbirds (including Theo). They are very agile little birds constantly chasing each other away from the feeders chattering wildly sounding like slightly bewildered Spider Monkeys that being poked in the ears with pokey sticks (at least I think that is what they sounded like).

The only other really exciting find of the day was the nest of a Potter Wasp clinging to the under leaf of a Milkweed plant. It was small pot like structure about half an inch in diameter with a little entrance hole making it into a "pot". Beautifully constructed out of mud it something that I have always wanted to see.

1 comment:

  1. I found this link you might like...
    It helped me make positive ID on a Blue-winged warbler life list species.