These were certainly an odd pair of birds for accidental sightings within 12 hours.
Last night I was relaxing beside an open window enjoying our current
cool night air when the insect chorus was joined by a new songster. This
was a rolling whistle and it took me a minute to recognize it for the
"whinny" song of an Eastern screech owl. His song was soft and blended
in with he other nights sounds. Some night I'll have to I find him, if I
hear him again. Just as I started to make an audio recording, his song
became softer and I'm not sure that it's good enough to share. Earlier
in the spring I heard the "bounce" song of a screech owl in Newton as
well, they apparently are doing well in our suburban environment. If you would like to listen to the different screech owl songs, Owl Pages has great recordings, though they refer to the whinny as the B-song and the bounce as the A-song.
Then this morning walking Newton Centre, I was startled by the call of a
red-breasted nuthatch! My first in Massachusetts. While the song of the
more familiar white-breasted nuthatch is similar, the red-breasted sounds more like a kid playing a toy trumpet: "yang-yang-yang."
All in all two great surprises to find, let alone within 12 hours.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
While I haven't been exploring locally recently, I thought I'd make up for it by sharing some of my finds from the Midwest. I find it slightly ironic that many of my new life-birds (and 5 of the 6 species shown here) can also be found in Massachusetts, though with much less frequency.
While not found in MA, the closest location to find them is up around Montreal.
While very rare in MA, just at the beginning of this year one was found in Rockport.
While the red-headed woodpecker is most common in the south and midwest and uncommon in MA, there is currently an individual that many have seen at New England Biolabs in Ipswich.
Along with the dickcissel, the lark sparrow is a rare but regular vagrant in MA, with a number of sightings each fall, with the nearest ebird sightings at Millennium Park.