Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cloverdale Farm 4/23--Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper
Since I'm not getting up early enough to go look or warblers (and I don't think there are many around yet anyway), I may as well work on the shorebird list. I birded Cloverdale Farm this morning, the former cranberry/Christmas tree farm, and it take me too long to find the reported Solitary Sandpiper on a little mud flat in the bog behind the visitor's center. What surprised me was that there were two--they are "solitary" after all, but that really refers to their migration habit, in which they fly singly instead of in flocks like other shorebirds. They can't be that solitary or there wouldn't be any, right?

At first, I thought the 2nd bird that emerged from the clumps of grass at the side of the bog was a yellowlegs, maybe a lesser, but no, it was exactly the same as the other bird. Granted, the photos are poor--it doesn't look it, but they were standing in shadow and I probably had the camera on the wrong setting.

Little Blue Heron
The first bird, though, that I saw there, a Little Blue Heron, I was able to get very good photos of. It was extremely uninterested in my presence.

Eastern Bluebird
Three warblers for the day, none of them the least interesting at this point in the year. The resident bluebirds were investigating (or perhaps even using) the nest boxes set up for them.

I walked out to "Grandpa's Bog" about a quarter mile away, where I sometimes find interesting birds, and since the paths looked somewhat clear I tried to walk all around the bog but found that you can only can about 2/3 of the way through before you'd have to bushwhack. The thought of ticks deterred me.

The one non-bird that I saw that interested me was a snake, I'd say about 4 1/2 feet long, that I found basking in the sun on one of the cross dikes. Initially, I thought it might be dead because it looked like there was a big gash in it's side. But when it started to move, I figured that it was actually just in a molt. The naturalist at the visitor's center confirmed this for me. She said the thought it was a King Snake, but looking at pictures when I got home, I think it is probably the very common (though certainly new to me) Northern Water Snake. Not venomous, but capable, apparently, of giving a nasty bite. When it comes to handling herps I will move a turtle out of the roadway along Great Bay Boulevard and that it is it. (Click a photo to enlarge)

36 species
Canada Goose 2
Mallard 2
Great Egret 2
Little Blue Heron 1 Bog behind visitor's ctr
Turkey Vulture 3
Osprey 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Solitary Sandpiper 2
Mourning Dove 1
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2 Heard
Northern Flicker 1
Blue Jay 2 Heard
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Tree Swallow 5
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 3 Heard
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 Heard
White-breasted Nuthatch 1 Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5
Eastern Bluebird 4 Nesters here
American Robin 4
Brown Thrasher 1 Heard
Common Yellowthroat 1 Heard
Pine Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 Pine behind visitor's ctr
Chipping Sparrow 4
Field Sparrow 1 Heard parking lot
White-throated Sparrow 1 Heard
Song Sparrow 2
Swamp Sparrow 1
Eastern Towhee 5 Heard
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 5
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 2

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