Sunday, May 20, 2012

A long weekend in New England, Sunday 13 May

We set off early on Sunday both due to the distance to travel (around 2 hours) and wanting to get to our first stop, Acadia Audubon Sanctuary, early, which we achieved.  We also watched the State Police picking off early morning drivers who were speeding, we passed the same car three times though each time with a different car parked in front of it.  I felt very virtuous sticking to the speed limit!

On the approach to Acadia, our first Eastern Bluebird of the trip:
















As you can see from the light it was very cloudy with rain forecast for the rest of the weekend and the following week so we had to make the best of our birding opportunities.  

One bird we'd seen on Plum Island but enjoyed better views of here was the Chestnut-sided Warbler:














Here's a view across completely still water taken in the Sanctuary:













It's fair to say though that Acadia didn't really live up to our expectations so we headed on to the other major site for the day, Pleasant Valley Audubon Sanctuary.  It didn't disappoint.  The Sanctuary covers a really good sized area, with lots of different habitat.  Despite the threat of rain we set of for 'a hike' (in the local lingo, it only really qualifies as a walk in truth) through the various trails on the Sanctuary.  The scenery was great, as was the birding.  

Here a nest-building female Baltimore Oriole:

















Closely watched by the male:















A Blue Jay also nest-building:
















A lifer, a Least Flycatcher:


















On the edge of the large pond Common Grackle:












And on the pond a lone Red-breasted Merganser:












On a woodland edge, Great Crested Flycatcher:















And new species on a roll, first a Hooded Warbler, unusual for these parts:













Then a Blue-headed Vireo (which we somehow managed to call a Least Flycatcher for a few days, thanks for the correction Mark!):

Another Magnolia Warbler, we saw one of these each day having only seen one single bird previously:












At one point we got very close to a Wood Thrush, which flew up so close I could barely frame it, but it refused to turn around, otherwise it would have been a cracking pic:















Always about, and often fighting, Yellow Warblers:
















It's not all about birds of course, just mostly:













This is a Beaver dam, built-up on one of the many lakes in the Sanctuary:













Pleasant Valley was all we hoped it would be, a great Sanctuary with top birding!  We drove on to Great Barrington to our hotel, a Comfort Inn, which turned out to be top-draw too, and enjoyed our pizza delivery (pricey but good food).

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