Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Barn Swallow feeding young

I was looking for butterflies at the Calvin Coolidge homestead natural area on the east side of Route 100A where there are walking trails around this beautiful area. It’s also very 'birdie'. The weather was closing in, dark clouds, wind and not much moving . I decided to leave before the rain when I heard a loud bird noise. Looking around I found two Barn Swallow juveniles perched on a snag shaking and calling for more food. A parent showed up and fed the one squawking the most. This was done quickly and on the wing, taking only a few seconds. I was able to observe this on the wing feeding one more time before the rains started and I had to leave. These images show a very interesting behavior taking place in the air. These last four images are a four image burst which gives you some idea how fast this food transfer was. I was surprised by the speed.

All the images were cropped 100% or more because I was using my butterfly camera set-up with a short close-up lens.

Peter Manship

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Henslow's Sparrow in Montague, MA: July 8th 2009

A small group of Vermont birders went to Meadow Road, Montague, Mass on July 8th to look for the reported Henslow's Sparrow. Looking out over the 20 plus acre field one could see that it was going to be a classic case of the "Henslow in the hayfield " problem. But for Sue Wetmore, Phillip Ballou and Peter Manship it didn't take long, After a short time searching the field for the Henslow, the bird started to sing in the distance and it wasn't long before Sue and Phillip (pictured above) had the bird in their scopes. Twice the bird retreated back into the field, but would reappear again. As luck would have it, the last time we saw the Henslow's Sparrow was 15 to 20 feet away from us by the road for some great looks. This last image shows the small pointed tail and the beautiful coloring of the Henslow's Sparrow.

When the bird left for the back of the field we birded the area and came up 34 species of bird.On the way out at the intersection of Meadow rd and Greenfield rd we saw a deer with what looked like a brand new fawn which promptly run in to the tall grass and disappeared from sight.

All in all a very rewarding day of birding on Meadow Rd in Montague, MA.

Good Birding

Peter Manship

Images and story © 2009 Peter Manship LLC