Monday, January 23, 2012

Birding My Way Home: Webster, MA

1. RBGU Juv-kab Juvenile Ring-billed Gull 1-19-12 Webster, MA

Last Thursday I birded my way home from Connecticut after taking Mom to one of her appointments. Learning that a snow storm was coming, I did not linger in Connecticut or stop to count birds at some of my usual places. Instead I got on the road and kept on driving until I crossed over the Massachusetts state line. I decided to get off Route 395 at Exit 2 to see what I could see. As I traveled east on the road I passed a little cove with a few birds in in, so I turned around and went back.

2. fish n game-kab I parked at the Webster Fish and Game Club and cross the busy street.

3. CANG-kab Because the road is narrow here, I stepped across the guardrail to be well out of the way of the traffic. I saw Canada Geese and a few Mallard in Sucker Brook Cove.

4. Coot-kab Then to my utter surprise, this little coot paddled out of the reeds!

5. coot-kab It started splishin’ and a splashin’ as it tried to eat some greens!

That makes species number 58 on my Big January 2012 Bird List!

6. Webster Lake-kab I drove around to the West side of Webster Lake and parked near the shore. Webster Lake is also known by the Native American Nipmuc name, Lake Chaubunagungamaug, but who has time to say that? The lake was coated with a thin sheet of ice.

7. RBGU-kab While some gulls were out on the ice, most relaxed in the parking lot.

Other than a couple of crows, I really didn’t see a lot of birds here. But then I saw something that made my heart go cold with fear…

8. guy-kab This guy came walking into view on the thin ice!

9. ice-kab Every few feet he would stop and pound the ice with his pole!

10. walk on-kab Then he walked on!

I couldn’t take the fear, I left! It was time to get back on the road anyway…

11. shadow-kabThe sun was setting!

As I drove north the clouds continued to gather. By the time I got home it was already snowing in Connecticut. It was not a big storm for us, just a dusting. We got more snow over the weekend and Connecticut got nearly a foot! Good thing I left when I did. As for the man on the lake, he must of survived, because I never heard anything about it on the news. However, over the weekend a different person went through the ice on a nearby lake in Dudley, MA and, though they pulled him from the water within 15 minutes, he died today. So, my fears were not unfounded. Read the full story here. We have not had a solid cold spell here all winter and it’s warming up again tonight. It’s raining now and by tomorrow it will be back into the 50’s! Time for me to go find some more birds!

That’s Our World Tuesday in Winter!

Please stay off the ice!


  1. Not that I want to see anybody fall thru ice, but you might have had some news worthy photos there. I'd rather look at your bird pics though.

  2. What gorgeous bird shots!

    I'm glad the guy had a pole, but he should have had a rucksack to keep him afloat in case he went through...

  3. Beautiful bird photos. I understand why you would fear for that man. I hope he isn't a foolish person when he goes on his walks.

  4. Hi Katie..Have you checked any news from the area for any That guy must have a death wish! CRAZY!!
    Nice birding on the way home..
    Don't ya just love sea gulls in a parking lot Always cracks me up lol
    Yes very warm here to ..what a lot of rain and what a mess we have !!
    45 degrees all night ...and 2 days ago it never got above 10 degrees in the day time!!

  5. We've had a mild winter, too, on the west coast -- just one cold snap that lasted a few days last week. We missed the big dump of snow and freezing rain that Seattle experienced, though, luckily. I LOVE the photo of the gulls in the parking lot. It's so randomly geometric -- completely paintable! As for coots, they do like to splash don't they? Check out

  6. Wow that guy was gutsy! Also, love the shots of the birds with long shadows, very cool.

  7. I love your winter water shots but that guy is nuts.

  8. Great series of photos, Kathie! Wow, the guy walking on the ice is very brave. Or just silly. Cool capture of the coot. Great post. Have a wonderful day.

  9. yay for #58 in 2012!
    the gulls look pretty smart sitting on the sun warmed cement rather than the icy lake. smarter than the guy walking on it anyway!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.