Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Birds at Great Meadows NWR

1. Savannah sparrow-kab Savannah Sparrow 4-14-12

Gus and I went Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA on Saturday. I have only been here three other times and my list for this location was pretty short with only 28 species. After today’s visit though I added 10 species to my Life List for this location for a total of 38 species! Among the 26 species I saw today were a couple of Savannah Sparrows and,

2. Virginia rail-kab Virginia Rail

Life Bird* number 424!

I did not even know I had seen a Life Bird until I entered my data into eBird. I thought I had seen this species in the wetlands of the Great Salt Lake in Utah in the early 2000’s. If I did, I have not entered that data into eBird yet. I will have to check this one out. The Rail is also a new species for my Massachusetts Life List. I have to admit that I am a “Lister” and keeping these lists is just a fun game I play with myself. By entering my data into eBird I have found a way to make my obsession useful! But, the main point of all of this is to just get outside and enjoy nature and enjoy the birds themselves!

3. goose-kab Canada Goose on nest

4. turtle-kab Turtle

World Bird Wednesday 

(Just click on the link to enjoy even more birds!)

5. nesting-kab

Birds seen at Great Meadows 4-14-12:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Mute Swan
  3. Wood duck
  4. Mallard
  5. Ring-necked duck
  6. Pied-billed grebe
  7. Double-crested cormorant
  8. Great Blue Heron
  9. Turkey vulture
  10. Red-tailed hawk
  11. Virginia Rail*
  12. American Coot
  13. Red-bellied woodpecker
  14. Yellow-bellied sapsucker
  15. Downy Woodpecker
  16. Tree swallow
  17. Black-capped chickadee
  18. Tufted titmouse
  19. White-breasted Nuthatch
  20. American Robin
  21. Chipping sparrow
  22. Savannah sparrow
  23. Song sparrow
  24. Red-winged Blackbird
  25. Common Grackle
  26. American Goldfinch

Species in italics are new for this location.

*Life Bird: new to my Life List of species I have seen.


  1. WooHoo!! Nice photos Kathie and congratulations on the lifer. It's doubly cool to see a new bird and get a nice photo.


  2. Hi Kathie

    Wow not only did you get a life bird but your photo of the rail is quite beautiful.


    All the best.

  3. The Rail is a very colorful bird.

    I'm a list maker too, just doesn't do anybody but me any good.

  4. A very nice list indeed! Congratulations on the lifer. You got a great photograph of it, too! So many pretty birds!

  5. Hi Kathie...Congrat's on you lifer V.Rail a real beauty!!
    Your last one of the twisted goose neck is a funny catch !!
    Keep counting!!

  6. Laurence, as for the joy of getting a should well know! congrats on the 2 new ones you documented!

    Guy, I could not believe it came out like that! and, it eventually darted across the road to the other side but was so fast! there is a saying, "skinny as a rail," but I think I will start a new one and say, "As fast as a rail!"

    Gaelyn, your comment made me laugh!

    Julie, thanks!

    Grace, it is amazing how snake-like a goose's neck is!

  7. Awesome shots Kathie! Congrats on the lifer too!! An excellent photo of the Virginia Rail ;-) I can't believe no one so far has mentioned the beautiful Savannah Sparrow! One of my faves! And of course, I love any shots of nesting birds and the Canada Goose is very cool.

  8. Great shots! Love the virginia rail, vibrant beak color!

  9. Great photos of birds I never seen, exept for the canada goose.The wirginia rail looks so beautiful! And so nice to get to see turtles in real!

  10. Wonderful shots! I am blown away by the Virginia Rail!

  11. Wonderful shots, the Rail is my favorite.

  12. Larry, the Savannah is a subtle beauty!

    Kathryn, the rail is very interesting. I was so surprised when it appeared!

    Cynthia, thanks!

    Fjallripan, I am glad that you enjoyed it!

    Andrew, yes!

    Marie, thank!

    Gillian, thanks!

  13. the nesting goose is beautiful - such a graceful neck. :)

  14. Hi there - the rails a nice bird! Lucky you could get good views, typically they just seem to dash about a lot!

    I was not too stressed when the other photographer spooked the corellas - but the stress grew when it became clear the birds were not coming back. Then plan two came into play!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  15. Beautiful birds, Kathie! The rail shot is awesome. Congrats on your new bird.

  16. Nice outing to add to your list. I also had a lifer yesterday. A Say's Phoebe way east of its normal western range...:)

  17. You not only get 'lifers' you get fantastic pictures of them Kathy. I'd be happy just to SEE those birds and if I got those pictures I'd be ecstatic. (That very last picture looks like a frog(?)...

  18. Virginia Rail shot! Awesome! We will have to do some birding there ..I will be in the area the month of June..hope to see you then.

  19. Always nice to add new birds to your life list :-) I've never seen either the Savannah Sparrow or the Virginia Rail. Great to see their photos!

  20. TexWisGirl, I like that neck as well!

    Stewart, this one did dart around quite a bit. I only managed to get 3 photos!

    Eileen, thanks!

    Troutbirder, wow! that would be awesome to see! I used to have them as yard birds in AZ!

    Sallie, thanks! and that last photo is a turtle seen in profile!

    dAwN, I can't wait to go birding with you!

    Mary, thanks!

  21. wow! a NEW bird! cool!
    your list is forever growing...and that's a good thing!!

    a Virginia Rail?? have never seen one...nice looking bird!!

  22. ...i forgot to mention...such a serious looking turtle! great close up shot!


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.