Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Birding Community Newsletter

Issue 2017-19 | Thursday, November 16 2017 | 1,621 Subscribers
The Turnover
Seasonable Temperatures and Favorable Conditions Bring the Return of Winter Residents to the Rumney Marshes ACEC
Shorter days, followed by longer nights, bring forth a transition as old as time itself. Standing as a sentinel, a land formed by the hand of our nature, waits at the ready to serve the Denizens of the Hinterlands as they return. Steadfast through another season, the grassland of the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary stands witness to a turnover of species as rare as the niches they require.
 November 5 and 12, 2017 Trip Reports
Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Saugus, Essex County, Massachusetts, US

November 5, 2017
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Protocol: Traveling

3.0 Mile(s)

42 Bird Species
Brant 14

Canada Goose 70

Mallard 4

American Black Duck 40

Green-winged Teal 10

White-winged Scoter 1

Bufflehead 13

Red-breasted Merganser 6

Wild Turkey 13

Red-throated Loon 2

Common Loon 2

Double-crested Cormorant 575

Great Blue Heron 17

Great Egret 4

Northern Harrier 1

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1

Cooper's Hawk 1

Red-tailed Hawk 1

Black-bellied Plover 1

Dunlin 11

Wilson's Snipe 2

Herring Gull 50

Great Black-backed Gull 4

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 10

Mourning Dove 12

Short-eared Owl 3

Downy Woodpecker 1

Peregrine Falcon 1

Blue Jay 1

American Crow 4

Horned Lark 6

Carolina Wren 1

European Starling 350

Snow Bunting 3

White-throated Sparrow 1

Savannah Sparrow 10

Song Sparrow 3

sparrow sp. 1

Northern Cardinal 1

Eastern Meadowlark 2

House Finch 4

American Goldfinch 3

House Sparrow 15
Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Saugus, Essex County, Massachusetts, US

November 12, 2017
9:00 AM - 12:39 PM

Protocol: Traveling

3.5 Mile(s)

31 Bird Species
Canada Goose 35

Mallard 8

American Black Duck 10

Bufflehead 12

Red-breasted Merganser 4

Common Loon 1

Double-crested Cormorant 6

Great Blue Heron 1

Northern Harrier 3

Red-tailed Hawk 3

Black-bellied Plover 2

Wilson's Snipe 3

Ring-billed Gull 1

Herring Gull 70

Great Black-backed Gull 12

Mourning Dove 62

Peregrine Falcon 1

American Crow 8

Horned Lark 30

Black-capped Chickadee 1

American Robin 2

Northern Mockingbird 1

European Starling 700

American Pipit 15

Snow Bunting 35

White-throated Sparrow 1

Savannah Sparrow 8

Song Sparrow 5

Northern Cardinal 2

Eastern Meadowlark 3
    Seen well in flight.

House Sparrow 2
Eastern Meadowlark
A fine looking flock of folks.
Savannah Sparrow
Short-eared Owl with a flock of Starlings in the background
American Crow
Wild Turkey
Horned Lark
American Black Ducks
Canada Goose
A modern marvel gliding past an age-old estuary.
A fine bunch of friends
Doe IV with this year's fawn
The Short-eared Owl
The Bird of the Week this week goes out to the three Short-eared Owls that popped out of the gentle plateau in the year three rotation grassland.

It is an interesting story of how the three owls were discovered. After a quiet morning, the group was ascending from the valley to the plateau. First a Northern Harrier took flight from just beyond the emerging crest of the plateau. During the Harrier's departure, the sassy hawk buzzed a Short-eared Owl that was a short distance away, thereby causing the first two owls to take flight. As the group quickly reached the top of the plateau to track the two owls as they headed out into the grassland, the third owl materialized, as if from thin air, within a stones throw of where everyone was standing. Every time that one of these large top level predators emerges from behind a wisp of grass is just incredible.

Runner-up this week goes to the three Eastern Meadowlarks that were also up on the plateau. This is the second season that this interesting pattern has presented itself. Many times during the past season, more times than we could venture a guess, the Eastern Meadowlarks have been observed within spitting distance of a Short-eared Owl. Are they the same birds and they are comfortable around each other? Do Eastern Meadowlarks taste terrible making them an unlikely prey species?

One fact that we are sure of... it is very exciting when both species are in the air at the same time. One finds it hard to know who to watch.
 The Next Scheduled Nature Walks are:
Sunday, November 19 at 9 a.m.
Sunday, November 26 at 9 a.m.

NOTE: The Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is open to the public for guided tours only. If you would like to visit the sanctuary, please attend one of our regularly scheduled nature walks, or contact us to arrange a private tour. Thank you.

Special thanks to Soheil, Alan, Norm, Ted, Jarett, Ted, Cammy & son, Kevin, Tim, Brian, Caroline, Sebastian, Pat, Joe, Brian, Nancy, Gina, Fran, and everyone else who contributed pictures and support this week. Without your help, this publication could not be produced.

Additional pictures from this week:
A magnificent view to the south
Red-winged Blackbird
Spring Fawn
Lapland Longspur
Mallard hen
Doe IV
Horned Lark
Red-tailed Hawk I
Mallard drake
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk II
Red-tail Hawks I & II together in the lower right
The Wheelabrator Saugus Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is a 370-acre property abutting a 2,274-acre estuary on the outskirts of Boston, located in the heart of the Rumney Marshes ACEC. Maintained and managed grasslands, salt marshes, shrublands and maturing woodlands combine as one of the largest bird migration staging areas on the North Shore and a habitat for nearly 200 bird species, as well as other wildlife such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons and snakes. Visitors can enjoy the more than 14,000 feet of walking trails that permeate the site, a half-acre exhibit garden, and meeting and lecture areas, which are scattered throughout nine of the restored ecosystems. Situated directly behind Wheelabrator Saugus, the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is maintained and managed by Geoff Wilson of Northeast Wetland Restoration. Follow along with us as the birds change with each passing season! 
Issue 2017-01 The Short-eared Owl
Issue 2017-02 The American Kestrel
Issue 2017-03 The Peregrine Falcon
Issue 2017-04 The Smith's Longspur
Issue 2017-05 The Smith's Longspur Cont.
Issue 2017-06 The Smith's Longspur Cont.
Issue 2017-07 The Horned Lark
Issue 2017-08 The Savannah Sparrow
Issue 2017-09 The Upland Sandpiper
Issue 2017-10 The Killdeer
Issue 2017-11 The Annual Breeding Bird Survey Part I
Issue 2017-12 The Annual Breeding Bird Survey Part II
Issue 2017-13 Salt Marshes / Sea Level Rise
Issue 2017-14 The Common Green Darner
Issue 2017-15 Birds of Prey
Issue 2017-16 The Shrublands
Issue 2017-17 The Painted Lady
Issue 2017-18 The Common Buckeye