This female ruby throated humming bird stopped for about 30 seconds. Luckily I was all set and was able to grab a couple pictures. 7/30/16
I was taking pictures of a great blue heron today and this guy popped up beside me and started singing a happy day song ! 6/25/15
Quabbin Reservoir. 5/19/15
Very common during both spring and fall migration as well as common residents. 4/30/15
A soggy red winged blackbird singing away in a rain storm ! 6/1/15
"Conk-a-reeeeee" Common on all the watered areas of Quabbin. Very territorial birds with sometimes having wild battles with males that are encroaching the their territory.
Some of the earliest spring migrants.They have a great mating display and eat earthworms.
Here is the same woodcock catching 40 winks, well at least 20 as he has one eye on me !
Cousins of the cedar waxwings. Found in winter occasionally at Quabbin in flocks. 3/21/15 at Hamilton Orchards, New Salem.
They travel in flocks and these birds are eating Japanese crabapples.
Redpolls are rare visitors from the north and don't show up every year, and when they do, it's in the winter. Seen here with their cousins, goldfinches are year around residents. January 2015
A very cold blue jay, his nictitating membrane is closed over his eye. This protects him from wind and weather and he can still see.
Great friend and fellow Valley photographer John Green and I went on a whale watch out of Gloucester yesterday afternoon. It was great weather and a fun day. Here's a northern gannet that followed the boat for about 5 or 6 minutes. He was just begging for me to take his picture! 5/21/16
A male tree swallow feed its chick in the early sunlight this morning in one of the local swamps. 7/7/16
I spent about 3 hours this morning trying to catch a belted kingfisher hitting the water after small fish. This female came the closest as just leaving. They strike like lightning Its a wonder they don't break their necks as they hit with their beaks, not the feet like eagles or osprey. 7/18/16
I discovered this guy soaking up the sun on a cold winters day. I was surprised it sat so long!
A female pileated woodpecker feeding a male chick while there is also a female in the hole being shut out. Quabbin Reservoir, 6/19/15
A male yellow bellied sapsucker is about to enter the hole to feed chicks inside with a juicy caterpillar. Quabbin Reservoir. 6/19/15
The female YB sapsucker leaves after feeding the caterpillar. 6/19/15
Looking for a quick snack.
A red-winged blackbird calling from an old sunken stump in one of the many swamps about northern Quabbin. 5/12/16
Another belted kingfisher exploding into a small school of fish for breakfast. Can you spot the bird? 7/24/16
This female kingfisher missed her lunch. Females have a brown streak across their chests, males do not. 7/22/16
Red bellied woodpeckers are becoming more and more common in New England and can be seen at Quabbin.
I went to Stebbins Wildlife preserve in Longmeadow MA early this morning. Its a little out of my territory but so are these mute swans and 5 cygnets... but they were fun to watch. 7/17/16
A northern waterthrush wrestles with his breakfast this morning, a large dragonfly. 8/8/16
Turkey vultures are quite common in MA also. People get them confused with bald eagles especially in the spring when they are migrating north.
They nest at Quabbin and their territories are spreading each year. Larger than a crow and their tail is spoon shaped when flying whereas a crows is square shaped. Plus the bill is much larger than a crow. 4/19/15
Another shot of the same raven heading back to the nest… 4/19/15
Here is a pair of bluebirds I found near a beaver pond this morning. What more can I say..... these are neat birds..... 5/8/16
Ravens have only been nesting at Quabbin for the last 25 years or so. Here an adult feeds four chicks at the nest on a power line tower.
It took me 20 minutes to creep up on this ruffed grouse close enough to get a decent photograph this morning ! 5/6/16
To find out what this loon is doing and to see more loon photos see my loon page..thanks !!
While watching for the kingfishers to do their thing this catbird offered me breakfast ! I kindly refused and he went on his way with it. 7/30/16
Another relative of the robin and bluebirds. It occasionally will winter over in Massachusetts and is usually the first thrush back in the spring. It has a reddish brown tail and gives it an upwards wag once in a while. 5/9/15
I spent 5 hours today with a good friend of mine watching a family of 5 great horned owls in east central Massachusetts. The 3 chicks are just about ready to leave the nest and flying around where they are nesting in an abandoned heron rookery. Here are 2 of the older chicks waiting for lunch to be delivered. 5/4/16
Veerys are a thrush and related to the robin and bluebirds. Their song sounds like a waterfall. 5/9/15
Here is one of the adult great horned owls setting in a tree just below the main nest where the 3 chicks were raised. 5/4/16
Catbirds are mimics and are related to brown thrashers and mockingbirds and quite common in Massachusetts. 5/9/15
An eastern towhee shows me his prize he found digging in the leaves. Their song sounds like "drink your tea". Cool birds with a bright red eye. 5/8/15
Quabbin Reservoir. 5/19/15
Ovenbirds got their name from their nest building. It looks like an old fashioned oven on the ground. They are abundant with a call that sounds like "teacher teacher teacher" ! 5/9/15
Palm warblers are some of the earliest warblers to arrive at Quabbin in the spring. These birds constantly flick their tails up and down.
A yellow rumped warbler sits on the side of a beaver pond in northern Quabbin. These birds are among the most common migrant warbler we see all around Quabbin. 5/5/15
Blue-gray gnatcatcher. A very small warbler that up until about 20 years ago was very rare at Quabbin.
Chestnut sided warblers are all over the place this week at Quabbin. Their call sound like "very very pleased to meet chew" 5/6/16
Fuzzyy female ! 5/6/15
These little guys are the nuthatches of the warbler family ! They climb up and down trees looking for bugs. Their call sounds like a rusty hinge, zeeet zeeet zeeet zeeet …..5/2/15
Quabbin Reservoir 5/19/15
Quabbin Reservoir. 5/19/15
Quabbin Reservoir. 5/19/15
These guys are found along power lines and old field habitats at Quabbin. Their call is a high pitched "zeeet zeeet zeeet" going upwards in pitch and speed. Here's one singing in the early morning sun. 5/10/15
"Witichy witchy witchy"" is the warbling song of the common yellowthroat. Common almost everywhere at Quabbin. They look like a masked bank robber or they are heading to a halloween party. 5/10/15
Quabbin Reservoir. 5/19/15
They are found at Quabbin but sometimes it takes some work to find one. A very wispy song thats very meek. 5/10/15
Bobolinks are noisy members of the blackbird family. They are found in vast fields such as are found at the Ware River watershed. Can you see the female in this photo? 5/24/15
A wet female kingbird looking for bugs in a rain storm. You can see she has been sitting on a nest by the brood patch on her belly. 6/1/15
A rare treat at Quabbin ! Storms whip coastal dwelling birds inland to Quabbin every once in a while. Here are 2 common terns blown inland by the three day storm we just had. There are 2 because one good tern deserves another ! 6/3/15
Green herons are found about the swamps of Quabbin. It takes some work to find them but they are there. 6/29/30
These birds are very hard to see and love to stay hidden from sight. We have two species at Quabbin. These guys and the yellow billed cuckoos. Cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds nest and let another species raise their young like cowbirds. 6/30/15
A young yellow bellied sapsucker starts his life….. 7/5/15
Early mornings can be magical. Here is an eastern kingbird preening in the first rays of sunlight into the pond. Quabbin Reservoir, 7/6/15
While sitting by a swamp watching heron and egrets this little hummingbird shows up every day on some jewel weed flowers. The bird stayed this time long enough for me to get a few pictures with my 400mm lens. 8/19/15
Here's a noisy female belted kingfisher chattering from a branch above the water. You can see why they got their name. The males has no brown belt across its belly. 9/15/15
Here is a male kingfisher. Notice that the brown belly band is not there, its just blue.
A migrating killdeer stops at Quabbin on the long trip south for food and a good stretch . They have to eat hundreds of small organisms that live in the muddy wetlands to keep them on high energy to complete the long flight south. 9/23/15
A greater yellowlegs scours the shore for minnows and small bugs or anything that looks good to eat. The Quabbin is a great place to stop on their migratory route in the fall to South America. 9/17/15
Here is another greater yellowlegs chasing small minnows around on the shore of the Quabbin on a rest stop while migrating south. 9/23/15
Ring billed gulls love to sit in the sun on this section of rocks that appear each time the water goes below capacity in the fall at Quabbin. Here are 3 of them a few days ago working on their tans !
Right on the edge of a swamp is this jewel weed. A few times this late summer this female hummingbird has dropped in on me when Ive been watching the herons. Today I was looking at this to photograph this mist on the leaves and flowers and she appeared. I happened to be right on this flower and bingo! 8/29/15
A common yellowthroat rummages through a winterberry bush looking for breakfast in early October. 10/4/15
The Quabbin turkeys wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and say they are thankfull there is no turkey hunting in the Quabbin Reservoir ! 11/25/15
I got a nice surprise when this guy flew in over our heads this morning and landed in front of us in the northern Quabbin. These birds are usually found along the Atlantic coast during the winter months. In their breeding plumage they do have a black belly. 11/7/15
This female kingfisher landed down the shore from where I was set up and the early morning fog, the early morning golden sunrise and the dark background made for a neat picture. 10/31/15
This ring billed gull landed a ways away in the fog this morning in the early sunlight at Quabbin and Bingo !! Instant photo !! 11/17/15
Three robins were eating winterberries under the power lines. Here's one of them in the early morning sun. 12/16/15
One photo Ive been trying to get is a kingfisher catching a fish. This morning when I least expected it and had a slow shutter speed set in my camera from another photo I was taking this female kingfisher started taking a fit right in front of me. As I tried to catch her in mid air she hit the water a few times. Here is the splash and if you look close you can see her right in the middle popping out of the water.... 11/26/15
An unbanded common loon comes if for a landing off the gate 35 road in the early morning fog. It isn't using its fog lights. 8/23/15
Here is a common bird in Quabbin that walks upside down sometimes. They always keep going and love sunflower seeds. If you feed the birds in winter then chances are good you will have a few of them at your feeder. 1/13/16
A male bluebird landing on a house he and his mate were looking over today at Arcadia Bird Sanctuary in Easthampton MA. 2/19/16
Here is the same male bluebird with a feather trying to decide what house to put it in while his mate watches and wishes he's hurry up and make up his mind. 2/19/16
I found this raven on the roadside in Hadley this afternoon in the snow burying a piece of frozen meat he was carrying around in his beak. You can see his nictitating membrane that is a second eyelid that comes in from the side of the eye for protection. It makkes them look blue eyed but protects the eye from snow, dust and rain while still letting them see. 2/15/16
The bluebirds were very active today at Massachusetts Audubon Bird Sanctuary in Easthampton. here is a male already carrying nesting material to a box....... 2/7/16
The ravens have started nesting at the Quabbin. Here is the female in the nest adjusting the sticks and the male coming up with another stick. He looks like his tail feathers have seen better days! 2/29/16
I have 2 or 3 fox sparrows at the feeder this week. They always stop on their migration north. They are larger than other sparrows and a fox red color, hence the fox sparrow name ! 3/21/16
A male bluebird is inspecting a hole just out of view for a nnesting hole..... 3/21/15
I have lived in this same location since 1978. Every year I have a pair of phoebes nesting in the shed or about the house. They come back like clockwork every year. I wonder if their ancestors were the ones that were nesting here in 1978? 3/31/16
I was stopped by this gang of ruffians this morning demanding cracked corn for them or they would not let me through the toll booth. Lucky for me I had 10 pounds of it in my back pocket :)
A female turkey from the flock in the last picture fluffs her feathers. Birds all do this from time to time to hook the little barbs back together that keep the feathers all in line.
This female ruby throated humming bird has a chick with her this year. She also has a favorite tree branch she sits on. Here she is sitting on it ! 8/14/16
A female belted kingfisher flies away from diving head first into the pond with her breakfast. 9/12/16
You could hear these 2 female belted kingfishers yaking for miles around the swamp this morning I'll bet ! 9/9/16
An early morning breakfast cruise for this female kingfisher. She landed a big fish that went down in about 30 seconds. 9/26/16
In order to stop the wings in mid action on this female ruby throated hummingbird I had to set the ISO on my Nikon D810 camera at 3200 and my shutter speed at 1/2000 of a second. 8/8/16
I spotted this pie billed grebe running across the water on a small beaver pond in northern Quabbin this morning. Its the first one I've seen this fall. 10/19/16
Northern flickers are on the move south now. I shot this picture of this one in the first rays of the sun making a racket up on this dead tree top. 9/26/16
Here's a rare red headed woodpecker thats taken up residence in Belchertown, MA. He seems to spend the days stuffing acorns in dead trees for his winter cupboard in a small section of a swamp. Lets hope he stays around for the winter to eat everything he has collected. 11/3/16
Here's another shot of the red headed woodpecker with an acorn in his beak about to launch off to another crack in a tree to stuff his acorn in. 11/3/16
This white throated sparrow has been staying around with the juncos under the feeders since late November. Looks like he may be planning on spending the winter with us..... 12/30/16
A few visitors from the north, snow buntings, were zipping around a large corn field today in Northampton MA as I drove by. I had to stop and take their picture. 12/5/16
A red bellied woodpecker hopped up on a branch right in front of me this morning in the early morning sun. 12/21/16
Happy Thanksgiving everyone ! A brisk cold walk this morning turned up this barred owl in Quabbin. 1/23/16
I took this photo of a female peregrine falcon in late September of 2016. I sent it to Masswildlife for ID because she has bands on both legs. You can see the band numbers if blown up on a computer. She was banded in Springfield MA on 5/20/16 at One Monarch Place Building . Tom French told me this was a great sighting because they havent seen her since she fledged early July.
I was along the shoreline this morning at Quabbin before the sun came up. I heard something coming and got ready as I could see ducks flying towards me. Out of the fog came 26 common mergansers and landed right in front of me. Notice the orange feet all sticking out !! They made me laugh !
A rare Mountain bluebird has bees spotted at the Turners Fall Airport. I was by there today and the bird was close to the parking lot. It was a life bird for me ! Such a beautiful color of blue ! 11/14/16
A pair of greater yellowlegs are racing along the shore of Quabbin while feeding and loading up on calories to help them thru their long migration to South America. 9/20/16
"The butcher bird" While waiting to see the great gray owl today, I spotted this northern shrike. These birds drop down into New England and show up in the late fall/early winter when the rodent population is down up north.. They have a habit of hanging their prey on Hawthorne spikes and branched while they feed on them. The eat small birds and rodents.
One of the local characters around this joint !
This crow came gliding up the shore and was planning to land on this rock and I was ready for him! 2/14/17
Ive spent so much time waiting for big animals wandering about the ice on Quabbin with not much happening, I decided to drop by to see my old friend the red headed woodpecker. He was working on a new house. When I left about 2 hours later he was looking for acorns he stashed last fall for dinner 2/20/17
Turkeys turkeys everywhere this morning ! These 2 males were leading 9 females up the shore of Quabbin and I was in the woods watching for anything that passed. This is not a photoshopped picture (I don't own photoshop and I don't believe in it). This is the true color in the early morning sun of these guys. It was even more impressive in person. (or in bird) !
A tree swallow in barking orders at its mate that just went into the nest in the hole just below him in this dead stump pond side. 5/24/16
I found a female bluebird sitting on my great grand parents grave stone during my visit there this morning. I also have a picture with a male in the same place. 5/20/17
I snuck up on these 2 wood ducks sitting in a patch of early morning sun. 5/16/17
I was surprised to find an adult sandhill crane in a north Quabbin beaver swamp this afternoon.! What a magnificent bird and a rare find in Massachusetts. 4/17/17
Here is a second shot of this afternoons sandhill crane. 4/17/17
I haven't seen to many turkeys along the shore of Quabbin this winter. I was quite surprised to see these four jump up from behind a stump and run up the shore and into the woods. 2/2/17
We've alway had pileated woodpeckers here around the house. I love seeing these prehistoric looking birds. Here's the male banging on a cherry tree in our front yard after he finished eating some wild grapes left in the woods beside our house. 12/13/16
A male bluebird checks out a tree swallows nest in a beaver pond early this morning. 5/5/17
A pair of tree swallow have a discussion about their next nest, and how many kids they want ! 4/27/17
A female bluebird landed right smack in front of me in with little snow falling. 3/10/17
This rare photo opportunity showed up as this yellow billed cuckoo landed on a dying spruce tree thats growing up in the middle of a beaver dam in Quabbin yesterday. 7/22/17
These 2 bluebirds are in this house in a local cemetery. I discovered them a few days ago and have had a great time watching and photographing them feeding chicks in the box. 7/2/17
This male bluebird just finished raising one nest of chicks with his mate last week. Now he's busy looking for another place to nest but it's to late in the season. Maybe he's practicing for next year. 7/27/17
A belted kingfisher landed in the fog in front of me this morning. He was looking for breakfast but wasnt having much luck.
It was 12 F as I walked along the shoreline of the Quabbin this morning. I stumbled upon this rare American pipit. Its Christmas Bird Count week so it got on the Athol list for the first time in its history of the count.
I've been on this land since 1979 and I've never seen a ruffed grouse at the feeders until about 2 weeks ago. Here it is today digging in the snow for seeds.
I made this image of a red bellied woodpecker yesterday as he was looking for breakfast in the northern Quabbin area. These birds are becoming more common as time goes by.