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A post about a place I’ve been many times before

August 30, 2010

I realize I should probably stop going to Mason Farm every single week.  It’s terrible for this blog for my readers to come back to the same sort of post every single Monday because I’m too lazy to go anywhere else. But Mason Farm fits several bills in that it’s close to home, easy to get out and around, and most of all, it’s consistently and remarkably productive.  To have a place like this so close to home, why test my luck anywhere else?

So forgive me, dear reader(s), if I go on a bit, as it was another good day in Orange County as I arrived to the dewy fields exposing hundreds of spider webs.

Catbirds crept through the underbrush.  Young ones, mostly, and not yet too smart to fall for a little pishing.

There were a handful of warblers; good numbers of Redstarts and Pine and a single Northern Waterthrush flying the bnner for the non-breeders.  But while watching a feeding flock of Chickadees and Gnatcatchers (hoping for those early warblers who tend to slum this time of year), I caught out of the corner of my eye some movement in the outer branches of a brushy White Oak.  Thinking bird I was surprised to find a bright green Carolina Anole hunting bugs under the leaves.  A pretty cool, and completely unexpected, find.

Nearby, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was busy ravaging an early Fall Webworm colony.  The bird would go back and forth between the web and a favored branch, each time bringing a single caterpillar which it would dutifully beat the hell out of in the branch…

And effortlessly toss it in the air and catch it.

The wet morning kept most Odes down, but there were the regular Common Whitetails around.  They seem to be the Northern Cardinals of Odes, but I think they’re pretty great.  I’m a sucker for a dragonfly with black marks on the wings though.

Mason Farm has been really good the last couple weeks.  As migration heats up, it’s likely to get better.  Why would I go anywhere else?

  1. August 30, 2010 2:43 pm

    I hope you continue to post about Mason Farm. Nature is dynamic and it is interesting to experience your patch through your words.

  2. August 31, 2010 8:30 am

    Nice post. I think ebird is also pushing me to bird only a few places, as often as possible. Hope you will show your updated barchart at the end of the year!

    Will Earl bring you some pelagics on your farm?

  3. Nate permalink*
    August 31, 2010 1:56 pm

    @Pat – Thanks Pat! I’m glad you like Mason Farm, because I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot of it this fall. 🙂

    @Laurent- Perhaps I will! The total barchart for Mason is looking really good because not only do I bird there regularly, but there are a handful of other folks that bird it hard and report their sightings as well.

    Earl is unlikely to bring hurricane waifs unless it makes landfall, which doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. We need to have a tropical storm push inwland a fair bit to bring the birds up this far.

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