Monday, July 12, 2010

Loon survey

Common Loon, Quabbin, July 12, 2010

I finally managed to make it up to help out the Quabbin biologist with the ongoing loon surveys on Quabbin. We picked a perfect weather day for viewing. Nearly calm conditions for the entire time out on the water allowed for some great views of the birds. We covered the area from Boat Launch Area 2 south along the Prescott Peninsula and then across to shaft 12 and back and managed a total of eighteen adult Common Loons (including one with an odd bill..another post in the future) and five young. Only one pair of twins, all the remaining young were singles. There is still a loon on a nest that has not yet hatched. In addition to the loons highlights on the survey included seven Double crested Cormorants, four Common Mergansers, three Spotted Sandpipers, a Cooper's Hawk and a couple Bald Eagles. Despite alot of looking, I was unable to turn up the reported Caspian Tern(s). We spent about 4 1/2 hours on the water.

Common Loon w/young, near Boat Launch Area 2, July 12, 2010
Prior to meeting up for the loon survey I made a quick walk down to the water at Gate 16 just as the fog lifted off the water and had another pair of loons there as well as a number of Tree Swallows and other resident birds including several Hermit Thrushes and a freshly fledged family group of Yellow-rumped Warblers.

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