Monday, September 6, 2010

Quabbin western gates...again

Great Blue Heron flyby, Gate 22, Sept 6, 2010

Sharp shinned Hawks sparring, Gate 16, Sept 6, 2010

I decided to stick with some of the same areas I had covered the last couple mornings plus a few additions. Its always neat to see the difference in species and numbers from day to day. The lack of a strong wind today certainly helped. The morning started off even cooler than the previous morning with a low of 43. The sun quickly warmed things up by mid morning. I started at Gate 22 and covered the upper areas only. Once the sun started hitting the trees the activity started to pick up but there were no big groups of migrants. A Winter Wren, a Scarlet Tanager and a few Rose Breasted Grosbeaks were noted among the other species around.

I next stopped at Gate 16 and walked to the water where I came across a Sharp shinned Hawk pair that flew over and then sparred a bit just above the trees. the acrobatic show was impressive to watch. I managed a few photos and you can see the odd angles these birds got into as they went at each other. There were a few spots with activity here with the highlight being a male Wilson's Warbler.

I stopped next at Gate 11 and decided to make the long walk down to the water. The first bird I heard was a Broad winged Hawk. A few minutes later I scared up a Ruffed Grouse and the Broad winged Hawk was right behind it in pursuit. Not sure how that turned out for either of them but interesting to see. There were many quiet areas along the few miles to the water but did find a couple good pockets of birds. One group had four Northern Parula's together, a Canada Warbler, and an Ovenbird at the very top of a large oak. The final stop of the morning at Gate 10 produced one little flock with good numbers of Black throated Blue Warblers among the others.

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