Monday, March 28, 2011


With the Quabbin Reservoir still almost completely frozen I decided to travel a bit yesterday to get a taste of waterfowl at other spots around the Connecticut Valley. I picked up a friend at first light and we headed up to Turners Falls. We started at Barton's Cove and then to the Rod and Gun Club, power canal and downtown. Some nice waterfowl with highlights being a continuing male Redhead, 225+ Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and Black Ducks plus the other usuals. We struck out on Bohemian Waxwings in downtown Turners Falls but did find 120+ Cedars. Next we went down to Great Pond in Hatfield and had more nice birds there with Pied billed Grebe, Green winged Teal and Northern Pintail being new additions to the day. Sadly the best access to this spot will probably not be available next year as the land is up for sale and the area is already staked out as a building lot. We finished up with various fields around and returned back to UMASS. A really nice day despite the cool temps and strong winds.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More spring arrivals

Red-winged Blackbird, Quabbin Park, March 19, 2011
Common Grackle, Quabbin Park, March 19, 2011

I spent the last two morning checking Quabbin Park to see what new birds have arrived with the rapidly approaching spring and I found a few despite the fact that the main reservoir continues to be frozen solid. The Bald Eagle nest continues to have an adult sitting on it, waterfowl in the open water of the Route 9 marsh included Hooded and Common Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Mallards and Canada Geese, Red winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles have arrived and staked out territories. In addition I found my first of season Tree Swallows at the marsh. To round out the mornings I had a pair of River Otters working the marsh too.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fox Sparrow, Belchertown, MA, March 14, 2011
Fox Sparrow, Belchertown, MA, March 14, 2011
Black capped Chickadee, Belchertown, MA, March 14, 2011

Spring continues to roll along with some new birds arriving. Waterfowl numbers are starting to increase but many lakes and ponds continue to be frozen so they are concentrated in the rivers and farm fields. At least five Fox Sparrows showed up at the house this afternoon with a least one singing a few times. They were not very cooperative for photos but I managed a few.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A year gone

A sad anniversary today as I have reached the one year mark since I lost my good buddy and frequent walking and birding companion. It is hard to believe it has been a whole year since he was here. I still miss our walks through the woods and how he would patiently sit and wait as I checked out the bird life we came across. Kody is gone but not forgotten.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring approaches

The middle of March finds spring finally starting to show itself. The snow continues to melt and the temperatures get above freezing most days with some days getting out of the 40's. Some areas have become free of snow while others still have feet of snow in them. New birds have started to arrive including Turkey Vultures, Red winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles as well as the beginnings of the large groups of migrating waterfowl. The birds that remained for the winter have started singing more and more. The first Tree Swallows and Eastern Phoebes cannot be too far away.