Saturday, February 11, 2012

Amherst and Hadley

American Kestrel, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Feb 11, 2012

Canada Goose with odd coloration, UMASS campus pond, Amherst, MA, Feb 11, 2012

Canada Goose with odd coloration, UMASS campus pond, Amherst, MA, Feb 11, 2012

Canada Goose with injury, UMASS campus pond, Amherst, MA, Feb 11, 2012

Ring-necked Pheasant, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Feb 11, 2012
Despite the predictions of a small snowstorm with snow all day with 1-3" of snow we ended up with a dusting with the snow stopped by 7:30am.  After a quick morning trip through Quabbin Park that produced a few good birds including three Bald Eagles (with one in the nest), seven Hooded Mergansers on Rt 9 marsh (the marsh is nearly 80% ice free already), a single group of 31 Wild Turkeys and at least four Pileated Woodpeckers.  During the afternoon that turned a little breezy but at least partially sunny I headed over to Amherst and Hadley to see what I could find.  I began at the UMASS campus pond in hopes of catching up with the Cackling Goose that has been there but had no luck.  I went through the flock of Canada Geese three times but found no Cackling Goose...just 781 Canada Geese.  One goose appeared to have an injury of some sort and had blood on its feathers.  A couple other geese had some odd white coloration on their heads but otherwise appeared normal.   I then made a quick stop at the UMASS horse farm and had an American Kestrel right away as well as a few Red-tailed Hawks and a Turkey Vulture.  I then went over to Lake Warner in North Hadley which held a Mute Swan, a couple Hooded Mergansers and a pair of Mallards.  As I continued my trip south I stopped briefly at the honeypot in Hadley but did not find the Rough-legged Hawk.  I did however catch up with yet another American Kestrel as well as a beautiful Ring-necked Pheasant male along the road.  An introduced bird released for hunting that somehow escaped despite being quite tame.  A final stop in Hadley at Hadley Cove produced a kingfisher, a dozen Black Ducks as well as Mallards.  The entire cove was ice free and quite low as far as water level is concerned.

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