Sunday, April 1, 2012

Connecticut valley birds plus Quabbin Park

Tagged Ring-billed Gull, UMASS, Amherst, MA, April 1, 2012

Tagged Ring-billed Gull, UMASS, Amherst, MA, April 1, 2012

Wilson's Snipe, Hadley, MA, April 1, 2012

Peregrine Falcon with prey, UMASS, Amherst, MA, April 1, 2012

Spent the early part of the morning through mid morning with Ian Davies exploring areas around Hadley and Amherst and then over to Hatfield before heading home and making a stop at Quabbin Park.  The day was cool and overcast but very calm.  We started along the rail trail at Station road and tried for the Sora but all we could find today was the starling giving a great impression of a Sora.  We next headed through the fields of Hadley around South Maple St and had a few American Kestrels as well as several singing Eastern Meadowlarks plus at least four Wilson's Snipe along East Hadley Road.  We next stopped off at Hadley Cove and had 29 Green-winged Teal plus a few Black Ducks and Mallards plus a Wood Duck.  We then crossed over the Connecticut River and headed up to Great Pond in Hatfield.  There was little in the way of waterfowl here but there were at least 40 Rusty Blackbirds plus a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The fields of Hatfield, Whately and Sunderland were very quiet except for a flock of Horned Larks near Pilgrim Airport.  Lake Warner in North Hadley was also quite quiet with a Wood Duck, a Mute Swan and a couple Canada Geese.  With little activity in many spots we headed back to UMASS to try our luck at the campus pond.  Just the typical waterfowl here plus a calling Peregrine Falcon carrying a prey item of some sort.  There was also a wing tagged Ring-billed Gull present at the pond.  I'll post more on the wanderings of this individual once I hear back from the state.  There is an interesting article about the wanderings of these gulls at the following link:

UPDATE:  I got the information back on the wing tagged gull pictured above.  Here is the reply I received from Dan Clark from DCR:

Captured 2/27/12 at the Walmart in Ware, MA
Captured using a rocket net baited with bread and chips
Adult female ring-billed gull
Florescent yellow wing-tags: A290
Blue leg band: 052
Federal band: 0994-21466
Released on site
This is the first sighting of the bird since capture, so it is particularly important.

It will be interesting to see if I come across this bird again as the year goes on.
Belted Kingfisher on weather station, Quabbin Park, MA, April 1, 2012
After dropping off Ian I headed over to Quabbin Park.  At Quabbin I had a handful of good birds including a Red-necked Grebe, three Common Loons including two in full breeding plumage and one juvenile bird plus lots of Pine Warblers singing on territory plus the Belted Kingfisher pictured above.

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