Sunday, April 22, 2012
The rain arrives
Although yesterday turned out to be nicer than predicted with early AM clouds giving way to sun and temperatures in the mid-70's today turned out to be as predicted with early low clouds turning to drizzle and then rain with temperatures not making it out of the 40's. Yesterday I met up with Ian Davies and we birded several areas including areas around UMASS, the Amherst rail trail, Mitch's Way in Hadley and a brief stop at the bottom of Skinner SP. Not much in the way of new birds around but some increase in the number of previously seen migrants. Before meeting up with Ian yesterday morning I stopped briefly at Winsor Dam and had two Bonaparte's Gulls as well as a calling Common Loon, a Brown Thrasher and eight Common Mergansers. Today I headed back through Quabbin Park and Covey WMA before the rain. At Winsor Dam the only bird of note was a breeding plumage Red-necked Grebe. Within Quabbin Park itself the previously discovered Blackburnian Warbler continues singing in the same area. There were good numbers of Black and White, Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers around as well as Eastern Towhees and Chipping Sparrows in good numbers. The windy conditions kept some of the birds down a bit I'm sure. At Covey WMA I tried to find some rails and/or bitterns but had no luck. Again some nice numbers of recent arrivals but nothing obviously new from the previous few days. The forecast is for the rain to continue heavy through tomorrow with flooding possible. Amazing the change from one day to the next. At least it is warm enough to be rain and not snow which would be a repeat of the October snow storm as many trees around have got leaves on them already.