Monday, May 7, 2012

East side of Quabbin

Evening Grosbeak, Quabbin, May 7, 2012
Broad-winged Hawk, Quabbin, May 7, 2012
I met up with Tom Gagnon this morning to scout out part of the route of the upcoming Hampshire Bird Club trip to the east side of Quabbin.  Before Tom arrived I spent about an hour at Quabbin Park quickly checking a variety of areas.  Once Tom arrived we headed into Quabbin.  We had lots of bird song all morning with a nice diversity of warblers and other neotropical migrants.  There was certainly more birds in from overnight and a reduction in some lingering birds that had been around the last few days.  We could not find any Palm Warblers, the number of Yellow-rumps was lower and there was hardly a White-throated Sparrow to be found.  Due to other commitments we could only dedicate half a day but it was still quite productive.

Evening Grosbeak, Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Evening Grosbeak, Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Wood Ducks leaving nest box (splash down lower left), Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Wood Ducks leaving nest box (splash down lower left), Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Wood Ducks leaving nest box (splash down under box), Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Wood Duck ducklings with adult female, Quabbin, May 7, 2012
We did have some great luck with sightings today with highlights being Swainson's Thrush, three Evening Grosbeaks, a Broad-winged Hawk perched right over the road and arriving at a small pond deep in Quabbin just as some Wood Duck ducklings were leaving the nest box.  We actually got to see a few make the jump from the box down to the water...something I was never in the right spot at the right time to see before.  The adult female was making an odd noise I had not heard before as she swam with several ducklings.  Only after I saw a duckling jump out of the box did I realize what we were witness to.  Really neat to see.

Nest in small pond, Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Nest in small pond (second nest), Quabbin, May 7, 2012

Nests in small pond, Quabbin, May 7, 2012
Another item of interest we ran across was a pair of stick nests in a small pond.  The nest were not there last year and were unoccupied when we viewed them  If any one was any thoughts on what species may have built the nests I would love to hear.  The nest seemed too small for Great Blue Herons but I suppose it is possible.

Solitary Sandpiper, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2012
I also tried my luck with photos through the binoculars with my cell phone with the results pictured above.  I ran across a Solitary Sandpiper while walking Wilson and managed this shot.  Nothing great quality wise but it can work in a pinch.

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