Saturday, May 5, 2012

Massive migration overnight....Two Brewster's Warblers, Orange-crowned Warbler, etc, etc.

Brewster's Warbler, Hampshire College, May 5, 2012

Orange-crowned Warbler, UMASS, May 5, 2012

Distant iPhone shot of Red-breasted Mergansers, Quabbin Park at dawn, May 5, 2012
The best day by far for spring and one of my more memorable days birding here.  It was one of those days that you were never sure what would turn up next and one surprise followed another.  The highlights are many and I'm still getting all the numbers together.  The total number of species was above 100 for the day (we had nearly 90 on the UMASS campus alone).  Suffice it to say a day not likely to be repeated soon.  The radar last night showed lots of migration and standing outside last evening under the overcast skies I averaged a flight call note at the rate of 15-18 a minute nonstop...obviously a big flight.  The day dawned overcast (as usual the last few days...and great for birding).  I stopped briefly at Winsor Dam before heading over to meet Ian Davies.  At Winsor Dam a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers (rare inland), a couple Common Mergansers, six Hooded Mergansers, a couple of calling Common Loons and a few others species.  The day started off well and only improved from there.

Brewster's Warbler, UMASS, May 5, 2012

Brewster's Warbler, UMASS, May 5, 2012

Orange-crowned Warbler, UMASS, May 5, 2012
I arrived at UMASS and one of the first birds I heard was a Blue-winged Warbler.  I have made a habit of checking every Blue-winged to make sure it is not a hybrid or odd Golden-winged Warbler.  The checking paid off big as I found the first of what would be a two Brewster's Warbler day!  The warblers continued fast and furious the entire morning as did the other migrant birds.  A total of 24 warbler species on campus alone...17 before 8am.  Great warbler show with an early singing Tennessee and then a very rare in spring Orange-crowned Warbler.  A taste of other highlights...32 Baltimore Oriole, loads of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, eight Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Swainson's Thrush, Veery, Yellow-throated Vireo, etc.

Brewster's Warbler, Hampshire College, May 5, 2012
After leaving UMASS we decided to try and max out warbler for the day in the county and headed to Skinner SP to see if Worm-eating and/or Cerulean Warblers were back.  We were successful finding both.  A message from Jacon Drucker about a Grasshopper Sparrow at Hampshire College sent us over there where we once again succeeded in finding our bird.  We added several other species there including a surprising second Brewster's Warbler!  Also a Louisiana Waterthrush added another warbler species bringing us to 27 (or 26.5 if you give the hybrid Brewster's less than species status) for the day.  With the afternoon dragging on we decided to try our luck with finding a southern warbler of some sort along Mitch's Way.  No luck with a new species of warbler here but the amount of bird song still occuring here at 2pm was amazing.  Added our fourth vireo species for the day with a Red-eyed.  Overall a spectacularly productive day.  Here is the total list for the day:

UMass Amherst 5/5/12:
(Orchard Hill 0546-0934, NW campus 0941-1134)

Canada Goose 5
Wood Duck 3
Mallard 1
Common Merganser 3 Flyover pair and single
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 2
Red-tailed Hawk 3
American Kestrel 1 Resident bird
Peregrine Falcon 1 Resident bird
Killdeer 2
Solitary Sandpiper 2 *Rare on campus. Two birds perched on logs in the northernmost of the two small ponds along the road in the NW campus area.
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 9
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 4
Least Flycatcher 17 *High count. Great numbers of these around today, at least one audible singing or calling in every area with many birds present.
Eastern Phoebe 4
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 8
Yellow-throated Vireo 2 Both singing in NW part of campus
Blue-headed Vireo 4
Warbling Vireo 10
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 4
Tree Swallow 25
Barn Swallow 13
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 6
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 1
House Wren 8
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Veery 3
Swainson's Thrush 1 *Early. Seen along a powerline cut in the NW part of campus.
Wood Thrush 8
American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 44
Northern Mockingbird 1
Brown Thrasher 4
European Starling 6
Cedar Waxwing 25
Ovenbird 5
Northern Waterthrush 2
Blue-winged Warbler 2
Brewster's Warbler (hybrid) 1 **Rare.  this bird was singing a standard Blue-winged song in the northeast field on Orchard Hill. Yesterday there was a bird in the same spot singing the same song that I wasn't able to see, so perhaps it has been here for a day.
Black-and-white Warbler 19
Tennessee Warbler 1 *Early. Along treeline by observatory on Orchard Hill
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 **Rare in spring, especially in Western Mass. Originally seen only by the large back Sylvan field, after a brief initial sighting some searching refound the bird singing, Nashville Warbler 15 Great numbers of these continue daily, been a really good year for this species seemingly so far.
Common Yellowthroat 16
American Redstart 5
Northern Parula 9
Magnolia Warbler 11
Bay-breasted Warbler 1 *Unusual. In Sylvan Woods with large treetop flock
Blackburnian Warbler 7
Yellow Warbler 27
Chestnut-sided Warbler 13
Black-throated Blue Warbler 5
Palm Warbler 2
Pine Warbler 1 Surprisingly our final warbler of the day on campus!
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 129
Prairie Warbler 2 Singing birds in NW campus area
Black-throated Green Warbler 13
Canada Warbler 5 Four in Sylvan Woods, single in NW campus area
Wilson's Warbler 5 Single in Sylvan Woods, four in NW campus area
warbler sp. 20 Non-Myrtle flyovers
Eastern Towhee 3
Chipping Sparrow 6
Field Sparrow 1 Singing near observatory on Orchard Hill
Savannah Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 10
Swamp Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 43
Scarlet Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 17
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 23 Singing everywhere
Bobolink 3
Red-winged Blackbird 24
Common Grackle 8
Brown-headed Cowbird 9
Baltimore Oriole 38
House Finch 4
American Goldfinch 97
House Sparrow 1

89 species

Hampshire College, Hampshire, US-MA
May 5, 2012 12:40 PM - 1:45 PM

Osprey 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Chimney Swift 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Least Flycatcher 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow 21
Bank Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Eastern Bluebird 1
American Robin 4
Gray Catbird 4
Ovenbird 1
Louisiana Waterthrush 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Brewster's Warbler (hybrid) 1 Singing odd Blue-winged like song, oddly second brewsters found today in area, photos and video obtained.
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 7
Black-throated Green Warbler 5
Chipping Sparrow 3
Savannah Sparrow 2
Grasshopper Sparrow 1 Found by Jacob Drucker, unusual, singing in large field
Song Sparrow 2
Scarlet Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Baltimore Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 2

Mitch's Way, Hadley, Hampshire, US-MA
May 5, 2012 1:50 PM - 2:55 PM

Wood Duck 2
Mallard 2
Bald Eagle 1 Seen nearby on Route 47
Rock Pigeon 3
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Least Flycatcher 3
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 3
Eastern Kingbird 1
Blue-headed Vireo 4
Warbling Vireo 3
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Tree Swallow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
American Robin 7
Gray Catbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 14
Black-and-white Warbler 7
Nashville Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 3
Northern Parula 2
Magnolia Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 4
Chestnut-sided Warbler 7
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 44
Black-throated Green Warbler 8
Canada Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 2
Chipping Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 25
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-winged Blackbird 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Baltimore Oriole 5
American Goldfinch 5

Red-tailed Hawk, UMASS, May 5, 2012
Radar image capture from 1am, morning of May 5, 2012 showing large influx of birds

Swainson's Thrush, UMASS, May 5, 2012

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