Thursday, May 10, 2012

The rain finally stops

Distant shot of largest group of Common Loons, Winsor Dam, May 10, 2012

The weather has continued its pattern of overcast with occasional rain during the last few days.  Last evening before some heavier rain came in for overnight I stopped at Winsor Dam and had 13 Common Loons, four Greater Yellowlegs and a flyby Merlin.  There was a very low level fog that covered parts of the reservoir making views of the birds difficult at times.  I decided to try my luck viewing from Gate 5 but by the time I got there the fog had filled in more and made viewing more difficult.  I could hear a few loons as well as Ring-billed Gulls but could not see them.  I was rewarded for my effort there by having a flyover Common Nighthawk come by calling…bird number 172 for Hampshire county this year. 

Today dawned rainy, which put a stop to my plans to bird the UMASS area again checking for new migrants so I decided to instead try my luck back at Winsor Dam.  I’m glad I made the stop as I had a total of 36(!) Common Loons on the water in groups of 22, 9, 3 and a few singles.  It has been a great spring for loons here.  I attempted a few photos using my phone but didn’t have much luck in the conditions.  The rain continued with no end in sight so I headed for work making a brief stop at Hampshire College to try for the Brewster’s Warbler there but without any luck.  During the afternoon the rain let up and the sun broke through and the wind picked up.  I once again tried to find the Brewster’s at Hampshire College on my way home but still had no luck.

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