Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A rainy cool day

Winsor Dam, Quabbin, May 1, 2012
Although I had high expectations for some big influx of birds today given the southerly winds last night the big numbers did not materialize.  The forecast was for rain on and off overnight with heavier rain around day break through midday.  I awoke to cloudy but dry conditions.  The radar showed some rain had already moved through with more to follow but there was an open patch of dry weather in between.  With this in mind I headed over to Orchard Hill at UMASS to meet up with a few others to see what birds came in.  There were some obvious migrants but they were few and far between.  I ran across a Common Yellowthroat right away as well as a few Gray Catbirds.  Warblers were in short supply with several Yellow-rumps and one Black and White.  Once I got to the top of Orchard Hill in got quite dark and started to rain a little.  The light rain quickly became a downpour as I worked my way back to the car.  I stopped briefly in a small marshy area and pished a couple times and a Common Yellowthroat popped up as did another unidentified small yellow warbler like bird.  It may have been another yellowthroat but acted completely different.  I tried to get another look at the bird but had no luck.  The rain continued to fall harder so I never did get another look at the bird.  I also ran across an Opossum that crossed the trail in front of me and headed into the tangles.

I also made a quick pass through the oxbow in Northampton in the hopes of finding a tern or something else good downed by the inclement weather.  No unusual birds but a fair number of swallows feeding over the water including 45+ Tree Swallows and smaller numbers of Barn and Bank Swallows.

On my way home I decided to make a brief stop by Winsor Dam but had no luck with anything unusual there either.  There were a fair number of swallows feeding low over the water (75+) with the vast majority being Tree Swallows.  Once I arrived home in the evening I had at least two Rusty Blackbirds in the marsh behind the house.

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