|Common Merganser, Winsor Dam, May 8, 2012|
Now that there is a rainy, cool day I will take some time to try to sum up the last several days of spring migration around here. There were many great days with so many highlights I cannot hope to touch on them all. Some days, like May 5th, were truly memorable. It seemed like everywhere we went there were new birds and good numbers. Without trying very hard I managed to get 110 species in just three towns in Hampshire county. I could have certainly added several to the total by starting earlier in the day and going past mid afternoon and/or visiting other areas.
As another illustration to how much diversity showed up in just a few days I have included below a list of the number of first of year birds here in the state during the first week of May.
Date Number of first of year birds
The dates of May 3 -5 were very impressive with double digit first of year birds each day. The diversity was matched by good numbers as many species arrived in force. There is nothing quite like a good migration day (or days) in May.
Now I will take a look at where I stand on my way to observing at least 200 species in the county this year and where I am compared at this point compared to other years. As of end of the first week of May my total stands at 171. Below is a comparison of the previous five years in regards to how long it took to reach my current position for totals and year end totals:
Year Date to obtain 171 Year end totals
2011 late August 197
2010 early October 182
2009 mid August 187
2008 mid July 187
2007 late May 199
I appear to be on track to meeting my goal of 200 and will likely exceed it with any luck. I will attempt to maximize the number for the year as a sort of ‘big county year’ type goal. It will be interesting to see the total at the end of the year. Stay tuned.