Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Birding and the first tropical storm of the season

Black-billed Cuckoo, Quabbin Gate 8, May 19, 2012
Yesterday I took a quick loop through Quabbin Park before heading up to Gate 8.  I walked the Gate 8 road down to the power line cut and then took the side road that eventually comes out at Gate 6.  My hope was to find a Cape May Warbler in among the large spruce groves but I had no luck with that plan.  I did however get some nice birds including half a dozen drumming Ruffed Grouse, eleven red-breasted Nuthatch's, ten Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Black-billed Cuckoo and 16 species of warblers including a couple Nashville's in proper breeding habitat, two Canada's and many Black throated Green's, Black throated Blue's and Blackburnians plus Ovenbirds.

Later in the morning I took Wilson for a walk along the Jabish Canal and found the vocal pair of Broad-winged Hawks that have been in that area for a few weeks now.
Common Yellowthroat, Wentworth Farm Conservation Area, Amherst, MA, May 20, 2012

Blue-winged Warbler, Wentworth Farm Conservation Area, Amherst, MA, May 20, 2012

Eastern Kingbird building nest, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, May 20, 2012

Bobolink, Wentworth Farm Conservation Area, Amherst, MA, May 20, 2012

Today I began the day at UMASS on Orchard Hill.  The area was fairly quiet so I decided to head over to the rail trail where I spent a few hours before walking over to Wentworth Farm and then back to the rail trail.  There were mainly resident birds on territory throughout all the areas with only a small number of obvious migrants such as Blackpoll Warbler, Northern Parula and a flyover Common Loon.  The Blue-winged Warbler giving a Golden-winged song continued to sing and show itself in the same area I had it previously.  Lots of other breeding species were being quite vocal and staking out territories while others built nests, fed young or exchanged places on nests.  Another cool start to the day but with a warm finish with the temperatures making up to the mid 80's.

Tropical Storm Alberto projected path as of May 20

Projected path models for TS Alberto
In addition there is a very early season tropical storm that formed offshore of the carolina's and is forecast to head out to sea without any major impact on the US coast.  Tropical Storm Alberto is drifting southward at this point but is expected to eventually head northeastward and stay out to sea.  The hurricane seasons official start is not until June so this is certainly an early start to the season.  Will this be a harbinger of things to come?  Stay tuned.  I have included the projected storm path map as well as the various model maps used to create the storm path map.


  1. As an aspiring birder I was glad to come across your blog. I have some ties to that area as well. 30 years ago I learned how to climb and prune the Oaks at the base of Orchard Hill.

    Quabbin is mesmerizing in so many ways. It's so cool that your out there, with your dog, checking out birds.

  2. Glad you like it...the areas around here are just great to explore. Always something new and different every day.