Friday, June 1, 2012

Whip-poor-will survey route scouting trip

Black-throated Blue Warbler, Prescott Peninsula, June 1, 2012

Tree Swallow,  Prescott Peninsula, June 1, 2012

Red-winged Blackbird, Prescott Peninsula, June 1, 2012

Indigo Bunting,  Prescott Peninsula, June 1, 2012

Red-winged Blackbird, Prescott Peninsula, June 1, 2012
Today I made a trip to the restricted Prescott Peninsula to scout out the route I will be doing for an upcoming Whip-poor-will survey.  I was joined for part of the morning by one of the Quabbin biologist before we parted ways so she could check on a few of the nesting loons.  During the Massachusetts breeding bird atlas a population of Whip-poor-wills was noted on the lower third of the peninsula in areas that had been logged.  The Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program created this route to study the long term health of this population.  The hope is to be able to determine not only the health of this group but what type of vegetation and management practices are present in the various areas of the survey route.

Tornado track through Massachusetts, June 1, 2011 (image from June 5, 2011 courtesy of
Today also marks the one year anniversary of the tornado that moved through the southern part of western Massachusetts causing some severe devastation.  The largest (of four) tornadoes was listed as an EF3 tornado and stayed on the ground for almost 40 miles and was at times a half mile wide.  Luckily we sustained no damage at the house but we did end up with a heavily damaged car that was in Springfield during the tornado.  One of the more impressive photos of the event is shown above.  The satellite image does a great job of capturing the scope of the damage. 


  1. I want to come back as an Indigo Bunting. Whipoorwhills are doing pretty well in western Maine. How do you classify them. Not really crepuscular. It starts out cute, then I'm like ,"What are you doing up at this hour?". Nice photos and report.

  2. It would be a nice bird to come back as. The Whip-poor-wills here are generally in decline but there are some strongholds left...the various study routes are set up to check the populations from year to year. I always find the birds that come at at dusk interesting...tough to get good looks at but fun to try for.