Sunday, July 22, 2012

Great Egrets and others

Great Egrets, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 22, 2012

Great Egret, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 22, 2012
Great Egrets (four in view-in tallest trees), Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 22, 2012

Belted Kingfisher, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 22, 2012

Mallards, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 22, 2012
Yet another beautiful day with low humidity and sunny skies.  The temperature started out a bit warmer than yesterday (57 degrees compared to 52 degrees) but still cool for the end of July.  It eventually warmed into the 80's.  I began my morning checking out Lake Wallace in Belchertown which is a wooded, marshy pond that looks great for waterfowl.  Today it did not disappoint with a total of 82 Wood Ducks, 131 Mallards, 51 Canada Geese and a lone Hooded Merganser.  It seems like a great spot to find a teal but there were none there today.  One bird I was looking for and found there this morning was Great Egret.  I didn't find any this spring but figured I would catch up with dispersing individuals in late summer and I found not one but four here making it species #189 for the year in Hampshire county.  Probably my largest single location count for this species in western Mass so far.  In addition there were Great Blue and Green Herons here as well plus numerous Belted Kingfisher chasing each other around. 

Common Yellowthroat, Quabbin Park, July 22, 2012
I next headed over to Covey WMA to check out a few marshes before people flush the birds deeper in and out of view.  Nothing too unusual here but did find more Green Herons, nine Bobolinks and other expected species.  I then checked my phone and saw a report of a White Pelican seen yesterday in Chicopee.  I decided I would swing my Quabbin to see if by chance the bird made it up here.  A long shot to be sure but worth a try.  No luck with the pelican but I did find another new species for the year in the county...a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers flying low over the water and calling near Winsor Dam (#190).  As they flew around they were chased on several occasions by Tree Swallows.

I then headed home to get Wilson and go for a walk along the Jabish Canal where we added an unusual bird in July, an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Red-tailed Hawk, Belchertown, MA, July 22,2012

Red-tailed Hawk, Belchertown, MA, July 22,2012
At home the family of very vocal Red-tailed Hawks continue as does the large flock of Common Grackles feeding in the oaks and pines (300+ birds).  I also had an adult American Goldfinch come down and feed briefly on one of my hummingbird feeders..strange!

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