Sunday, August 26, 2012

Early Sunday morning...lots of swallows and the teal continue

Tree Swallows plus a few Bank Swallows, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012

Winsor Dam at dawn with fog coming over the dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 26, 2012

Sunrise at Covey WMA, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012


I tried first thing this morning for the Black Tern at Quabbin but it was not around when I was there.  There were hundreds of swallows feeding over the water with almost all of them Tree Swallows (at least 228 of them).  Also present were a couple of distant Common Loons and a Double-crested Cormorant.  I then headed over to Covey WMA with Wilson for an early morning walk.  Many Red-breasted Nuthatch's were noted here (as well as elsewhere this morning).  Nothing too unusual at Covey but there was a large roost (2000+) birds in one of the marshes which contained primarily Common Grackles and Starlings plus a few Red-winged Blackbirds.  It was an amazing sight as always to see a large flock leave a roost at once.

Hooded Merganser, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012


Tree Swallows plus a few Bank Swallows, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012
Tree Swallows plus a few Bank Swallows, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012


After I dropped off Wilson I made a stop over at Lake Wallace.  I usually do not arrive here this late in the morning (7:30) but thought I would give it a try.  There were only a handful of Wood Ducks and Mallards around compared to the larger numbers typically found at dawn.  I did find some good stuff here again inclduing a half dozen Blue-winged Teal that put in a brief appearance before disappearing back behind the reeds (presumed the same group as yesterday).  There was also a Hooded Merganser (first one in a few weeks).  The other impressive sight for the morning there were the swallows staging before migration.  Some the of the trees were just dripping with them.  The vast majority were Tree Swallows with a few dozen Banks and a handful of Barn Swallows also present.  The total number of Tree Swallows alone exceeded 680. 

video
 
Louisiana Waterthrush chipping, Home, Belchertown, MA, Aug 26, 2012


At home this morning on my way out I heard a lingering Louisiana Waterthrush down near the brook.  It was chipping constantly and sang once but I was only able to get audio of the chipping.  I would not expect the bird to be around much longer before heading south.


Atlantic overview evening Aug 26, 2012, courtesy of NOAA

Projected path of TS Isaac as of  evening Aug 26, 2012, courtesy of NOAA


A quick update on the tropics.  Tropical Storm Isaac is poised to impact the US along the gulf coast after hitting Haiti and Cuba.  The exact track and strength remain to be seen but an impact somewhere in the US looks like a near certainty.  With any luck the damage will be minimal and the potential unusual bird sightings will occur along the path. 

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