Sunday, August 5, 2012

Red Crossbills at Quabbin Park

Sunday dawned hot and humid again with low clouds and fog in the AM with temperatures starting out at 73 at dawn.  Today I decided to hit a variety of areas around Belchertown and Quabbin.  I began my morning at Lake Wallace and then moved on to Quabbin Park before finishing the morning walking Wilson on the Belchertown Land Trust trail.  The highlight of the day was found at Quabbin Park when I heard and then saw a Red Crossbill fly near the Route 9 marsh.  The bird disappeared from view but I heard it call a few more times.  I decided to try my luck near the large pine groves of Quabbin Park where I have had Red Crossbills in the past.  After quite a bit of looking I had a pair flyover a few times and then disappear.  I was not quick enough to get any photos or video.  I presume these three birds are dispersals from the groups I found on Prescott Peninsula the last couple of weekends.   The Red Crossbill makes species #191 for Hampshire County this year. 

Mallard with ducklings, Lake Wallace, August 5, 2012
Besides the Red Crossbills I did not have anything too noteworthy.  At Lake Wallace the numbers of Mallards (118) and Wood Ducks (59) is still impressive.  I added a Black Duck for the first time at this location this season.  I'm still waiting to come across something very unusual here, maybe next time.  Lake Wallace continues to be a productive spot for waders with a single Great Egret, three Great Blue Herons and six Green Herons.  After spending quite a bit of time tracking down crossbills I moved fairly quick through the rest of Quabbin Park as it was getting busy with the weekend crowd.  Little in the way of bird song this morning but the dozen plus Eastern Wood Pewee's continue to be vocal.  Another decent bird here was a Black-billed Cuckoo.  Along the land trust trail the highlight was a group of three very vocal Broad-winged Hawks.

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