Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day birding

Northern Waterthrush, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sept 3, 2012

Northern Waterthrush, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sept 3, 2012
I got up early today so I decided to travel over to Arcadia in Northampton arriving there just before dawn. I first started at the marsh but other than a couple Wood Ducks and a Great Blue Heron it was quiet there.  No mud flats visible at all.  It was a bit cool with temperatures in the 50's and a low fog hanging around the area. I then went over to the meadows area and walked for a couple hours. It was surprisingly quiet in many areas with few obvious migrants around. There were however a few good birds to be had today with the best being a heard and then seen Dickcissel that landed somewhere along the old trolley line. Despite a bit of effort I was never able to relocate it. There were very few warblers (only three species) around but I did manage to get good looks at a Northern Waterthrush that flushed out of one of the fields.  Although slow today the fields and hedgerows look primed for some great sparrow activity a little later in the fall.

Northern Harrier in field, East Meadows, Northampton, Sept 3, 2012

I then decided to take a ride through the east meadows to see if any shorebirds were around and check on the fields to see which ones have been harvested.  Little luck with shorebirds today in the East Meadows (a Least Sandpiper and a few Killdeer) but still some birds around with several flyover Bobolinks, Yellow Warbler, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon and American Kestrel as well as several Savannah Sparrows plus flyover Bobolinks and a little over a dozen Barn Swallows feeding low over the corn fields.   Although the east meadows were fairly quiet there are several fields that may prove productive if the predicted heavy rain in the next few days pans out. Time will tell.

I then headed for home stopping along Moody Bridge Road in Hadley to try my luck once again with Black Vultures...yet again no luck for me with them!

Once I got home we took Wilson for a walk along the Jabish Brook with the best bird being a somewhat cooperative Olive-sided Flycatcher working its way around a large marsh. There was also a jay giving a perfect imitation of a Cooper's Hawk.  After midday I decided to take advantage of the continued good weather and went for an afternoon walk at Gate 10 at Quabbin as well as a walk at the Reed Conservation area in Belchertown. Again a lot of very quiet areas with pockets of activity. At Gate 10 there was a Tennessee Warbler among a few other common warblers in a mixed flock. At the Reed Conservation area I had a mixed flock which contained a half dozen warbler species as well as three species of vireo (Red-eyed,Blue-headed and Yellow-throated). 

Finally a productive nighthawk watch tonight with a total of 36 birds feeding fairly low over the trees.  No birds until just before 7pm.


  1. You are so into it. The passion. You could be talking about checkers and I would applaud you.

  2. You got to have a passion...I'm not sure I could make checkers sound as good as my birding time!