Thursday, September 20, 2012

Orchard Hill, Skinner State Park and a new yard bird

American Redstart, Orchard Hill UMASS Amherst, Sept 20, 2012

Radar image capture from 10:00 pm last night, Sept 19
Another good migration day today with a influx of a variety of species. I did some listening last night for about 45 minutes for flight calls of nocturnal migrants. Although the radar showed a lot of movement the number of birds that could be heard was fairly low. I had one Gray cheeked Thrush (county year bird #206 and yard species #147), a couple Swainson's Thrush and a dozen plus warblers of species unknown.
Black throated Green Warbler, Orchard Hill UMASS Amherst, Sept 20, 2012
American Redstart, Orchard Hill UMASS Amherst, Sept 20, 2012

Swamp Sparrow, Orchard Hill UMASS Amherst, Sept 20, 2012

This morning I started out before dawn on Orchard Hill with Ian Davies. It got fairly busy after the sun started hitting the trees and warming everything up from our night time low in the high 30's. There were many highlights such as Tennessee Warbler, many Northern Parula, a few Scarlet Tanager, a couple hummingbirds, Wood Thrush, and many Eastern Phoebe's. There were many other good birds around.  Here is the eBird list:

Great Egrets (five of six viewed from summit Skinner SP), Hadley, MA, Sept 20, 2012
Scope view of kettle of Broad winged Hawks, Skinner SP,Hadley, MA, Sept 20, 2012
Ian had to go to class fairly early so we parted ways and I birded a bit longer there with another UMASS student before he to ad to go to class.  It started to slow down a bit so I decided to head out and ended up going up to Skinner SP to do a little hawk watching for about an hour. There were a few small kettles of Broad winged Hawks totalling about 70 birds moving as well as a handful of other raptor species. I had some other notable birds viewed from there including a group of six Great Egrets in the Connecticut River, five Common Mergansers loafing on a sandbar and some warblers and juncos moving along the ridge. There was a fairly impressive flight of Blue Jays in evidence both here and elsewhere today.

Wilson enjoying his walk

Once I got home midday I picked up Wilson and we headed to Jabish Canal for a long walk. We had about 100 Broad winged Hawks in a few large kettles moving by a distance away. There were a number of Eastern Phoebes around as well as a mixed species flock.

In the yard today I had a Ruby throated Hummingbird and a Swainson's Thrush as highlights.

With the ongoing fall migration moving along rapidly the upcoming winter season approaches and with it comes the potential for irruptive species.  As mentioned previously Red Crossbills and Red breasted Nuthatch's are in the midst of an irruptive event here.  What other species may follow?  Here is a link to the annual finch report from Quebec that can give some indication of what species may move this way this winter.

It could be a good year for several species...time will tell.


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