Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day birding...lots of Pine Siskins

Wild Turkeys, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012

Wild Turkeys, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012
Dawn at Hank's Meadow, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012

Sharp shinned Hawk, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012

Pine Siskin in flight (only shot I got of the large number moving by), Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012

Common Raven in fog, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012

Black Ducks, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 8, 2012
I spent early Columbus Day morning checking out areas at Quabbin Park.  There was a thick layer of fog that persisted until after 8am and made viewing a bit of a challenge.  Once the fog burned off the predicted sun never really showed up.  Nonetheless it was another very productive morning.  I started off predawn at Winsor Dam but could see nothing due to fog but I did have an American Woodcock displaying.  I then made a few stops within Quabbin Park (marsh, hanks meadow, goodnough) before doing a couple hour stationary count at Winsor Dam as I waited for the fog to lift.  Within the park itself I had little activity but still managed to find a few Common Loons, Horned Grebe, three calling Great Horned Owls, and a good movement of Pine Siskins (which continued all morning but more on that later).

My stationary count at Winsor Dam was the most productive with a total of 39 species:
The highlights included a great show of Pine Siskins with at least 121 flying by although the number is likely quite a bit higher as several times I heard them only and only counted one if that is all I could hear but there were probably more travelling together.  There is certainly a very heavy movement of this species taking place at this time.  Other notable birds included a flyover Evening Grosbeak, a scaup species (likely Lesser), a bunting species flying by (likely Indigo Bunting), four Common Loons, and two Peregrine Falcons and many others.

After Quabbin I stopped home and got Wilson and we went for a walk along the Jabish Canal and had several raptors moving through as well as a Winter Wren and other typical species.  A walk in mid afternoon at Covey WMA turned up another Winter Wren and seven species of sparrow including Lincoln's and White crowned Sparrows.

At home the Pine Siskins continued to move past throughout the day and I had at least 35+ moving by.

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