Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy birding

Bufflehead, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Oct 29, 2012

Bufflehead, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Oct 29, 2012

View from Winsor Dam early morning, Oct 29, 2012

The storm has finally started to have an impact here.  Although the storm is still forecast to make landfall tonight along the southern New Jersey coast we will be effected by it in the form of some strong winds.  I started the morning at Winsor Dam with Ian Davies and Keenan Yakola and we had a few birds including two Long tailed Ducks, 15 Bufflehead, a few Common Loons and a number of Ring billed Gulls.  They stayed through 9:30 or so and then they departed and  I headed for home for a little while too.  I returned to Winsor Dam around 10:30 and stayed through noon and added a Double crested Cormorant plus one group of Bufflehead.  The winds continued to pick up from the northeast during the morning with sustained winds around 25 with gusts above 40 MPH.  The visibility was quite variable depending on the amount of rain coming down.  Overall the morning was rather uneventful birdwise but the conditions were not optimal for producing great numbers of odd birds.  I did see a report from yesterday from Tom Pirro at north Quabbin of a Common Eider (VERY unusual inland) so the potential is there for good stuff to show.  The coastal areas of Massachusetts have been seeing impressive numbers of sea birds being pushed in close to shore.  Perhaps some will make it inland to Quabbin?  I will be out checking as conditions allow and I will update as I can depending on if the power stays on.

View from Winsor Dam early afternoon, Oct 29, 2012

Windfield map as of 11am, Oct 29, 2012

Projected path as of 2pm, Oct 29, 2012
I returned to Winsor Dam early this afternoon and found the winds and rain had increased even more which made viewing quite difficult and limited the birds seen to a single Ring billed Gull in an hour of watching!  The time of landfall in New Jersey is suppose to be around 6pm tonight so we should continue with strong winds here for the next several hours. 

View late in afternoon, Oct 29, 2012
Another stop later in the afternoon was equally unproductive with only one bird seen in a half hour...a Ring billed Gull.  The winds were really strong and the rain heavy so yet again, viewing was quite difficult.  Hopefully tomorrow morning will be productive there.

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