Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend birding...sparrows, waterfowl, Pine Siskins and Pine Grosbeak

Bald Eagle, Quabbin Park,  Oct 7, 2012

Cooper's Hawk in fog, Arcadia Meadows, Northampton, MA, Oct 6, 2012

I had to work on Saturday but I had a little time before work so I headed to Arcadia for about an hour.  The sparrow numbers were great here and I only wish I had more time to spend and could have covered more territory.  Nothing too unusual but some nice numbers nonetheless.  The fog was fairly thick again which made viewing a bit of a challenge at times.  Here is the list from the morning:

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 2
Cooper's Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 7
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 9
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Tufted Titmouse 3
Carolina Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 4
Gray Catbird 6
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 19
American Pipit 2
Common Yellowthroat 2
Palm Warbler (Western) 2
Palm Warbler (Yellow) 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 17
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 5
Savannah Sparrow 51
Song Sparrow 116 minimun count, these guys were everywhere
Lincoln's Sparrow 5
Swamp Sparrow 9
White-throated Sparrow 105
Northern Cardinal 11
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Purple Finch 2
House Finch 5
Pine Siskin 2
American Goldfinch 19

Despite the forecast of rain by afternoon the day ended up being sunny in the morning once the fog burned off with increasing clouds through the day.  Eventually the cold front come through late in the afternoon with no rain at all.  The high topped out in the low 70's and then started dropping after the front and bottomed out in the high 30's by Sunday morning.  Right before the cold front came through we were out for a walk at Winsor Dam and saw a large group of Turkey Vultures (16) plus a few Osprey attempting to fight the wind and not succeeding very well.

Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

White winged Scoter, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Lesser Scaup, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Green winged Teal, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Red necked Grebe, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Double crested Cormorant, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Blue winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Oct 7, 2012

Bald Eagle, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

On Sunday morning I headed over to Quabbin Park with the thought of catching up with some waterfowl.  I started at Winsor Dam predawn and had Pine Siskins already flying over at 6:10am before there was hardly any light at all.  The only waterfowl here first thing were a few dozen Mallards moving south.  I then headed over to Lake Wallace to take advantage of a no hunting day to see what was around.  Little in the way of numbers here but some good stuff including at least two Blue winged Teal, several Wood Ducks and Mallards and Canada Geese.  I then headed back to Quabbin Park with stops at Route 9 marsh, Goodnough Dike, Gate 52 and Hank's Meadow.  The marsh held a fair number of Canada Geese and a handful each of Mallard and Wood Duck.  The other areas were fairly quiet but Hank's Meadow was active but most birds were quite far out.  Waterfowl here included White winged Scoter, Lesser Scaup, Green winged Teal, Black Duck, Horned Grebe, Common Loons, and a Double crested Cormorant plus a few Mallards and a flyby group of Canada Geese.  I then headed back over to Winsor Dam and had a Red necked Grebe as well as another Common Loon.  I had a total of twelve species of waterfowl for the morning and managed some photos with most being digiscoped (so you have to use a little imagination at times with some of them!).  The warbler diversity continues to drop off with the vast majority of warblers being Yellow rumped Warblers now.  Other birds of note included a couple of Northern Harriers, more Pine Siskins, lots of White throated Sparrows and the bird of the day...a Pine Grosbeak (#208) that was heard several times calling while I was at Winsor Dam.  I tried to find it (or them) but could not.  I did manage to get some video with audio on my iPhone but the quality is poor with a lot of background noise.  I have included one video below...the bird can be heard faintly in the distance but there is a lot of 'extra' noise including a talking child.  I tried again to find the bird in the afternoon but had no luck. 

American Kestrel, Quabbin Park, Oct 7, 2012

Pileated Woodpecker (with Northern Flicker below), Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Oct 7, 2012

Video with audio of Pine Grosbeak in background...poor quality with lots of background noise, Quabbin Park,Oct 7, 2012

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