Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quabbin Park in the morning and the Honeypot in the afternoon

Downy Woodpecker, Honeypot, Hadley, MA
Savannah Sparrow, Honeypot, Hadley, MA
Common Redpoll, Honeypot, Hadley, MA
Unusual Dark eyed Junco, Honeypot, Hadley, MA
Unusual Dark eyed Junco, Honeypot, Hadley, MA

I started out my day with a trip to Quabbin Park and despite another morning of some early fog, the visibility was fairly good at most spots.  The waterfowl included at least 114 Mallards (most in cove opposite Enfield lookout), a couple Black Ducks, 7 Hooded Merganser, a few Canada Geese, a lucky 13 Horned Grebes and a couple Common Loons.  No unusual landbirds today

After a call in the early afternoon from Scott Surner telling me about a Hoary Redpoll in a large flock of redpolls at the Honeypot in Hadley. He also mentioned he had a Northern Shrike in the same area but a Merlin had moved the shrike along. As I had never seen a Hoary Redpoll and I still have not seen a Northern Shrike in the county this year, I decided to head over there.  When I arrived there were several birders just getting there as well.  We had several flyover groups of redpolls, a variety of raptors and other typical species.  I walked around several areas and turned up a few groups of Horned Larks but still no Hoary Redpoll.  Additional birders arrived and we looked in vain to find either bird.  Perhaps I will get another chance to find these before the end of the year.  I did run across a unique Dark eyed Junco that had a white strip on its wings.  I got a few marginal photos of the bird.  There were also large groups of junco in a few spots as well as a handful of Savannah and Song Sparrows.

On my way home I stopped briefly at Winsor Dam and had eight Common Mergansers (seven males) fly in and stop briefly before heading out.  No Pine Grosbeaks in the crab apples this afternoon either.

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