Saturday, January 5, 2013

Another day in pursuit of the Gyrfalcon

Lapland Longspur, taken at first light, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Jan 5, 2013
Merlin, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Jan 5, 2013
Despite much effort on my part to try and catch up with the elusive (and becoming mythical) Gyrfalcon, I once again failed to find the bird.  On the upside (I guess) the only other report of the bird all day was a brief flyover in the AM so at least I was not in the wrong place and missing the bird while others saw it (like has happened before).  I tried to check the East Meadows but the snow made checking this great habitat impossible.  I briefly checked the Coolidge Bridge as a roost spot but found nothing.  I then made a brief run past Aqua Vitae Road finding the Vesper and Clay colored Sparrows there as well as Snow Buntings.  I spent a large portion of the rest of the morning standing atop the dike at the Honeypot.  Although no sightings of my main target I did manage Lapland Longspur, Hoary Redpoll in a large flock of Common Redpolls, a Merlin, a Northern Harrier (adult male), Cooper's and Sharpshinned Hawk, Bald Eagle, and several Red tailed Hawks (lots of raptors).  Also groups of Snow Buntings and Horned Larks and the largest number of birders I have seen around here.  With no luck by late morning I decided to try over by S. Maple St.

Rough legged Hawk, S. Maple at Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, Jan 5, 2013
South Maple Street failed to produce the falcon I was in pursuit of but I did find several more Red-tailed Hawks (one eating prey at the corner of Mill Valley and S. Maple), a Merlin and a light phase Rough-legged Hawk. 

A false alarm about the falcon found me back over at the Honeypot for another hour in the early afternoon.  Will I try for it again tomorrow or take a break?...I'll decide tomorrow.

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