Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning along the Connecticut River

Ring necked Duck, Connecticut River, Northampton, MA, Jan 27, 2013
Canada Geese (one with neck tag "18MA"), Connecticut River, Northampton, MA, Jan 27, 2013
Although I have resigned myself to never finding the mythical Gyrfalcon I did occasionally glance around while out and about in the hopes that it would finally show itself.  The Gyrfalcon has a history of being found on Sundays (don't ask me why) and it was indeed seen this afternoon.  As per usual it was not seen by me.  I did manage to find some interesting birds in the few hours I had available this morning.  I started at dawn below the Holyoke Dam and had a nice assortment of waterfowl including 16 Common Goldeneye, a few Black Ducks, almost three hundred Canada Geese, three Mute Swans, 40+ Mallards, five Hooded Mergansers and almost fifty Common Mergansers.  Among the small assortment of gulls that came in a little after seven were all three expected species.  There was also a kingfisher working the area below the dam.  Among the goldeneyes one female looked a lot like a Barrows but the light was terrible for viewing and the heat shimmer didn't help. The head appeared more like Barrows then the surrounding Common Goldeneyes and there appeared to be more yellow on the bill but the look was just not good enough. Once the light got better I was unable to relocate the bird.

I next headed upriver to Northampton stopping back over in the East Meadows to scan the nearly frozen river for waterfowl.  A male Ring necked Duck was in one of the few open spots of water as were around 20 Common Mergansers, a few Mallards and 1068 (at least) Canada Geese.  Among the Canada Geese were two with yellow neck tags.  The one I could read was "18MA" and I have sent in this information and I will update the background on the bird when I get the info.  Brief stops along Aqua Vitae Road, the Honeypot and South Maple Street did not produce anything too noteworthy.

Both in the morning and evening I had Great Horned Owls hooting here at home.  Hopefully some additional owl species will join them soon.

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