Saturday, February 2, 2013

Connecticut River and then Quabbin

Common Goldeneye, Quabbin Park, Feb 2, 2013
I began another cold morning at the area below the Holyoke Dam.  With the recent heavy rain and the brief warm up that melted a lot of snow, the Connecticut River had risen quite a bit with almost no ice noted in the river at all.  Quite a change from just a short time ago.  With the rise in the river the waterfowl concentration below the dam was much diminished from last week with only a few hundred Canada Geese, a dozen Common Mergansers, nine Common Goldeneye and a handful of Mallards.  Above the dam were another thirty or so Canada Geese plus half a dozen Mute Swans.  Only other bird of note in the area was a kingfisher.  I worked my way north along the river but didn't find anything too noteworthy.  I decided to bypass the areas where I knew there would be big crowds looking for the Gyrfalcon and headed over to Quabbin Park.  It was fairly quiet there too with the only waterfowl being singles of Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser.  A non bird sighting of note was a rather small Porcupine just below the rotary.  I called it a morning fairly early and headed home.
The offending sheet of ice that I fell on almost a month ago...damn you ice!  Much easier to see without snow on it!

In the afternoon I decided to try my luck along the Gate 8 road at Quabbin trying to turn up a crossbill, grosbeak or roosting owl.  I struck out on all of those despite a few miles of walking.  Only had seven species total for my time there.  The interior forests of Quabbin in the winter can be very desolate places indeed.

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