Saturday, March 9, 2013

A sunny day looking for waterfowl

Red tailed Hawk, East Meadows, Northampton, Mar 9, 2013
Today I visited a variety of areas with the main focus being waterfowl which are beginning to migrate through. I started at Hadley Cove then over to the Arcadia/oxbow area, various viewpoints along the Connecticut River in Northampton, through some of the East Meadows, over to Aqua Vitae Road, back to Hadley Cove, past East Hadley Road then over to Quabbin Park. Nothing too unusual but some nice stuff nonetheless. Hadley Cove held the typical species of Mallard, Black Duck and Canada Goose plus a few Common Mergansers.  Although the morning started off cool and breezy it eventually warmed into the mid 50's, well above the predicted high as well as well above average.
Common Mergansers with Canada Geese, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Mar 9, 2013
Killdeer, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Mar 9, 2013
Common Mergansers, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Mar 9, 2013
Arcadia held more of the same plus a Killdeer. The nearby oxbow had three Hooded Mergansers, a dozen Common Mergansers and other typical species of waterfowl. The Connecticut River produced more Mallards, Black Ducks, hybrids of Mallards and Black Ducks, four Northern Pintails, Common Mergansers and Canada Geese.
Red tailed Hawk flushed from prey, East Meadows, Northampton, Mar 9, 2013
Red tailed Hawk, East Meadows, Northampton, Mar 9, 2013
 The East Meadows had nearly 90 Horned Larks, a few Red tailed Hawks including one I flushed up while it was eating a rabbit.  I also tried once again to find the White crowned Sparrow near the airport but had no luck with it.  I did find seven Savannah Sparrows but little else in that area.

Nothing too unusual at East Hadley Rd, Aqua Vitae Road or a return stop at Hadley Cove except a kingfisher at the cove.
Hanks Meadow looking north, Quabbin Park, Mar 9, 2013
 Quabbin Park was very windy and tough to check completely due to the heavy amount of snow still present. The only waterfowl noted were 20 common Mergansers. The Bald Eagle was still sitting on its nest despite a good pile of snow in the nest along with the eagle.

Common Loon, Quabbin Park, Mar 9, 2013
In the afternoon I made a 25 minute stop at Winsor Dam and had a Common Loon, a couple Bald Eagles and 325+ American Crows steadily moving northeast.  They were still moving when I left and I can only imagine how many I could have seen with an all day vigil there.
At home this morning I also had a Great Horned Owl hooting.

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