Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another day looking for waterfowl

Wood Ducks, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Mar 10, 2013
Dawn along East Hadley Road, Hadley, MA, Mar 10, 2013
Sunday provided yet another sunny day with temperatures above normal, eventually reaching into the 50's.  I decided to try my luck once again looking for waterfowl.  With the change of the clocks sunrise is now an hour later so I took the opportunity to try to catch up with some owls and/or woodcocks before sunrise.  I had a screech owl calling at Atkins Farm but had no luck with woodcocks at a variety of locations.  Lots of early morning bird song certainly provided a glimpse of spring to come.

Wood Ducks, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Mar 10, 2013
I checked for waterfowl along the Connecticut River, at the oxbow and at Arcadia.  Some of the areas I usually have waterfowl in were frozen over at first light.  Despite some areas not having much the Connecticut River held 120+ Mallards, a few Black Ducks, 14 Common Mergansers and a few Canada Geese. 

At Arcadia/Oxbow I had three Wood Ducks, a Hooded Merganser, 32 Common Mergansers, a Black Duck, 29 Mallards and 391 Canada Geese.  I also stopped briefly at the thicket near the airport to try to find the reported White crowned Sparrow but had no luck with it.  I did have eleven Savannah Sparrows as well as nearly 100 Canada Geese heading east.

A return stop at Hadley Cove produced no waterfowl besides some flyover Canada Geese but did produce a singing White crowned Sparrow (species #96 for the county year) plus a few White throated Sparrows.

Ring necked Ducks, Quabbin Park, Mar 10, 2013
Quabbin Park also had some waterfowl present with eight Ring necked Ducks (all males) and eight Common Mergansers as well as a few flyby Canada Geese and Mallards.  The American Crow movement I saw yesterday continued today with a 35 vigil at Winsor Dam producing 177  I also had crows moving northeast while at home and while walking Wilson along the Jabish Canal.

I tried my luck in the evening at Covey WMA and Quabbin HQ to try to catch up with a woodcock but no luck again.  Perhaps there is still just too much snow here?  The only birds I had were a few heard only Canada Geese flying by.

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