Friday, March 15, 2013

More waterfowl but nothing unusual

Ring necked Ducks, Hadley Cove, Hadley, MA, Mar 15, 2013

Another cold morning with temperatures starting off in the lower 20’s with a breeze.  I stopped by Hadley Cove on my way to work and had a few waterfowl including two each of Wood Duck and Ring necked Duck, half a dozen Common Mergansers, 11 Black Ducks, a few Mallards and 50 or so Canada Geese.  With the rise in the water level of the river the cove has flooded quite a bit which is great for waterfowl but also makes it difficult to pick some birds out of the flooded forest.
Mallard, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 15, 2013
Ring necked Ducks, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 15, 2013
Ring necked Ducks, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 15, 2013
Hooded Merganser, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 15, 2013

In the early evening on my way home I stopped at a few fields in Hadley and Amherst to see if the groups of geese were still present and if there were any unusual species among the more common ones.  Oddly, I had absolutely no geese at all in the fields in North Hadley/Amherst that just a couple days before held thousands of geese.  I had little waterfowl as I checked quite a few fields.  The only real group of waterfowl I found were at the UMASS campus pond where several hundred Canada Geese and 45+ Mallards were present.  I then headed toward home and stopped at Lake Wallace and Winsor Dam.  Lake Wallace held four Ring necked Ducks, 11 Hooded Mergansers and a few each of Mallard and Canada Geese.  Winsor Dam was very quiet as the anti gull patrols continue which of course meant no waterfowl.

Yesterday I stopped briefly at Lake Wallace to check on the ice conditions there and found the entire area devoid of ice.  Even though it was late in the day and there was a strong wind I still managed to find a couple male Ring necked Ducks, a couple Mallards and a dozen Hooded Mergansers plus a kingfisher.  I’m really hopeful the lake will produce some noteworthy sightings this spring.

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