Friday, April 19, 2013

Visit to the hilltowns produces an early Eastern Kingbird (plus other new stuff in the valley)

Long tailed Ducks, Lake Metacomet, Belchertown, MA, Apr 19, 2013
Long tailed Ducks, Lake Metacomet, Belchertown, MA, Apr 19, 2013
Long tailed Ducks, Lake Metacomet, Belchertown, MA, Apr 19, 2013
I headed out before dawn this morning to meet up with Ian and check a variety of areas. We went over to Arcadia but the area was quite flooded and fairly unproductive. We decided to take a ride up to some of the hill towns to try to catch up with an American bittern and/or Evening Grosbeak. Although we didn't find either of these two species we still managed to find some good stuff including an early Eastern Kingbird (#134) in a small marsh near the Cummington Fairgrounds. I didn't have my DSLR with me but Ian did and got some photos of the bird.  We also had a calling Virginia Rail in the same area. We made stops at Fisk Meadow WMA plus the series of wetlands in Cummington before heading to Great Pond in Hatfield. The wind really started to pick up by this point so the pond was fairly quiet. The winds for the remainder of the day continued to be strong out of the south (20 MPH sustained with gusts over 30 MPH) in advance of a cold front that is forecast to arrive tonight. It will be interesting to see what the rains associated with the front force down overnight. 
Common Goldeneye (left) with Bufflehead, Winsor Dam, Apr 19, 2013
On my way home I stopped briefly at Winsor Dam and had a Common Goldeneye in with a group of half a dozen Bufflehead plus I had a Peregrine Falcon.  Once I arrived home I picked up Wilson and we headed to the Jabish Canal. Birds of note included 54 Double created Cormorants heading northeast in a single flock, several Common Mergansers heading north as well as a Great Blue Heron. Oddly there was little raptor movement seen. As we were returning from our walk I got a message from Evan Dalton that three Long tailed Ducks were on the water at Lake Metacomet (a very unusual bird inland in spring). I was able to stop on my way home and add the Long tailed Ducks (#135) to my county list. I was able to add yet another species in the afternoon while I was home when I had a Blue headed Vireo (#136).

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