Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A little rain arrives

Mourning Cloak, Jabish Canal, Belchertown, May 8, 2013
Greater Yellowlegs (they are there!), Quabbin Park, May 8, 2013
Common Merganser, Quabbin Park, May 8, 2013
Although today was not as sunny as the last several I still managed to get quite a bit of birding in before the rain moved in. Yet another day without a huge influx of birds but more and more resident birds continue to move in as well as a handful of migrants. I started my morning off at Covey WMA where I spent some time listening at the various marshes there. I had a pumping American Bittern (they have bred here in the past but have been absent for a couple years now..nice to see at least one back) and at least Virginia Rails. I tried to find a Sora but no luck today. Not much else here out of the ordinary but many of the breeders were back on territory. After Covey I headed over to Quabbin Park where I had 14 species of warbler and all four expected species of vireo and other assorted species totaling 62 species. The most productive spot was at Gate 52 where I had five Greater Yellowlegs (#180) and a Lesser Yellowlegs (#181) feeding on some exposed mud along with a variety of waterfowl. I also had an Eastern Screech Owl trilling several times around 8am. With the reservoir lower than normal there are several areas that could harbor shorebirds during migration. To show just how dry it has been the reservoir was at 91.7% capacity as of May 1 (according to the MWRA website). This level is the lowest for May 1st going back at least until 2005 (as far as records go back on the website). Perhaps the scattered showers over the next few days will add a little to the water totals but it will take a significant period of rain to bring the reservoir back to full capacity. I checked a few other areas around the west side of Quabbin and parts of Belchertown but most areas were quiet as far as migrants go. I ended the day with 15 species of warblers but nothing really unusual and most species were in small number.  The next few days will feature occasional rain showers so no big influx likely any time soon.

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