Monday, May 27, 2013

A sunny day produces Golden winged Warbler and Olive sided Flycatcher (A GOOD DAY!)

Olive sided Flycatcher, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
We finally got a sunny day today so I took advantage this morning and hit several areas looking for some late migrants.  I started the cold (37 degrees) morning at Winsor Dam and was going to head into Quabbin Park early but the gates were still locked so I headed over to Covey WMA instead.  On my way there I noticed several Great Blue Heron hanging out at the fish hatchery looking longingly at the fish protected by netting.  Nothing too unusual at Covey so I decided to head to new spots before the rest of the world woke up for the day.

Great Blue Heron on nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
A brief stop at Lake Wallace (mainly looking for Olive sided Flycatcher) produced lots of resident birds including a vocal Alder Flycatcher as well as a single nesting Great Blue Heron (first time I have had them nesting here). 

I then headed north to gates along the west side of Quabbin in Pelham looking for Hooded Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher.  No luck with these species but lots of other warblers around with some giving great looks.  Always fun to stand in one spot and have eight species of warbler sounding off. 

Groundhog, Quabbin Park, May 27, 2013

Mystery small white birds, Quabbin Park, May 27, 2013
White tailed Deer swimming, Quabbin Park, May 27, 2013

On my way back home I briefly stopped at Winsor Dam again and ran across the "Monday morning birding group".  The last time I caught up with this group at Winsor Dam was just after hurricane Sandy when we had lots of scoters and other ducks around.  Not much for waterfowl today except a couple Mallards.  The mammal show was unusual for this time of day with crowds around...I had two deer along the far shore, another swimming across the reservoir and a groundhog right next to the fake coyote.  Just before I left I spotted two small white birds along the west shore that I just could not figure out.  There were also at least three Spotted Sandpipers in the same area and in comparison the two white birds looked to be around the same size...too small to be gulls.  I watched them and attempted photos for several minutes but could not figure out what they were.  I looked away for a few minutes and when I looked back to where they had been I, of course, could not find them again.  Another Quabbin mystery that will likely remain unsolved.  If anyone else had some ideas on them, let me know (I have a few potential species but all would be very unusual).

I headed for home to pick up Wilson to go for a walk and we headed to the land trust trail.  The first bird I got there was a Swainson's Thrush (one of at least three along the trail).  I then heard a Golden winged Warbler song and got a brief look at the bird.  I tried and tried to find it again but no luck.  No photo as I was out walking the dog so I didn't have any camera besides my phone and I didn't get a long enough look to even try to set up a shot with that.  I also had at least two Blue winged Warblers in the area with one giving an odd variant of the blue winged song. The Golden winged Warbler is a very rare species around here now and I have only had three (including today) in the county ever.  This became species #207.

Olive sided Flycatcher, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
Olive sided Flycatcher, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
Common Nighthawk, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
Common Nighthawk, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
'Traills' Flycatcher, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
Common Nighthawk, Belchertown, MA, May 27, 2013
I spent the entire afternoon at home and had the Griffith's come over for a cookout and among the many species around the yard we had 14+ Common Nighthawks calling and feeding overhead, a Willow Flycatcher, a Blackpoll Warbler, and an Olive sided Flycatcher (#208).  There certainly were migrants still around with Blackpoll Warblers heard at several locations, a Northern Parula at Gate 12, Swainson's Thrushes and Golden winged Warbler at the land trust trail and an Olive sided Flycatcher at home among other likely migrants.  With winds predicted to shift around to the south the next few days perhaps a few more late season migrants will push through.


  1. Great pictures of the Olive-sided Larry!

    1. Thanks Kim...always a fun bird to catch up with!