Thursday, May 9, 2013

Migration heats up a bit.

Killdeer taking a bath, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, May 9, 2013

Killdeer taking a bath, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, May 9, 2013

Orchard Oriole, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, May 9, 2013
Greater Yellowlegs, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, May 9, 2013
Today was one of the first days where it really felt like spring migration was in full swing.  The day started off foggy in spots but otherwise was a mix of sun and clouds until the afternoon when some more rain showers arrived.  With the showers yesterday and some south winds I hoped some stuff would be moved and put down this morning (shorebirds, terns, etc).  I checked Winsor Dam but it was fogged in so I headed over to Arcadia where I ran into some really good birds including shorebirds, warblers and other migrants.  The first shorebirds I had were two Pectoral Sandpipers (#182) along with a Spotted Sandpiper.  I checked the rookery but nothing unusual there.  I then headed over to the old orchard area and I immediately had more birds including Blackpoll Warbler (#183) and Cape May Warbler (#184) among the nine warbler species I had there at first light.  I then checked out the mud flats at Hurlburts Pond and added Least Sandpiper (#185), Solitary Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs.  Although the birding was great there I had some info of a rare bird visiting a feeder that I had made arrangements to check out.  I cannot divulge the info on this species but suffice it to say it would have been a great bird to see.  Despite an hour and fifteen minutes looking for the bird, no luck so I headed back to Arcadia.  The consolation for spending all that time looking for a bird that didn't show was a male Ruby throated Hummingbird that became species #186 for the county this year.  I arrived back at Arcadia and the activity was still fairly high there.  A few other birders were also in the area and we all had fun sorting through the warblers and other migrants that tended to stay near the tops of the trees.  During this visit I had a total of 13 warbler species including a Worm eating Warbler.  Other notable migrants included a male Indigo Bunting (#187), a male Orchard Oriole singing over and over, a few vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and others.  The shorebirds were still showing well with a couple Greater Yellowlegs, three Solitary Sandpipers, 5 Least Sandpipers and some Killdeer still on the mud flats.  Overall for Arcadia alone I had 71 species this morning bringing the day total to around 90 without too much effort.  I had a total of 17 warbler species for the day which turned out to be my highest total so far this year.  The fog made photography difficult early on and the birds staying high in the trees many times didn't help.  A nice day to be out exploring the area to see what was around.

Double crested Cormorants migrating, Winsor Dam, May 9, 2013
On my way home I stopped at Winsor Dam for about 20 minutes and had a flock of 136 Double crested Cormorants moving northeast as well as an odd loon that was likely just a Common Loon but the distance was fairly far and the overall look just didn't look completely right.


  1. Glad it's finally happening for you. Migration has been pretty exciting here so far. All the birds you feature today are great finds! Congrats!

    1. very nice to see it getting never know what tomorrow will bring you.