Friday, May 31, 2013

Quabbin Park and more south winds

Sunrise at Gate 52, Quabbin Park, May 31, 2013

Sunrise at Gate 52, Quabbin Park, May 31, 2013
Black Bear, Quabbin Park, May 31, 2013

Today turned out to be the hottest day so far this year with a high temperature in the mid 90's. I got out early this morning (what else is new) to try to beat the heat. I decided to stay close to home with a visit to Quabbin Park and then a brief stop at gate 8 to search (in vain) for an Acadian Flycatcher. Quabbin Park was quite active with 69 species including four species of vireo, a family group of ravens, a dozen species of warblers plus many other species on territory.  On my way out of Quabbin Park I had a large Black Bear cross the entrance road to the visitors center right around 7:30am. I managed a few shots with the phone as it strolled away.

Wilson and I then took a long walk along the land trust trail before it got too hot. Still quite a bit of activity around with most birds being breeders on territory. Perhaps the only exception would be a Greater Yellowlegs in the small marsh near rt 181.  Overall for the morning I found a total of 80+ species with 
17 of those being warblers.

With today being the last day of the month I will give a quick snapshot of the month.  It was a great month for migration and I found a total of 167 species in Hampshire county alone for the month.  I will update my status in regards to my big county year in a post in the near future.

Now to look at the birding 'tea leaves' once again and see if I can try to predict some other potential for unusual birds. The next few days will feature a fairly strong and extensive flow of air out of the south (reaching all the way down to the gulf coast). The potential is there for something 'southern' to get caught up in the winds and pushed north. Perhaps a Mississippi Kite (or even a Swallow tailed Kite) or a White Pelican, a Black bellied Whistling Duck, an odd dove or who knows what else? I would be very surprised if something unusual does not show up. The southern flow will be ended by a cold front moving in late Sunday into Monday. The exact timing of that is unknown at this point but if the timing worked out right it could result in some birds being forced down until the weather improves.  Stay tuned!


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