Winsor Dam late in day when it calmed down a little, May 25, 2013
Cliff Swallow, Gate 52 at Quabbin Park, May 25, 2013
I didn't have high expectations for birding this morning and I therefore was not disappointed! The day started out cloudy, breezy with drizzle and temperatures in the mid 40's and about the only change during the day was heavier rain and stronger winds. The winds were out of the north at 10-20 MPH with higher gusts....especially at Winsor Dam. The overall feel for the day was more like later October than the end of May. I headed over to Quabbin Park with a few stops as I tried to get in a little time out of the car to see what might be around. Winsor Dam looked more like the ocean with white caps and tough viewing conditions. Some parts of the park were somewhat shielded from the wind and I found a few birds including 14 species of warbler. I noticed groups of swallows using wind protected areas trying to feed. Weather conditions like this can be tough for species like swallows but hopefully they will find enough to eat and enough to feed their nestlings. I ended my morning birding excursion by just after 7am when the heavier rain started. During the day at home I had a few notable birds including a singing Swainson's Thrush and Blackpoll Warbler. Later in the day and into the evening I made return trips to Quabbin Park and Winsor Dam in search of anything brought down by the storm (mainly terns). No luck with terns here today (Marshall I. had both Arctic and Black Tern in Pittsfield so terns were around). I did find a feeding flock of swallows numbering 90+ birds of all five expected species feeding in the cove at Gate 52 in the evening. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.