Sunday, June 9, 2013

Quabbin Gates 15 and 12

View of reservoir from end of Gate 15, June 9, 2013

Mountain Laurel blooming, Gate 15, June 9, 2013
Briggs Brook, Gate 15, June 9, 2013
Briggs Brook, Gate 15, June 9, 2013
I decided to spend this sunny morning taking a few long walks at a few gates on the west side of Quabbin primarily searching for Hooded Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher (and anything else that might show itself). I started at gate 15 around 5:30 and spent the hour and forty five minutes walking down to the water and back along Briggs Brook. No luck with my target species at this gate but did have a good number of breeding warblers singing and carrying food, a couple Winter Wrens singing and an adult Ruffed Grouse with at least seven very tiny young. Although Acadian Flycatchers traditionally have nested along the brook at gate 15 I have not had them there in a few years. They seem to have left the area after some logging was done there but hopefully they will return someday.
Beaver pond along Purgee Brook, Gate 12, June 9, 2013
Purgee Brook, Gate 12, June 9, 2013

Purgee Brook, Gate 12, June 9, 2013

My next stop was gate 12 where I walked down along Purgee Brook to the reservoir and then back. I had better luck here finding an Acadian Flycatcher along the brook on my way down. The bird would call a couple times and then go silent for long periods before calling again. I never saw the bird and was unable to get a recording as it was calling so sporadically and the running water noise was quite loud. The bird was not calling on my return trip back up the road.  The Acadian Flycatcher became species #212 on the county list this year.  Like gate 15 this area featured the typical breeding warblers in decent numbers.

For the day I managed to find 15 species of warbler, finding almost all the expected species for June around here.  Many of the birds were actively gathering food and disappearing back to hidden nests. I walked several miles this morning but didn't run across another person the entire time which seemed odd given how nice a morning it was.

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