Saturday, August 31, 2013

Last day of August birding and my county totals so far this year

Great Blue Heron, Lake Wallace, Aug 31, 2013
Great Egret #1, Lake Wallace, Aug 31, 2013
Great Egret #2, Lake Wallace, Aug 31, 2013
Great Egret #3, Lake Wallace, Aug 31, 2013
I dodged occasional rain showers this morning as I check a few local spots. I started off at Lake Wallace and found some decent birds in the predawn light before a downpour forced me back to the car. I had three Great Egrets, five Green Herons, around 30 Wood Ducks and other typical birds at the lake plus 20 Killdeer on the nearby fields. 
Common Loon, Quabbin Park, Aug 31, 2013
Gate 52, Quabbin Park, Aug 31, 2013
I then headed over to Quabbin Park where I started and ended at Winsor Dam with additional stops around the park. Nothing too unusual but had nice looks at a pair of Common Loons, a couple of flyby peeps that were probably Least Sandpipers and a few birds still vocalizing with most of those being Eastern Wood Pewees and Red eyed Vireos.  The water level continues to drop down but not nearly as low as it was in June but at least there is now some exposed shoreline to entice some shorebirds.
I then went for a walk along the land trust trail with Wilson and the most notable bird was one I was never able to actually find and identifiy.  As we walked past a marsh I heard an odd wren chattering.  I was able to get looks at a House Wren but the other bird was still chattering.  It sounded a bit off for a House Wren and I was thinking possibly Marsh Wren but the bird then got quiet and I was unable to convince the bird to show itself.  It may have been just an odd sounding House Wren but I just don't know.  I'll have to keep looking for a Marsh Wren I guess!
With August coming to a close I will take a look at where I am now in regards to trying to beat my previous best Hampshire County year and what birds I still need.  As of now I stand at 219 going into September as I chase my old record of 228.  Although the record seems within reach my total as of now reflects a lot of good birds I got in spring that I normally have to wait until fall to find.  At the end of August last year my total stood at 194. 
Here are some of the birds I still need to get and the probability of finding them (I'm only listing species I have seen previously in Hampshire County...many others are possible as vagrants).  If anyone comes across any of these (or something even more unusual) please let me know so I can see if I can add it.  I will use “1” for likely, “2” as possible, “3” unlikely but still possible, “4” as nearly impossible and “5” as ‘not unless a hurricane hits’ or I get REALLY lucky. 
Waterfowl: Brant (2), Tundra Swan (3), Trumpeter Swan (4), Eurasian Wigeon (4), Northern Shoveler (3), Redhead (3), Surf Scoter (1), Barrow’s Goldeneye (3), Great Cormorant (3)
Wading birds: Least Bittern (4),  Snowy Egret (3), Little Blue Heron (4), Tricolored Heron(4),
aptors: Golden Eagle (3)
Marsh birds: Common Gallinule (4), American Coot (3)
Shorebirds: American Golden Plover (3), Upland Sandpiper (4), Whimbrel (4-5), Hudsonian Godwit (4-5), Ruddy Turnstone (3), Baird’s Sandpiper (3), Dunlin (3), Buff breasted Sandpiper (3), Wilson’s Phalarope (4-5), Red Phalarope (4-5)
Gulls and Terns: Black legged Kittiwake (5), Lesser Black backed Gull (3), Glaucous Gull (3), Sooty Tern (5), Caspian Tern (3), Black Tern (3), Parasitic Jaegar (5)
Owls: Long eared Owl (3), Northern Saw whet Owl (2)
Hummingbirds: Rufous Hummingbird (3), Allen’s Hummingbird (5)
Flycatchers:  Western Kingbird (4)
Wrens: Sedge Wren (4), Marsh Wren (3)
Thrushes: Gray-cheecked Thrush (2), Varied Thrush (5)
Irruptives: Bohemian Waxwing (3), Boreal Chickadee (4)
Warblers: Prothonotary Warbler (3), Orange crowned Warbler (3), Connecticut Warbler (2), Kentucky Warbler (4), Hooded Warbler (3), Yellow breasted Chat (4)
Sparrows: Lincoln’s Sparrow (1), Nelson’s Sparrow (5)
Blackbirds: Yellow headed Blackbird (4-5)
“Others”: White tailed Tropicbird (5), ???????

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