Sunday, September 8, 2013

Search for shorebirds in the species #222

Bobolink, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Although I didn't think there would be quite enough rain overnight to force down migrants (shorebirds) I nevertheless decided to try my luck at various spots checking for them anyway. Looking at the rainfall summary from overnight did show a little rain but probably not enough. I started off at Arcadia before dawn and scanned through the marsh a few times but only managed to find a single Solitary Sandpiper (an appropriate species for a lone shorebird).  I debated on spending the rest of my time at the Arcadia meadows (looking for a CT warbler or an odd sparrow) but instead decided to head to the East Meadows to check the fields there. 
East Meadows at dawn, Sep 8, 2013
Despite scanning several fields at the East Meadows I could only turn up a half dozen Killdeer and a flyby Least Sandpiper. Also had a couple Horned Larks there as well as several flyover Bobolinks.
American Wigeon, Hadley, Sep 8, 2013
American Wigeon, Hadley, Sep 8, 2013
American Wigeon, Hadley, Sep 8, 2013

My next stop was along the Connecticut River in Hadley where I have had some shorebirds lately but the water was up ever so slightly and, alas, the only shorebird was a Spotted Sandpiper. However a scan through the fifteen ducks present turned up a somewhat early American Wigeon. After watching them for several minutes part of the group flushed, including the wigeon which gave me some great views of the bird in flight confirming it was not anything more unusual than an American Wigeon.
Common Yellowthroat, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Vesper Sparrow, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Bobolink, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Bobolink, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Indigo Bunting, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
American Golden Plovers in flight, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013

American Golden Plover, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
American Golden Plover (with Killdeer), Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
Northern Harrier, Honeypot, Sep 8, 2013
My final stop of the morning was over to the Honeypot where I scanned the various fields and turned up a handful of shorebirds plus other birds. The shorebird totals included eight American Golden Plovers (five in one group and three in another), a flyover Greater Yellowlegs, six Killdeer and five Least Sandpipers. Lots of swallows and Bobolinks still around. Other notable birds included six raptor species (including four Northern Harriers, a Merlin and a Peregrine Falcon), at least16 Indigo Buntings, a Vesper Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow which became species #222 for Hampshire County this year. I missed this species in the spring so I was happy to get one already this fall. I searched for but never found a Connecticut Warbler today....perhaps tomorrow?
Wilson watching vultures
Once I got home I picked up Wilson and we went for a walk along Jabish Canal.  Fairly quiet as far as birds go as it had gotten a bit breezy.  Wilson did pick out a few vultures coming by...his day late observation of International Vulture Day (yup...its a real thing).

With the north winds tonight I would suspect tomorrow will be a good day to be out. Tonight should feature quite a bit of movement with (hopefully) lots of nocturnal flight calls. I will be out listening to see if I can hear anything interesting. Speaking of calls at night I have had Barred and Great Horned Owls calling at the house over the last week and had an Eastern Screech Owl calling yesterday at the Honeypot. Perhaps I will try my luck in finding a saw whet owl sometime soon.

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