Friday, October 18, 2013

A morning at Quabbin Park

Common Loon, Quabbin Park, Oct 18, 2013
Common Loon, Quabbin Park, Oct 18, 2013

Common Loons, Quabbin Park, Oct 18, 2013
Green winged Teal, Quabbin Park, Oct 18, 2013
Hanks Meadow at dawn, Quabbin Park, Oct 18, 2013
With the prediction of heavy rain overnight I had high hopes of finding some waterfowl (and possibly something else) grounded by the weather.  Unfortunately most of the heavy rain moved north and west of the area.  I made my way back over to Quabbin Park and made quite a few different stops at different vantage points and found the following waterfowl over the course of the morning: 16 Wood Ducks, 32 Black Ducks, 2 Green winged Teal, 3 Common Mergansers, 10 Common Loons, a Double crested Cormorant, 9 Mallards and 37 Canada Geese plus four distant dark ducks in flight that could have been scoters but the distance was extreme and the light not great.  Besides the waterfowl I also turned up some really good stuff including an adult Northern Goshawk that was seen well for several seconds before it disappeared back into the woods. I was walking back out of the woods when I noticed some agitated crows. The goshawk then flushed and my initial thought on size alone was red tailed hawk but the structure was wrong. I got on the bird with binos and saw what it was. I tried to get the scope down and set up to get a digiscoped shot but the bird flew before I could. The crows didn't chase or directly harass the goshawk but instead stayed in the general area and made lots of agitated noises.  Certainly some raptor movement this morning with the strong northwest and then west winds with at least six Bald Eagles, several Red tailed Hawks, a few each of Cooper's and Sharpshinned Hawk plus a Peregrine Falcon that repeatedly made passes at a kingfisher forcing it over and over to dive into the water to escape.  The two disappeared from view before I could see how the chase ended.  A nice show of Ruby crowned Kinglets this morning too with dozens around.  Also had a couple each of Eastern Towhees and Blue Headed Vireos in among the other typical species seen.
Horned Grebes (L) with Black Ducks and Mallards, Quabbin Park, Oct 17, 2013
Horned Grebes, Quabbin Park, Oct 17, 2013
Yesterday morning I once again had just a short amount of time before work so I headed over to Quabbin Park in search of waterfowl.  I limited my stops to just Winsor Dam, Hanks Meadow and the Route 9 marsh.  Waterfowl found included a total of 66 Black Ducks, 7 Hooded Mergansers, 2 Common Loons, 4 Horned Grebe,  29 Mallards and 29 Canada Geese.  The low clouds and fog in spots made viewing a bit of a challenge at times but overall most areas could be viewed.  Late in the morning yesterday I got a second hand report of a possible Red necked Phalarope seen at Gate 52 in Quabbin Park around 11:30.  Another very unusual species inland that would be great to catch up with.

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