Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lazuli Bunting in Hadley! Species #228 for the county this year

Somewhere in this field is the fifth state record of a Lazuli Bunting, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Oct 2, 2013
Yet another foggy morning in the valley found me checking out the Honeypot area before work to see what I might be able to find.  The fog was extremely thick when I arrived and after a half hour of waiting for the fog to lift I decided to head to work.  Despite the fog and limited visibility I still managed to find some decent birds including a few Indigo Buntings, 15+ American Pipits, a Vesper Sparrow, 5 Lincoln’s Sparrows and half a dozen White crowned Sparrows with some of them singing.  I knew Ian, Keenan and Ben intended to hit the area too but just a little later in the morning and I was hopefully the visibility would be better for them.  Oddly when I drove across the bridge to the other side of the river the fog had lifted and the skies were sunny just west of the honeypot. 

Around 8:15 I got a call from Ian that they had found a Lazuli Bunting in the same area I had been in earlier in the morning.  This would be only the 5th state record of this species and the second record of it in Hampshire County so I decided to take an hour of personal time and see if I could find it.  I figured if I waited the bird would be gone and I would never get a chance to see it.  I arrived there about 8:30 and refound the bid with Ian, Keenan and Ben.  The bird was in heavy molt and did not have the typical wing bar associated with this species but the other field marks for Lazuli Bunting were present.  Thanks to Ian for letting me know about this bird so I could get a chance to see it.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me so photos of the bird can be found on Ian’s Flickr page:

The Lazuli Bunting was not only a new Hampshire County bird for me (#276) but it became species number 228 for the year in the county and tied me with last year for species seen in the county in a single year.  The bunting was also a state bird for me.  A very nice bird to tie my old record with!

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