Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quabbin Park in the rain

White winged Scoters, Quabbin Park, Oct 6, 2013
White winged Scoters, Quabbin Park, Oct 6, 2013
Horned Grebe and Greater Yellowlegs, Quabbin Park, Oct 6, 2013
Greater Yellowlegs, Quabbin Park, Oct 6, 2013
The morning certainly had a fall like feel with temperatures in the high 50's with rain showers and drizzle with a little breezy out of the east.  With the occasional rain overnight I had high hopes of finding some downed waterfowl at Quabbin. I started predawn at Winsor Dam viewing through the low light and rain and found a pair of White winged Scoters but little else there so I headed into Quabbin Park with stops at Hanks Meadow, Gate 52, Goodnough Dike and the Route 9 marsh. These various stops produced the following waterfowl: nine Canada Geese (goodnough), 21 Wood Ducks (marsh), 5 Black Ducks (marsh), 37 Mallards (most Hanks Meadow with a few at the marsh), two Horned Grebes and a Double crested Cormorant. Other birds of note within the park included a couple Greater Yellowlegs at Gate 52 (fun to watch the yellowlegs and a horned grebe in the same scope view), Spotted Sandpiper and various other expected species including my first groups of juncos for the season. I then returned to Winsor Dam where I spent the next hour and a half watching the water and sky for any birds coming by. Highlights during this stop included a couple Black Ducks, a Common Loon, a couple Double crested Cormorants, a couple ravens and groups of Ring billed Gulls that I spent a lot of time trying to find something different in among them.  The weather conditions also allowed me to finally test out an addition to the scope that will allow viewing in rain and wind.  This same weather a couple weeks from now would almost certainly have produced some big numbers and or/variety of waterfowl but just a little early in the season I guess.
Green Heron, Belchertown Land Trust trail, Oct 6, 2013
A walk along the land trust trail produced a somewhat late Green Heron, a Winter Wren and a variety of other expected species in a somewhat constant rain.

After seeing more reports of unusual waterfowl likely downed by the weather out in the Berkshires (including both White winged and Surf Scoter, Red throated Loon, Northern Shoveler,etc) I headed back over to Winsor Dam a couple times to see if I could find anything new. No luck with finding anything else new but always worth the effort.

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