Sunday, December 29, 2013

No end of year luck with a Snowy Owl

Mute Swans, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Dec 29, 2013
Mute Swans, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Dec 29, 2013
Mute Swans, Honeypot, Hadley, MA, Dec 29, 2013
I got up early and hit a few spots trying in vain to find a Snowy Owl (and hopefully add to my county year total).  I checked through the East Meadows, the Honey Pot and Aqua Vitae Road as well as a few other fields in Hadley.  The East Meadows contained a few groups of Snow Buntings and Horned Larks and the nearby Connecticut River held 728 Mallards, 16 Black Ducks, 272 Canada Geese (with one small dark individual) and a female Northern Pintail.  The other field areas were also quite quiet although I did find a few pockets of sparrows in a few spots.  I did have a group of half a dozen distant swans flyby at the Honeypot on my way out that I got a few marginal photos of.  I presume them to be Mute Swans but if anyone has any other thoughts let me know.  I only had them in view for few seconds as they crossed the view as I was looking at a Red tailed Hawk and managed to get out of the car and get a few shots before they disappeared.  I only saw them at the angle in the photos and could not get a good look at the tail or legs.  The bodies on some appeared more bulky than others.  I didn't see an obviously blocky head on them but the view was brief (the photos seem to show a somewhat blocky head on a few of them but not on others). 
Winsor Dam before the rain, Dec 29, 2013
A brief stop at Winsor Dam before the rain started didn't produce anything unusual.

With the forecast for rain and some snow for tonight through tomorrow morning and work all day tomorrow and half of Tuesday my chances of adding any new species to my county list this year are becoming quite low.  You never know until the last minute so I will still be looking.

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