Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cold weather comes back after a one day break

Bald Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Bald Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Bald Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Bald Eagles on deer carcass, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Rough legged Hawk, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Canada Geese with neck tag, Connecticut River, Hadley, MA, Mar 16, 2014
Killdeer, state fish hatchery, Belchertown, MA, Mar 16, 2014
With the forecast of strong northwest winds my original plan was to stay close to home but when I got up and went outside with the Wilson the winds seemed fairly calm and I had a Great Horned Owl hooting so I decided to head a bit further afield.  I headed east toward the Connecticut River once again in the hopes of catching up with some unusual waterfowl or other early migrants. Before dawn I finally caught up with an American Woodcock near Atkins Farm despite the winds which were a bit higher over that way.  I then made several stops along the Connecticut River including North Lane Conservation Area, the Honey Pot, the CT river near the Coolidge Bridge, then over to the old Mill River, the East Meadows and then a few fields in Hadley. Overall the waterfowl numbers were a bit reduced from yesterday but I still managed to find some good stuff (or at least what I consider good stuff...good is so subjective).

North Lane Conservation Area- a Wood Duck, a couple Mallards, 24 Common Goldeneye, 4 Hooded Merganser and 4 Common Merganser.

Honey Pot- 40 Canada Geese, 2 Wood Duck, 37 Mallard, 6 Ring necked Duck, 2 Hooded Merganser, 6 Common Merganser, a couple Bald Eagles and a Rough legged Hawk.

Coolidge Bridge area- 427 Canada Geese (including a neck tagged individual with a red tag with the code "Y3R7"...I have reported the tag but the last goose I had with a red tag with a similar code came from Quebec...I will update when I get the info back    ****update**** banded goose was tagged in Varennes, Quebec on 7/3/2010), a Wood Duck, 198 Mallard, a Northern Pintail female, 11 Ring necked Duck, 4 Hooded Merganser, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Peregrine Falcons,

Old Mill River- 5 Canada Geese, 13 Wood Duck, pair of American Wigeon, 19 Black Duck, 41 Mallard, a Green winged Teal, 2 Hooded Merganser and 3 Common Merganser.

East Meadows-no real highlights here...area has limited access at this point with lots of large puddles and ice.

After my journey along the Connecticut River I headed over to Winsor Dam to check on the deer carcass (spoiler was still dead). At least half a dozen Bald Eagles were in the vicinity with up to three feeding on the carcass at any one time. It really felt like winter there again with the winds really blowing strong out of the north. A stop at the nearby fish hatchery turned up a couple Killdeer but not much else.

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