Sunday, April 27, 2014

A cool and at times rainy weekend but some great birds

Bonaparte's Gull, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Apr 26, 2014
Bonaparte's Gull, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Apr 26, 2014
Bonaparte's Gull, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Apr 26, 2014
Bufflehead, Beaver Lake, Ware, MA, Apr 26, 2014
Red necked Grebe, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, Apr 26, 2014
As predicted (I do get it right sometimes!) the rain on Friday night into Saturday downed some migrants but unfortunately the vast majority on Saturday were not at Quabbin where I was.  Other large bodies of water to the east and west featured decent numbers of both Red necked and Horned Grebes as well as Long tailed Ducks plus Bonaparte's Gulls.  I managed to make up for it a bit today at Winsor Dam when I had a flyby Red throated Loon (very rare inland in spring), at least half a dozen Common Loons (four migrating north), a Red necked Grebe, a Bonaparte's Gull and nearly a hundred swallows feeding low over the reservoir.  A check of Quabbin Park itself didn't turn up much at all.  A check of nearby Beaver Lake in Ware produced five Bufflehead.  With other obligations for the day I had to cut my time short in order to get home and take Wilson for a walk.  Beyond quite a few deer ticks we managed to see some hawk movement starting around 9:30 with almost fifty Broad winged Hawks seen as well as a few others including Osprey, Red tailed Hawk, Red shouldered Hawk and Cooper's Hawk. With the continued cool, raw weather the number of migrant passerines continues to be way below average for this time of year. 
Winsor Dam, Apr 26, 2014
The only unusual species I could turn up at south Quabbin on Saturday was a group of three Red breasted Mergansers.  I also had a couple Common Mergansers, three Common Loons and a Double crested Cormorant.  I think part of the lack of 'good stuff' at Quabbin had to do with Saturday being the start of boat fishing at Quabbin and there was a lot of activity even before sunrise.  Although the fishing boats can't come down too far south the Environmental Police boat was heading out from the dam early to babysit the fisherman to make sure they followed the rules so anything uncommon got flushed early.  I also checked Beaver Lake in Ware and had a pair of Bufflehead and a Common Merganser.  Lake Wallace was also quiet with the highlight being almost 150 swallows hunkered down against the cold, rainy weather.

The forecast for the week doesn't look great for a big push of migrants either but given the time of year the birds will just start pushing in anyway just not in big numbers until the weather pattern changes.  Although somewhat out of the area (for now) the current weather pattern has resulted in a major influx of European birds into Newfoundland with double digit counts of European Golden Plover and several Black tailed Godwits.  As the conditions that brought these species in are forecast to continue and actually become more conducive for more European birds to get impacted it is worth keeping an eye out for some unusual species especially near the coast here in New England.  Love seeing how weather and bird migration interacts.  Here are a few very interesting links regarding this event as it has developed since April 25th:

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