Monday, April 7, 2014

A little birding back in the valley

Red necked Grebe (with Ring necked Duck), Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Apr 7, 2014
Red necked Grebe, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Apr 7, 2014
I decided to make a quick stop at Arcadia this morning on the way to work to see if I could find some more waterfowl in the among the somewhat flooded river and oxbow. Still a bit of ice in the oxbow but it is rapidly melting. Although I only had a short time to look I turned up the following waterfowl: 18 Canada Geese, 19 Wood Duck (certainly an under count), five Black Duck, 23 Mallard, four Green winged Teal, 53 Ring necked Duck, 34 Common Merganser, a Pied billed Grebe and a Red necked Grebe (swimming in among the flooded trees with Wood Ducks and Ring necked odd sighting). Numerous phoebes were calling as well as some Killdeer flying over. With the bridge closed and my time short I didn't have the time to check on the herons, eagles or the Great Horned Owls nesting at the rookery. Another odd sighting on my way in occurred on East Hadley Road and Bay Road when I had a very small goose flying along with a small group of Canada Geese. As I was driving at the time I never got a chance to get a good look but it certainly was a very interesting looking small goose.  
Double crested Cormorant, Great Pond, Hatfield, MA, Apr 7, 2014
American Wigeon, Green winged Teal and Canada Geese, Russellville Rd, Amherst, MA
Late in the day I made a swing up through Hatfield and then down through some fields in Hadley in the hopes of finding some of the unusual geese still around (mainly a Greater White fronted Goose) but had no luck with unusual geese...although I did have a group of over 500 Canada Geese along Russellville Rd on the Hadley/Amherst line. Even though I didn't find anything too unusual I had the following birds: Great Pond- 37 Canada Geese, 14 Wood Duck, 6 Black Duck, 18 Mallard, 9 Ring necked Duck, 11 Common Merganser, a Double crested Cormorant and five Great Blue Heron. The Pilgrim Airport produced a few Black Ducks, Mallards, Green winged Teal plus a couple Great Blue Herons, 32 Killdeer, a Wilson's Snipe and 63 Horned Larks. The location looks primed for some good shorebirds if the conditions hold out for the next few weeks. A drive through various fields was fairly unproductive until I found the previously mentioned group of geese along Russellville Road which also included a couple American Wigeon, three Black Duck, four Mallard and ten Green winged Teal plus hundreds of American Robins and a several hundred bird mixed flock of blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings and grackles.
Meanwhile at home I had my first of the season Ruby crowned Kinglet. The kinglet became species #116 for Hampshire County this year...I also added two other new species today including Pied billed Grebe and Double crested Cormorant. This total puts me slightly ahead of last year at this time.

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