Monday, May 5, 2014

Another cool and windy some nesting birds at home

Orchard Orioles, Silvio Conte NWR, Hadley, MA, May 5, 2014
Orchard Oriole, Silvio Conte NWR, Hadley, MA, May 5, 2014
Great Blue Heron, Arcadia, MA, May 5, 2014
Greater Yellowlegs, Old Pilgrim Airport, Hatfield, MA, May 5, 2014
With the very strong northwest winds of yesterday and the forecast for more of the same today I didn't expect to find too much new stuff arriving but figured I could catch up with the birds that made it in before the change in winds.  I decided to concentrate mainly on shorebirds early on and had some luck.  Here are the totals for shorebirds this of seven species which is fairly good for the weather conditions and the date.  Aqua Vitae Rd- a Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, 7 Solitary Sandpipers and 2 Least Sandpiper (#179 for the county this year). Arcadia- 2 Killdeer, 4 Solitary Sandpiper, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Greater Yellowlegs and 9 Wilson's Snipe. Old Pilgrim Airport- 3 Killdeer, 4 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 Wilson's Snipe and a peep flyby.  Rail trail in Amherst- a Killdeer (on the yet again exposed mudflats at Hop Brook) and two flyby Solitary Sandpipers.  I hoped to find something more unusual but no luck finding anything this morning...I guess I will have to wait for another day for all those European rarities up in Newfoundland to make it down here!  A few post updating this very interesting (at least to me) ongoing incursion can be found here:

My stops this morning included Aqua Vitae Rd, Arcadia, Old Pilgrim Airport, Silvio Conte NWR and the rail trail in Amherst.  I spent the afternoon around the house with Wilson catching up on some yard work.  Despite the cool temperatures and at times windy conditions I managed to find a total of 85 species with a lucky 13 of them warblers.  The other new species (#180) for the year in Hampshire County was a pair of Orchard Orioles at Silvio Conte NWR...always fun seeing them.
Hooded Merganser eggs in nest box, Belchertown, MA, May 5, 2014
Pine Warbler collecting Wilson fur, Belchertown, MA, May 5, 2014
Meanwhile at home I did my weekly check of the duck boxes again and found a Hooded Merganser using one of the boxes.  The nest contains at least nine eggs at this point.  This is the first time this particular box has been used in the three seasons I have had my three boxes up.  Last year I had no luck in any of the boxes and the year before I had Hooded Mergansers in a different box.  I also had a Pine Warbler collecting pieces of Wilson's fur from the walk way to use in nest building...more cool stuff.

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