Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day birding

Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 26, 2014
Olive sided Flycatcher, Silvio Conte NWR, Hadley, MA, May 26, 2014
Olive sided Flycatcher, Silvio Conte NWR, Hadley, MA, May 26, 2014
Double crested Cormorants, Silvio Conte NWR, Hadley, MA, May 26, 2014
My plans for the morning included a trip up to Prescott Peninsula to check out my whip poor will survey route but when I got up it was raining lightlyand cool...what the hell happened to sunny and in the mid 80's? I took a quick look at the radar and noticed quite a bit of rain around so I ditched my original plan and headed over to Quabbin Park instead. I dodged rain showers on and off through the first few hours of the morning as I made various stops trying to turn up some good stuff. I also made a couple brief diversions to Lake Wallace and Covey WMA in the hopes of running across an Olive sided Flycatcher but no luck. I think the rain and cooler temperatures kept the activity a bit lower than usual and the rain didn't result in any unusual birds getting grounded (if only the rain had hit a few hours earlier). Around 8:30 or so I got a call from Bob Z. that he had a Blue Grosbeak at Silvio Conte NWR but he no longer had the bird and had just brief looks at it. As I was a distance out on one of the trails at Quabbin I decided I would probably not go after it today. As I was getting close to the car Bob called again and said he also had an Olive sided Flycatcher there too so I decided that was enough to get me to make the trip over there. I arrived there just before 9:30 and met up with Bob and we searched in vain for the grosbeak but I was able to find the Olive sided Flycatcher teed up quite a distance away. The Olive sided Flycatcher became species #212 for Hampshire County this year. Lots of other flycatchers around too as well as the continued Orchard Orioles and several species of warblers. With more rain threatening I headed back to the car and made my way back home where the rain continued through midday.

In other news the Massachusetts big day record was recently broken by a team made up of Ian Davies, Luke Seitz, Vern Laux and Peter Trimble when they reached a total of 195 species in 24 hours on May 24th. 

Ian has posted a great recounting of the day on his blog:

Glad I was able to help with the scouting of areas before the attempt and look forward to next year when I can give some assistance once again and help them reach 200 species.
Bay breasted Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 26, 2014
Among the 13 species of warbler in the yard today was my fifth Bay breasted Warbler at the house and my ninth in Hampshire County this spring....what a great spring for this species!  Also at least seventeen Common Nighthawks moving northeast including a group of 16 together at just after 5PM.

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