Thursday, May 15, 2014

More good stuff and some upcoming heavy rain

Ruffed Grouse, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, May 15, 2014
Lincoln's Sparrow, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, May 15, 2014
Canada Goose and Hooded Merganser in tree, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, May 15, 2014
Today was my annual Mother's Day birding expedition with my mom. Although nothing extremely unusual this time we did get some great looks at some fabulous birds including her first ever look at a Ruffed Grouse...the cooperative individual that has been seen on and off along the rail trail in Amherst. We spent most of the morning out and about with visits to Silvio Conte NWR and the rail trail in Amherst as well as a quick stop at Winsor Dam. I added two new species for the county this year at Silvio Conte NWR with calling Willow Flycatcher (#202) and Alder Flycatcher (#203). Lots of other stuff around and we managed to find 19 species of warbler among about 90 species total for the morning.  The eBird lists for the morning are below.
Winsor Dam
Silvio Conte NWR
Rail trail-Amherst
Bay breasted Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 14, 2014
Bay breasted Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 14, 2014
Bay breasted Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 14, 2014
When she arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday she was treated to another great show of warblers in the yard with a total of 17 species including an amazing three Bay breasted Warblers all at the same time. I have doubled the number of Bay breasted Warblers I have seen in the yard in a matter of just a few days with one on the 10th and the three on the 14th...a banner year for this species (at least in my yard!)

Now for another bit of info about our upcoming rain starting tomorrow and ending early on Saturday.  Although the timing and date is not perfect to ground some unusual migrants the possibility is certainly there and it could well be worth the effort to get out and look at bodies of water and/or fields for grounded migrants.  Possibilities include gulls, terns, late waterfowl and shorebirds.  With continued south winds and up to 2" of rain birds could easily get pushed here and then grounded by the poor weather.  Time will tell if anything unusual shows itself but I would be surprised if nothing shows.  I know I will be out looking both tomorrow and early Saturday.

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