Monday, May 12, 2014

More migrants around Quabbin

Black and White Warbler, Quabbin Park, May 12, 2014
Wilson's Warbler, Quabbin Park, May 12, 2014
Red breasted Merganser, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 12, 2014
Red breasted Merganser, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 12, 2014
Winsor Dam at dawn, Quabbin Park, May 12, 2014
I took advantage of another good night of migration followed up by a sunny warm day (eventually into the mid 80's) by exploring some areas close to home. I started off predawn at Lake Wallace and was rewarded with a Sora calling with its 'kerwee' call as well as a Virginia Rail plus a couple of Spotted Sandpipers and other expected species. The Sora became species #195 for Hampshire County this year. I then headed over to Winsor Dam where I had more good stuff including a rare for May Red breasted Merganser female, three Bonaparte's Gulls in among Ring billed Gulls and four Spotted Sandpipers all together right out in front of the admin building. I only had a few hours before I had to be home so I headed into Quabbin Park in search of migrants and hopefully some luck with the previously reported Hooded Warbler (no HOWA there today...perhaps long gone at this point). The park featured lots of migrants plus even more resident birds. Although I have included the entire eBird list below highlights included three Eastern Wood Pewees, four species of vireo, 19 species of warbler including the continued Cerulean Warbler as well as three Wilson's Warblers, a Lincoln's Sparrow and lots of other stuff. I also made a quick run up to gate 12 and had the typical species there. A very brief stop at the Packardville Road marsh turned up two singing Canada Warblers (#196) among other stuff.
Lake Wallace:
Winsor Dam
Quabbin Park
Quabbin Gate 12

Wilson and I then went on a couple of long walks and ran across more stuff but nothing out of the ordinary.  We were both tired and hot by the really had a feel of summer today.

The rest of the afternoon was spent around the house and the bird activity continued with about 45 species total with lots of orioles, catbird, hummingbirds, warblers, etc around.  I also managed to add yet another new species for the county this year (#197) when I had a Common Nighthawk fly by a little after seven heading east.  My earliest date at the house by a day and my second earliest in the county (previous best was May 9, 2012 at Quabbin Gate 5).  This puts me within three birds of 200 for the year in Hampshire County which puts my recently realized goal of reaching 200 before May 15th well within reach...just an interesting goal to try to reach.  Last years record setting total is still quite a distance away and unlikely to be reached for a variety of reasons but you never know.  I didn't reach the 200 mark until May 18th last year.
Now to look into the future a bit for the remainder of the week into next weekend.  The whole weather/birding mix could get interesting from midweek on as the winds continue out of the south but we have rain showers and storms predicted on and off through the period.  Timing will be the big factor if the rain hits at a time when migrants are in the air and then are forced down due to the bad weather.  Given the time of year and number of birds moving the chances are there of something unusual turning up.  Possibilities would include some late waterfowl, terns, perhaps some gulls and shorebirds including phalaropes and of course with just the right conditions passerines in large numbers.  I will hopefully add more info as the weather develops and it becomes a little clearer on what day or days might be the best.

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