Friday, May 16, 2014

More new species and some weather related waterfowl

Ovenbird, Quabbin Park, May 16, 2014
Blue winged Warbler collecting nest material, Quabbin Park, May 16, 2014
Canada Geese goslings, Quabbin Park, May 16, 2014
White winged Scoters (yes..believe it or not), Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 16, 2014
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 16, 2014
With the forecast for low clouds and drizzle early and then rain later on I decided to stick close to home.  I started before dawn at Winsor Dam hoping to find something unusual brought down by the weather and I did...a group of nine White winged Scoters way out.  I attempted photos but the distance and lack of light made it tough.  I also had nine Common Mergansers which is the highest number I have had here in weeks.  I then headed into Quabbin Park for three hours seeing what I could find with my main focus being trying to find a Hooded Warbler seen there yesterday.  No luck finding it despite a lot of effort.  I didn't have any luck finding the Cerulean Warbler that has been around for several days now but the wind and the rapidly leafing out trees made it difficult.  Despite not finding these warbler I did come across a Mourning Warbler (#204) in the dense scrub between the Swift River, the spillway and the trail across from River Road in Ware.  I thought the area looked good for Mourning and I thought I heard one call.  I managed to get it to call a few more times but never showed itself.  Tough area to access to try to track it down.  A total of 17 species of warbler today with some large numbers of several species.  More details and numbers in the eBird reports.

Winsor Dam early

Quabbin Park

White winged Scoters (part of flock of eleven), Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, May 16, 2014
White winged Scoters (part of flock of eleven), Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, May 16, 2014
Barn Swallow, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, May 16, 2014
After seeing more reports of weather related birds...mainly Bonaparte's Gulls, I decided to head back over to Winsor Dam where I spent an hour hoping for something unusual to show up.  As I was getting ready to leave I noticed some waterfowl WAY out and decided to head over to gate 5 to try to get a better look.  I suspected they might be the scoters I saw early today but I had to try to confirm.  I didn't have a lot of time but made it down to the water edge in record time and scoped out a raft of 11 White winged Scoters which allowed for some distant, but identifiable photos.  A further scan produced another group of birds further out that turned out to be a flock of 13 Common Loons together.  Both of these groups of birds are certainly weather related and not totally unexpected.  It will be interesting to see if anything else shows up tomorrow morning after the heavy rain tonight.

After dinner I poked around the yard and made it down to the brook to scan the large dead trees for an Olive sided Flycatcher.  No luck with that species but instead found a Yellow bellied Flycatcher...even better!  Only my second yard record ever (last one in 2006) and my first spring record in the yard.  This species became #205 for Hampshire County this year and continued my streak of great yard birds this spring.

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