Thursday, May 1, 2014

The rain clears and the winds start coming out of the southwest.

Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 1, 2014
Double crested Cormorant, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, May 1, 2014
The rain from yesterday continued into the morning today and resulted in more migrants being grounded although I unfortunately didn't have the day off to chase all of them.  I stopped at Winsor Dam on my way in and the fog and rain made viewing tough and I didn't find anything unusual.  While at work I heard from Jacob that he had a female Surf Scoter on Paradise Pond at Smith College.  A very unusual species around here in spring (my first spring record and the first in eBird) and at a very unusual spot!  I had to go down to that area for work so I managed to get the scoter as well as a feeding flock of 120+ Chimney Swifts feeding over the amazing sight indeed!  My largest flock of Chimney Swifts I have ever had in such a small area...reminded me of White collared Swift flocks in the tropics.  The Surf Scoter became species #150 for Hampshire County this year.  It will be interesting to see how fast I can get to 200 species this year...last year I got there on May 18th.  Other notable birds around this morning included a Common Tern at Barton's Cove as well as continued Red necked Grebes up there.

I finally managed to make it out late this afternoon and spent an hour at Winsor Dam watching birds take advantage of the southwest winds with the highlights being four Common Loons, 47 Double crested Cormorants, three Great Blue Herons, six Osprey, 34 Broad winged Hawks, two Merlins, 23 Chimney Swifts, 20+ swallows of three species as well as my first Black throated Green Warbler.  After getting home I had a singing Northern Parula adding yet another new species for the year.

The winds should stay out of the southwest for at least a portion of the overnight and I expect a large influx of birds to take advantage of the improved migration conditions.  Tomorrow could be a really good day...time will tell.

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