Friday, August 22, 2014

Black Tern at Winsor Dam and other stuff

Winsor Dam (somewhere in this photo is a very distant Black Tern!), Aug 22, 2014
I thought today looked great to produce a Black Tern and after a bit of effort early in the morning that was unproductive another stop later in the morning finally produced one.  The bird was quite distant and was tough to keep in view as the lighting and distance made following it tough.  I watched it on and off for about a half hour as it flew back in forth near the boat launch area occasionally picking items off the surface of the water.  The bird was way too distant to get any photos or video despite some effort on my part.  I heard a report of another Black Tern seen to the east at Wachusetts Reservoir earlier in the morning.  Late August with a northerly wind and rainy/showery weather seems to produce this species on occasion but certainly not every year (my last one was in 2012).  All of my Hampshire County records have been from south Quabbin between the dates of Aug 22-28.  The Black Tern becomes species #219 for Hampshire County this year.
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 22, 2014
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 22, 2014
Common Loon, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 22, 2014
Looking north toward shaft 12, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 22, 2014
Before finding the Black Tern I spent a few hours this morning hitting Winsor Dam, Lake Wallace and other spots within Quabbin Park.  Highlights beyond the above mentioned tern included the following:  A Merlin at Winsor Dam, 61 Wood Ducks, four Green Herons and a couple Common Nighthawks at Lake Wallace, an early Ruby crowned Kinglet (in a mixed species flock), eight species of warblers and a couple Common Loons at Quabbin Park.  A total of 61 species over the course of the morning was fairly respectable given the cool, cloudy weather with occasional rain showers.

The tropics continue to have some activity but many more questions than answers at this point regarding the current system in the Caribbean.  I will update this weekend as more info comes in and the strength and track come into better focus.  Suffice it to say the system needs to be watched but the chances of an impact here are quite low (but possible) at this point.


  1. Told ya you'd turn one up! Interesting that there was one at Wachusett as well. (Posted by Ed Kittredge)

    1. You certainly did! The conditions were right for some to show up and I was happy to b able to catch up with one.