Sunday, August 24, 2014

More good birds around including a Northern Goshawk

Winsor Dam as the fog lifts, Aug 24, 2014
With the radar appearing to show quite a bit of migration last night and numerous flight calls heard when Wilson and I went out before bed I had high hopes of finding some migrants this morning when I went out. Although the forecast didn't call for fog most every area I stopped this morning had fog, sometimes very thick. I decided I would try my luck with finding some shorebirds so I headed over to Hadley stopping first along Huntington Road which still had high water levels (there must be some seriously impermeable soil here) so the only bird around was a Great Blue Heron. I then made a swing through the Honeypot but the fog made viewing difficult. I then headed across the river to check out the East Meadows and despite some areas that looked great to host some shorebirds I didn't find a single one there. Actually the only shorebird I found all morning was on my way out of the East Meadows near the fairgrounds where I had a Solitary Sandpiper on the edge of a small puddle on the paved road...weird! I then headed back across the river with a few other stops along the Connecticut River before heading over to Winsor Dam and then Quabbin Park. Nothing of note at Winsor Dam but Quabbin Park held a few mixed species flocks but nothing too unusual. With my time running short I headed home to pick up Wilson and take him for a walk before other commitments for the day. We went over to the land trust trail off route 181 and managed to find the bird of the day there when we had an immature Northern Goshawk fly past low through the second clearing before disappearing into the woods (the woods are unfortunately private property so I could not pursue the bird). My initial thoughts when I saw the bird flying past was 'that is a big big as a peregrine falcon'. I never got a good look at the head but the overall bulk and build of the bird said goshawk right away. A truly impressive species and one that never disappoints to impress. The Northern Goshawk becomes species #220 for Hampshire County this year. Nothing else too impressive along the trail but it is tough to beat a goshawk! Three cool birds in as many days! (Black Tern on Friday, a Greater Scaup yesterday and the goshawk today).  I then spent the late morning through the early afternoon up in Whately at a function where I managed to still get in a little birding when I had a Great Egret flyby heading south.

Meanwhile at home the Common Nighthawk migration continues a bit slowly with only small numbers seen at the house.  However many people have had really good numbers nearby (100's to 1000's) so perhaps the big numbers will show up here eventually.

Tropical Storm Cristobal has now formed near the Bahamas but the latest guidance shows it to be a very minimal threat to the US and is likely going to head out to sea with no landfall on the US coast. The final track can always change but it looks like this will be a miss. A few more tropical waves moving across the Atlantic could develop over time but nothing is likely to form over the next several days. Once again if things change I will post about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment