Friday, August 8, 2014

Various stops on both sides of the Connecticut River

Turkey Vultures, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, Aug 8, 2014
Turkey Vultures, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, Aug 8, 2014
Solitary Sandpiper, Hadley, MA, Aug 8, 2014
Winsor Dam at dawn, Aug 8, 2014
I spent a beautiful, fall like morning covering several areas in search of shorebirds and waders and managed to find a few plus some other stuff. I started off before dawn at Winsor Dam but it was quiet there so I headed over across the river to Arcadia but unfortunately the river was a bit too high to expose any mudflats so the only shorebirds I had there were eight Killdeer in some of the farm fields. I also had a handful of Wood Ducks and Mallards plus a single Great Blue Heron. I left Arcadia a bit before seven and headed through the East Meadows to check the conditions of the fields and see if the area held a big collection of swallows (which does occur here on occasion). Almost all the fields remain full of crops so not much in the way of shorebird habitat available in the short no big numbers of swallows in the areas I covered. Heading back across the river I then hit the Huntington Road puddle which has now dried up to the point that all the herons and shorebirds have vacated the location. A few other brief stops at North Lane Conservation Area and the Honey Pot were also quiet. Slightly more productive was a stop at a cove along the river that produced three Spotted Sandpipers, four Solitary Sandpipers and a half dozen Least Sandpipers. As I continued to work my way back toward home I stopped at the vulture roost along Moody Bridge Road and found an impressive total of at least 41 Turkey Vultures (but still no Black Vultures) plus a flyby Least Sandpiper. Certainly the largest roost of vultures I have ever seen in Hampshire County. Another stop by Winsor Dam and the nearby Route 9 marsh didn't produce anything too unusual. Overall this morning I had just the two expected species of herons, four species of shorebirds and a varied selection of other expected species.

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