Friday, September 26, 2014

A late Common Nighthawk among many others at Arcadia

Common Nighthawk, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Common Nighthawk (as found still alive along road), Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Common Yellowthroat, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Indigo Bunting showing rufous on wing, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Indigo Bunting showing rufous on wing, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Indigo Bunting showing rufous on wing, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
House Wren, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Red eyed Vireo, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Song Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
Dawn, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 26, 2014
With beautiful weather and a day off I decided to spend the morning at Arcadia starting there before dawn and staying over four hours during which I found some 63 species with many highlights and decent numbers of various species.  The weather was just fantastic with sunny weather, a light breeze and temperatures that quickly climbed once the sun came up...comfortable in a T-shirt by 9AM at the end of September is a good day!  I have included the full list of species below.  The highlight (or perhaps lowlight) was finding a Common Nighthawk along the roadside near the large field where the Bobolinks breed in the summer.  Sadly the nighthawk was injured and was down on the ground slowly flapping its wings as I drove up the road.  I stopped and checked the bird out and moved it from the road as I tried to figure out what to do with the it.  As I sat on the side of the road with the bird for a few minutes contemplating if a wildlife rehab could help I noticed the bird stopped moving and it died there.  A closer examination of the bird revealed that it appeared to have a broken neck, likely from a strike with a car.  The bird was otherwise in perfect condition so I thought perhaps someone could use the bird for research or education so I called Dave at Arcadia (who oddly happened to be walking up the road as I called him).  After some discussion we decided I would drop the bird off at the Arcadia visitors center.  My latest date in the fall for this species I have ever had (previous latest date was Sept 17th...and I haven't seen one this year since Sept 6th).  Hopefully some good will come out of the death of this bird.  Common Nighthawks (like all nightjars) are just fascinating to me and are such unique birds.  It was impressive to see the bird up close and actually hold it in hand...always amazing how small and light the birds are.  Tough to see such a beautiful creature meet its end (especially when almost certainly human caused) but glad I was there to witness it.


Canada Goose 46    
Wood Duck 27
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 13
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Northern Harrier 1    
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 13
Mourning Dove 4
Common Nighthawk 1 Late. Seen on side of road on ground moving wings slightly. Appeared to have been hit by car. Moved bird off road where it died a couple minutes later.
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 8
Pileated Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher) 1 Silent bird
Eastern Phoebe 24 High count. Minimum
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 12    
Blue Jay 29
American Crow 12
Black-capped Chickadee 16
Tufted Titmouse 6
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
House Wren 3    
Winter Wren 1 Singing
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 13
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 95
Gray Catbird 29
Brown Thrasher 1
Northern Mockingbird 2    
European Starling 11
Cedar Waxwing 3
Nashville Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 31
American Redstart 1
Northern Parula 1
Magnolia Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Palm Warbler (Western) 6
Palm Warbler (Yellow) 3
Black-throated Green Warbler 2
warbler sp. 4 Flight calls
Chipping Sparrow 7
Field Sparrow 1 Singing
Savannah Sparrow 37    
Song Sparrow 69
Lincoln's Sparrow 7
Swamp Sparrow 15    
White-throated Sparrow 8
sparrow sp. 1
Northern Cardinal 10
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2    
Indigo Bunting 14 A few singing, one with rufous on wing that at quick glance may make you think blue grosbeak.
Bobolink 22
Red-winged Blackbird 370
American Goldfinch 14
House Sparrow 2
Jabish Canal marsh, Belchertown, MA, Sep 26, 2014
After leaving Arcadia I stopped briefly along the Connecticut River in Hadley looking for shorebirds and found four Least Sandpipers and a couple Spotted Sandpipers.  A walk along Jabish Canal with Wilson held about twenty species with the highlight being a flock of 26 Common Ravens heading east.  Not my largest flock of this species in western Massachusetts but in the top three.

Arcadia meadows at dawn, Northampton, MA, Sep 24, 2014
I tried my luck on Wednesday morning at Arcadia too trying to catch back up with the Blue Grosbeak I saw there on Tuesday but no luck.  Not really surprising as I had my camera with me this time and that almost guarantees anything unusual will stay out of sight!  Still good stuff around the small area I covered near the Ibis Pool including a somewhat late Warbling Vireo, a Northern Waterthrush that flushed from the Ibis Pool and then perched in a tree, six species of warblers and five species of sparrow plus a few Indigo Buntings and Bobolinks still hanging around.

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