Friday, October 24, 2014

Areas around Quabbin Park after the storm

Common Loon, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 24, 2014
Northern Harrier, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 24, 2014
Spotted Sandpiper, Gate 52, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 24, 2014
Red necked Grebe, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 24, 2014
Spotted Sandpiper, Hank's Meadow, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 24, 2014
Spent the morning checking out south Quabbin in search of left over birds from the nor'easter that continues to move away.  I awoke to some fairly decent rain and a continued north wind.  I started at Winsor Dam where I found nothing at all in almost twenty minutes of watching in a driving rain at first light.  I then headed into the park to try my luck and find some areas a little more sheltered from the wind.  I made stops at Hank's Meadow, Goodnough Dike and the Route 9 marsh.  The only bird I had out on the water on the reservoir was a Common Loon at Goodnough. ...strange to have only one bird on the water in late October.  The marsh was much more active with seven species of waterfowl including 30+ Canada Geese, half a dozen Wood Ducks, four Black Ducks, six Mallards, two Green winged Teal, three Hooded Mergansers and a Pied billed Grebe.  The best bird I found during this stop at Quabbin Park was a somewhat late Spotted Sandpiper at Hank's Meadow that I managed to get a few photos of.  The rain let up a bit around 7:30 so I decided to head back to Winsor Dam again where I stayed for about an hour and had some birds moving despite the continued drizzle.  The only bird out on the water was a single Red necked Grebe that flew in from the north and settled in to feed to the west of the dam.  A couple Common Loons never set down but just flew around the area before disappearing to the north.  Also had several raptors including three Northern Harriers (two together plus a single a little later). Other migrants included about 30 Blue Jays and a dozen Pine Siskins.  I then tried my luck at Beaver Lake in Ware to see if any waterfowl might be more inclined to be on a smaller body of water...found just a couple Common Mergansers there.  I then wandered back to Quabbin Park heading over to Gate 52 where I found a single Horned Grebe (third species of grebe for the morning) plus a Spotted Sandpiper...probably the same one I saw earlier in the morning at nearby Hank's Meadow but who knows for sure?  A few more stops at Winsor Dam later in the morning turned up a few more geese migrating plus a few more species of raptor but nothing unusual.
American Pipit, Valley St., Hatfield, MA, Oct 23, 2014
American Pipit, Valley St., Hatfield, MA, Oct 23, 2014
The bulk of the storm hit yesterday with heavy rain (a few inches) and strong winds.  I was unable to get out at all until very late in the day as I headed north from Northampton to Deerfield for an appointment.  I checked several fields in Hatfield into Whately and most fields were devoid of birds.  I did manage to find 45 or so American Pipits along Valley Street in Hatfield as well a a few Rusty Blackbirds mixed into small blackbird flocks in a couple locations.  The only geese I found were a group of about half a dozen flying north.  Elsewhere yesterday I heard of all three species of scoter being grounded by the storm as well as few other waterfowl species but nothing unexpected.  Really wish I could have checked Quabbin yesterday...oh well.

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