Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quabbin Park on a sunny, cool morning and an Orange crowned Warbler in the yard in the afternoon

Eastern Phoebe, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 5, 2014
Cooper's Hawk, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 5, 2014
Northern Flicker, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 5, 2014
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 5, 2014
After all the rain yesterday it was nice to have such a sunny, but cool (mid 40's to start) day today. I decided to spend a few hours early in the morning exploring areas around south Quabbin before the hordes of leaf peepers made it out for the day. I started at dawn at Winsor Dam hoping to find some waterfowl but came up empty. I then made a swing through Quabbin Park with a stop at Hank's Meadow and a brief view of Goodnough Dike and then to the Route 9 marsh.  Very quiet as far as waterfowl was concerned with the only real activity at the Route 9 marsh with Wood Ducks, Mallards, a Black Duck and Canada Geese. I made a brief detour down to Beaver Lake in Ware but only a Mallard and a Canada Goose there. With the westerly winds starting to pick up I headed back to Winsor Dam where I spent over an hour in the hopes of finding some waterfowl moving. Other than a few small groups of Canada Geese moving south the only other waterfowl was a single Common Merganser and a couple Common Loons flying north. Not the day for waterfowl migration apparently, which was not too surprising given the early October date. Even without waterfowl moving, migration was evident with 430+ Blue Jays heading south as well as several species of raptors and some flyby Pine Siskins and Purple Finch.

I spent part of the afternoon catching up on chores around the yard which turned out to be a great idea. As I was cleaning the gutters I heard a distinct, metallic like short chip coming from a brushy, sun lit area of the yard. I thought it sounded like an Orange crowned Warbler but I was not 100% sure so I went looking for it. I found it in among a tangle of brush and vines and got brief looks. I ran back in to get the camera but when I came back out I could not relocate it...damn! I have spent a lot of time checking Arcadia and the Honey Pot looking for this species but I end up finding it at home..crazy! The Orange crowned Warbler becomes species #230 for Hampshire County this year and just as good it becomes yard species #158 (and warbler species #26 for the yard).

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