Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A couple early mornings

Common Loon, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 3, 2014
Common Loons, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 3, 2014
With the change of the clocks and dawn coming an hour earlier (and my inability to sleep) I was able to make it out a little before work this morning with very brief stops at Winsor Dam, the UMASS campus pond, Lake Warner and Hadley Cove.  Winsor Dam was quiet save for a Common Loon.  The UMASS campus pond featured just a small group of geese plus the usual expected Mallards plus a Great Blue Heron.  Lake Warner featured the biggest gathering of geese with 402 Canada Geese (sadly no unusual geese in among them).  Other waterfowl there included three Mute Swans, a Black Duck and five Mallards.  The area around Hadley Cove featured some geese in the air moving northwest and 19 Black Ducks, 74 Mallards and a couple Hooded Mergansers. 

Yesterday I made stops at Winsor Dam, the Route 9 marsh and Hank’s Meadow in the early morning before work.  I hoped that the northerly winds continued to push waterfowl in overnight and I did find some stuff but nothing extreme and less than I expected. A couple of stops at Winsor Dam produced 21 Canada Geese moving west, two Black Ducks, five Mallards, three Bufflehead, a pair of Common Goldeneyes and a Common Loon. The marsh produced another 32 Canada Geese, four Wood Ducks, half a dozen Black Ducks, a couple hybrid Mallards x Black Ducks, four Mallards, two Green winged Teal and nine Hooded Mergansers. After the gates finally opened up I made it to Hank’s Meadow and had 37 Canada Geese flying by, a lone Black Duck (most had likely already left the roost by the time I arrived), a pair of Mallards and a pair of Hooded Mergansers plus five Horned Grebes. A total of eleven species of waterfowl is good but low considering the conditions over the last few days. 
A stop late in the day back at Quabbin produced some waterfowl including four Bufflehead way out at Winsor Dam and a total of 16 Common Loons, five Horned Grebes and four Black Ducks between Hank's Meadow and Goodnough Dike. 

As mentioned in a previous post the potential for Cave Swallows to show up here exists whenever there is a sustained southerly flow out of the deep south into the Great Lakes and the east.  The last set up last week eventually produced just a few Cave Swallows in Cape May but this next set of days with southerly winds will likely result in many more reports.  Worth keeping an eye out for any late season swallows that likely would be this species.  Other western birds may also show up with these conditions so expect the unexpected I guess.  There is also still the chance of northern birds being discovered that were pushed in over the weekend when the winds were so strong out of the north.    More info can be found on the Birdcast website: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-31-october-7-november-2014/
Recent sightings from others today included a Gray Jay found at Gate 41 at Quabbin and a Townsend's Solitaire out on the coast so unusual birds are showing up.

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