Sunday, March 8, 2015

A slightly warmer weekend with some birds around including an odd Cedar Waxwing with half of its tail tip yellow and the other half orange

Cedar Waxwing with one orange and one yellow tipped tail feather, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 7, 2015
Cedar Waxwings (bird on left with one orange and one yellow tipped tail feather), Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 7, 2015
Cedar Waxwings (bird on left with one orange and one yellow tipped tail feather), Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 7, 2015
American Robin, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 7, 2015
Although far from warm the weekend at least featured some seasonal temperatures for a change with the high today making it up to around 40.  I stayed around the south Quabbin area for the weekend and found some birds but it is still largely a frozen wasteland.  The highlights from yesterday included a group of 19 Cedar Waxwings at the Quabbin HQ building including a unique individual with half of its tail tip the typical yellow and the other half orange...very odd.  I also had the eagles at their nest at Quabbin plus a first of the season Turkey Vulture over Belchertown in the afternoon.
Eastern Coyotes crossing the ice, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 8, 2015
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Mar 8, 2015
Highlights from today included a larger group of Cedar Waxwings at Winsor Dam (at least 41 but no sign of the odd individual from yesterday nor any Bohemian Waxwings...yet), a flyby Sharp shinned Hawk at Winsor Dam, a Pine Siskin with 50+ goldfinches at Stop and Shop in Belchertown, three Common Redpolls at home and the following waterfowl in the Swift River- a pair of Wood Ducks, three Black Ducks, 22 Mallards, 32 Hooded Mergansers and four Common Mergansers.  Mammals today included two Eastern Coyotes crossing the solidly frozen reservoir.
Wilson enjoying the piles of snow, home, Mar 7, 2015
Wilson still seems to still be enjoying the snow...he has now taken to sitting on top of the large snowbanks and surveying his realm.


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  2. Hi Larry,

    Love your blog, discovered it a few months ago when I was looking for spots in Western Mass to shoot birds and I've been checking it frequently ever since. I'm going up to the Quabbin area next weekend (staying in Amherst with some friends) to test out two camera lenses and I was wondering if you had any suggestions or advice on good spots to go to. I know right now isn't the best time to be out birding, but I'm just looking for some birds to test the lenses so I can compare the two. The only bird I'm really hoping to see is a Bald Eagle, so if you have any suggestions for a decent spot to see them, that would be awesome. Hopefully the weather is good, as it seems like you had some pretty good luck on this trip with the warmer weather.

    Those photos of Cedar Waxwings are fantastic by the way, out of curiousity what were you shooting with?


    1. It is still fairly quiet at Quabbin but hopefully it will pick up soon. There are still a number of eagles around including the pair that can be viewed (distantly) from the HQ building. I had at least eight eagles around the dam last Sunday but nothing came in to close...with enough patience and a little luck you will get some to come by. Enfield lookout (in Quabbin Park) can also be productive for eagles...good luck and glad you enjoy the blog.

      I shoot with a Canon 7D with a 300mm lens and 1.4x digiscope with my iPhone 4S

    2. Thanks for the help,

      We went up Saturday and saw several different kinds of woodpecker, a bunch of waxwings (probably at the same tree as these photos), as well as two juveniles at Windsor Dam. After we went to the Honey Pot and spotted two adults. Overall it was a great day, the weather was nice and we saw what we went out there for. Looking forward to heading back over there again once the weather warms up.

    3. No problem...glad you had some good can only get better as it warms up