Friday, April 3, 2015

Southerly winds bring in lots of early migrants

Common Goldeneyes, Connecticut River, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2015
With the southerly winds overnight into today I expected to see a nice influx of early migrants (waterfowl and others) and I was not disappointed.  I started off predawn at Sweet Alice Conservation Area in Amherst and quickly had 3 American Woodcocks peenting away.  I then headed over to the Connecticut River south of the Coolidge Bridge and had a total of  2 Cackling Geese, 904 Canada Geese (a reduction by over 2/3 from yesterday morning), 49 Wood Ducks, 21 Black Ducks, 231 Mallards, 10 Green winged Teal, 32 Ring necked Ducks plus a few each of Hooded and Common Mergansers.  I noticed the crew boats heading out so I decided to try to check a few other spots before they scared everything away.
Ring necked Ducks, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
Black Ducks, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
Lesser Scaup, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
Lesser Scaup (with crew boats bearing down on them), North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
American Wigeon and a Green winged Teal, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
Tree Swallows, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
I then went over to North Lane with the intention of making a quick stop before the crew boats arrived but once I got there the action was too much to walk away from so I stayed there for over an hour and a half.  I was loads of fun watching tons of birds moving past...some real migration in action!  Highlights included 3920 Canada Geese, 28 Wood Ducks, 7 American Wigeon, 48 Black Ducks, 124 Mallards, 5 Northern Pintails, 18 Green winged Teal, 94 Ring necked Ducks, 6 Lesser Scaup, 8 Bufflehead, 12 Common Goldeneyes, 23 Hooded Mergansers, 24 Common Mergansers, a Northern Rough winged Swallow, a couple Eastern Phoebes, 132 Tree Swallows and 720+ American Robins.
Common Mergansers and Ring necked Ducks, Lake Warner, Hadley, MA, Apr 3, 2014
I then continued north checking fields and other spots along the way and managed to find the following highlights: 

Lake Warner - 2 Mute Swans, 4 Wood Ducks, half a dozen Ring necked Ducks and 14 Common Mergansers plus a few Tree Swallows and another phoebe.

Connecticut River (off Huntington rd in Hadley)- 390 Canada Geese, 17 Wood Ducks, 41 Ring necked Ducks, a Bufflehead, 7 Common Goldeneye

Meadow St Fields, Hadley/Amherst- 450+ Canada Geese, 8 Killdeer, 4 Wilson's Snipe

Many other stops produced small groups of geese and mixed blackbird flocks. A total of 61 species for the day...spring is certainly here now.  A total of 15 species of waterfowl today (best day so far this season) and 17 waterfowl species this month so far.  I also added my first warbler of the season at home when I had a Pine Warbler show up.

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