Friday, May 15, 2015

Lots of good stuff today plus reports from the last week

Wilson's Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 15, 2015
Bay breasted Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 15, 2015
Sharp shinned Hawk, Quabbin Park, MA, May 15, 2015
Although I didn't intend to try to see a lot of birds today I had a great day and found a total of 123 species in Hampshire County including 27 species of warblers (16 of those in the yard!).  I also managed to break past the 200 species mark for the year today (ending the day at 203) with five new species for the day including Eastern Wood Pewee, Mourning Warbler, Alder Flycatcher, Bay breasted Warbler and Cape May Warbler.  Below are the main lists from today with lots of photos.

Mitch's Way

Skinner SP

Silvio Conte NWR-Firt River

Quabbin Park

Belchertown Land Trust trail


Winsor Dam
Common Nighthawk, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, May 15, 2015
I returned in the evening to Winsor Dam to help Devin, Rae and Aidan on the beginning of their bird a thon effort for Mass Audubon.  We had a very successful watch there with my highest count for Common Nighthawks in the spring with at least 17 individuals.  We also got Eastern Whip Poor Will there plus other good stuff.  List (with more photos) at the link below:
Winsor Dam (evening stop)

The remainder of the week this week I managed to get out just a bit before work everyday during which I found several new species for the year. Monday and Tuesday were both warm mornings with a high number of mosquitoes at every stop but the next two mornings were much cooler with temperatures in the 30's. Monday I stopped in the East Meadows looking for shorebirds in the quickly shrinking mudflat and turned up a Semipalmated Plover, 5 Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Solitary Sandpiper, a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Least Sandpiper plus a continued singing Vesper Sparrow. My next stop was over to Arcadia where I found at least three Tennessee Warblers in the flowering apple trees as well as other warblers plus a Grasshopper Sparrow calling from a fog enshrouded field. I would have stayed longer at Arcadia but the mosquitoes were as bad as I have seen around here. Tuesday I stopped at Silvio Conte NWR -Fort River where I turned up a Yellow billed Cuckoo and a Yellow bellied Flycatcher which were both new for the year. On Wednesday I intended on stopping again at Silvio Conte NWR but the wind was too strong so I instead headed over to the Connecticut River in Hadley looking for shorebirds and had a Semipalmated Sandpiper (new for the year) plus a Killdeer, four Spotted Sandpipers, 5 Solitary Sandpipers and 3 Least Sandpipers. I heard a report during the day of a Cerulean Warbler at Quabbin Park in the same general area I have had them in the past. I stopped at the park on my way home but struck out on the Cerulean Warbler but did find lots of other resident birds still in song in the early evening.  Even without the odd warbler around I did find a new species when an Olive sided Flycatcher was seen dwelling among the other more expected species. Thursday found me hitting Silvio Conte NWR again as well as the river. Nothing new at either location but still a decent number of species around despite the cold temperatures. Sadly the river levels had risen a bit from Wednesday so less sandbars and muddy edge for shorebirds to be feeding on. Overall I managed to find a total of seven new species during the week (three species of flycatcher, two species of shorebird, a cuckoo and a sparrow). 

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