Friday, May 8, 2015

Lots of new arrivals as the first week of May ends and a new week begins

Orchard Oriole, Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River, Hadley, MA, May 8, 2015
Rose breasted Grosbeak (with leg band), Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River, Hadley, MA, May 8, 2015
Yellow rumped Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 8, 2015
A week of some of the nicest weather I have ever had for such a long period in May continues although the humidity is forecast to start increasing over the weekend.  The mornings start off cool but warm up nicely by mid morning with low humidity...perfect.  This morning I met up with Jacob before he ends his college career here. We headed over to the East Meadows for dawn to try to find some shorebirds and we managed to find a few including three Least Sandpipers, a Spotted Sandpiper and a few Killdeer.  The area looks prime to attract more shorebirds so the area is worth checking again in the near future. We also had lots of Savannah Sparrows calling as well as at least one Vesper Sparrow plus a flyby Horned Lark.   We then left the very dusty meadows and spent the majority of the rest of our time at the Silvio Conte NWR where we tried unsuccessfully to find an Upland Sandpiper reported there yesterday. Although the warbler numbers were a little lower than expected we still found a few including my first Wilson's Warbler of the season. Also half a dozen Eastern Meadowlarks and at least eight Orchard Orioles (three distinct pairs as well as two 1st summer males). We also hit a small part of Hampshire College but that area was fairly quiet. I then dropped off Jacob so he could make an appointment at UMASS and I headed back home to get Wilson. We then took a few walks but didn't find anything too unusual. I managed to find just under a hundred species today without trying too hard. The house was also productive once again as the varied habitat continues to attract lots of good stuff.  Full lists are attached below:

Windsor Dam

Hampshire College

Jabish Canal
Cooper's Hawk being mobbed by Barn Swallow, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2015
Palm Warbler, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2015
Prairie Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 7, 2015
Worm eating Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 6, 2015
The two previous days were also spent birding in the morning and the doing stuff around the house in the afternoon. Highlights yesterday included an early Common Nighthawk and Virginia Rail at the house last evening plus lots of other good stuff. Skinner State Park on Wednesday featured four Worm eating Warblers but no Cerulean Warblers (at least not yet).  Lots more highlights but much easier to just attach the lists from my main stops (lots of photos in the lists if you need an incentive to take a look).
Thursday May 7
Winsor Dam
Quabbin Park
Belchertown Land Trust trail
Covey WMA
Wednesday May 6
Silvio Conte NWR Fort River
Mitch's Way
Skinner SP
Belchertown Land Trust trail

Also a quick update on the hurricane season activity.  The first named storm of the season (subtropical storm Ana) formed on May 7 (a very early date for a named storm).  The storm is nearly stationary and looks to provide lots of rain and wind for the southern Atlantic coast but should not have any impact here in the foreseeable future.


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