Sunday, June 7, 2015

Acadian Flycatcher at Skinner SP, nesting Cerulean Warbler and continued Common Gallinule and White eyed Vireo

Cerulean Warbler on nest, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, June 7, 2015
Acadian Flycatcher, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, June 7, 2015
Arcadia marsh at dawn, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, June 7, 2015
Ovenbird, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, June 7, 2015
The good birds continued today as I started off on a rather cool morning today (mid 40's) over at Arcadia hoping (in vain) to come across the Snowy Egret that was seen there several days ago. The water level was still quite high so no real mudflats to speak of.  Nevertheless I still found some good stuff including a half dozen Spotted Sandpipers (a group of four together flushed by an eagle and two others in another group).  I saw a post on eBird just before I left the house this morning of an Acadian Flycatcher seen at Skinner SP so after Arcadia I headed that way to see if it was still around. I heard and saw the bird and got some recordings. (video with audio here: ).
Always a nice species to catch up with around here (and one I spent a bit of time chasing yesterday....more on that below). I then hiked the rest of the way up the mountain and had lots of good stuff including both species of cuckoo, some very vocal Common Ravens, at least four Worm eating Warblers and three Cerulean Warblers including a female sitting on a nest. I also ran across Don K. near the top of the mountain trying to get some recordings of the Cerulean Warblers among others.
Common Gallinule, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
Common Gallinule, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
As it was still fairly early when I finished my walk at Skinner I decided to try again to see if the Common Gallinule was still around at Lake Wallace (the area can get busy as the morning wears on as people arrive to use the nearby fields). I ran into Scott as I arrived there and he had no luck finding the birds but mentioned Tim was still there looking for it. I then headed in and staked out my usual spot and started scanning and listening. I heard a Virginia Rail call once as well as another distant sound that sounded a lot like a King Rail but I only heard this once and it was distant so tough to say for sure what it was (call sounding like two stones being hit together). After about thirty minutes I heard the gallinule give an abbreviated call but it was still not in view. Another fifteen minutes went by before I got a brief view of a gallinule. About this time I saw Tim and waved him over and eventually we had some decent views of the bird as it moved around the marsh feeding. 
White eyed Vireo, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
White eyed Vireo, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
White eyed Vireo, Belchertown, MA, June 7, 2015
With a little more time left in the morning before I had to get back to walk Wilson I made a brief stop over to the area in Belchertown where a White eyed Vireo has been. Once I arrived I quickly found the bird again....calling like crazy and showing fairly well. I believe it is pushing toward three weeks now that the vireo has been at this spot. Also had a few Blue winged Warblers including the individual giving an odd call.  Videos of White eyed Vireo (one vido with the odd Blue winged Warbler calling in background) here:
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 6, 2015
Wood Duck with ducklings, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 6, 2015
Although the forecast yesterday called for some over night rain showers lasting into the morning the showers never materialized here but you could certainly tell when the front came through as the clouds quickly filled in and the winds picked up out of the north. I made a stop back over to Lake Wallace and at least one of the Common Gallinule was heard as it vocalized occasionally but remained out of view (both were seen by others later in the morning). Lots of other waterfowl around as well as some herons but no unusual ones. After about an hour and half at the lake I headed up the west side of Quabbin stopping at Gate 9 and Gate 15. Gate 9 featured a few active Great Blue Heron nests as well as a few newly fledged Wood Ducks. No luck finding any marsh birds but the wind may hearing anything calling from this extensive marsh nearly impossible. My stop at Gate 15 was intended to see if I could find any Acadian Flycatchers, which have bred along the brook in years past. No luck finding any but the woods were full of the expected warbler species as well as others.  With the two Common Gallinule seeming to have taken up residence at Lake Wallace there is the possibility of them breeding.  Looking through the book "Birds of the Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts" by Bagg and Elliott (published in 1937) there are old records of this species breeding at the lake at the Belchertown state school.  Other species that nested at the lake in the past (1930's) Pied billed Grebe, multiple species of rails and bitterns. With all the activity that occurs around the lake now the chances of some of these species ever breeding here again are very slim but seeing an apparent pair of Common Gallinule at the location at least gives some hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment