Saturday, June 13, 2015

Morning survey on Prescott Peninsula and a Northern Goshawk in Amherst

Black Bear and Wild Turkey, Prescott Peninsula, MA, June 13, 2015
Black Bear and Wild Turkey, Prescott Peninsula, MA, June 13, 2015
Common Yellowthroat, Prescott Peninsula, MA, June 13, 2015
Yellow Warbler, Prescott Peninsula, MA, June 13, 2015
Indigo Buntings mating, Prescott Peninsula, MA, June 13, 2015
I headed up to the Prescott Peninsula early this morning to conduct some bird surveys of the field complexes there. The day started out overcast with some fog but it cleared up after a couple hours. Unfortunately it was much breezier than I expected (or hoped for) which made it difficult to hear some of the birds. Nonetheless a good morning with lots of breeding evidence as adults were carrying food to nests, feeding recently fledged young and several birds mating. The most productive field complex featured some unusual species for the peninsula including Alder Flycatcher, Prairie Warbler and Field Sparrow (among others)....This set of fields is the only spot that these species breed on the entire peninsula. Another interesting sight was a Black Bear and a Wild Turkey interacting as they walked toward me on one of the roads. They walked together for a few hundred feet before the turkey flew up and behind the bear only to come back out again and then flush into a tree. Interesting to see  Full list from the morning:

With the wind still strong I decided to leave the peninsula a little earlier than planned and head to Amherst to follow up on a report of Northern Goshawks seen within a large forested area of private land. I only had a limited amount of time but figured I would check out some of the area. After walking about twenty minutes I had a brief view of an adult Northern Goshawk as it flew through the woods and disappeared. It was all over so fast I had no chance to get a photo. I suspect they are breeding in the area and a more detailed search could turn up a nest (hopefully I will make it over there again soon to find out).

I finished up the morning taking a walk with Wilson along Amethyst Brook in Amherst where we found the expected species.

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