Sunday, July 12, 2015

Weekend birding around Belchertown and up to Prescott Peninsula

Ovenbird, Belchertown, MA, July 12, 2015
House Wren, Belchertown, MA, July 12, 2015
Great Blue Herons, Covey WMA, Belchertown, MA, July 12, 2015
Hooded Mergansers, Belchertown, MA, July 12, 2015
I spent this morning in the Belchertown area with stops at Lake Wallace, Covey WMA and the White eyed Vireo location. A beautiful morning with surprisingly few bugs. Once again no luck finding gallinules at Lake Wallace but lots of waterfowl around as well as a calling Virginia Rail and a couple of Great Horned Owls that flew across the marsh and created a loud panic among the many other species present.  Covey WMA had a decent amount of good stuff including a Virginia Rail, a calling Northern Bobwhite and my first gathering of post breeding swallows with well over a hundred individuals of four species present.  The area that has held the White eyed Vireo once again failed to produce it but I still had a nice assortment of more expected species.
Although there is still a chance the Common Gallinules or the White eyed Vireo might still be around, it appears both species may be gone now. It was a long run for both of these unusual species here with the Common Gallinules first being discovered on June 5th and staying until July 1 (almost four weeks) and the White eyed Vireo found a few days before I saw it on May 30th and still around through at least July 5th (about six weeks). 
I have included the full lists from my morning stops below:

Lake Wallace:

Covey WMA:

White eyed Vireo stop:
Moose, Prescott Peninsula, MA, July 11, 2015
Eastern Towhee, Prescott Peninsula, MA, July 11, 2015
Scarlet Tanager, Prescott Peninsula, MA, July 11, 2015
Banded Hairstreak, Prescott Peninsula, MA, July 11, 2015
Yellow Warbler, Belchertown, MA, July 11, 2015
I once again headed up to the Prescott Peninsula on Saturday morning to conduct a few field surveys, check on the hummingbird nest and hopefully run across some crossbills again. I managed to get a few more fields checked out and had a number of confirmed breeding species in the fields I checked. Sadly the hummingbird nest is no more, likely destroyed by some predator. It is a shame the nest didn't make it through as I'm sure the young would have been much more visible today compared to last weekend when they looked freshly hatched. No luck finding any crossbills either but that is not too surprising as they are quite nomadic and last week was the first time I heard them all season. Lots of other typical bird species around but the amount of song continues to drop as the breeding season marches on. Another notable sighting was when a Moose stepped out in front of me near a large pond and after checking me out for a few minutes trotted away down the road. At the same time there was another Moose on the opposite side of the pond feeding....always neat to have two Moose in view at the same time.

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