Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall arrives

Sharp shinned Hawk, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 20, 2015
Greater Yellowlegs, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 20, 2015
American Kestrel, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 20, 2015
Snowy Egret, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 20, 2015
Snowy Egret and Great Egret, North Lane, Hadley, MA, Sep 20, 2015
Vesper Sparrow, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 21, 2015
Vesper Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 21, 2015
Chipping Sparrow, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 21, 2015
Palm Warbler (western), Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 21, 2015
Winter Wren, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 21, 2015
The last several days has featured the end of our unseasonably warm weather and a return to more expected conditions for the middle/end of September (lows in the upper 40's to 50' and day time highs in the low 70's). The change has certainly induced lots of birds to move as the warbler migration starts to wind down and sparrow migration begins to rapidly pick up.

On Saturday I stayed local with visits to Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park and Covey WMA. No luck again in finding a late whip poor will calling (they all appeared to have moved on) before dawn. The best birds I had where three calling Virginia Rails at Quabbin Park and another one at Covey WMA. Overall it was very quiet at all locations visited with only a smattering of obvious migrants. After I got home and took Wilson for a walk I noticed a posting about a Nelson's Sparrow being seen at the Honey Pot (a quite unusual species and not annual around here). I had other stuff to do so I could not make a run over there right away but I had to head over that way late in the day so I tried for it then without any luck (not really that surprising as trying to turn up a vagrant sparrow again can be hard to do).

Winsor Dam: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25087583
Quabbin Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25088072
Covey WMA:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25088069
Honey Pot:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25100278

Sunday I headed out early over to the Honey Pot to try to find the Nelson's Sparrow (no luck). Highlights of the morning included a flyby Snowy Egret (which I then relocated in the river viewed from North Lane), a Great Egret, several species of raptors, a few flyby shorebirds, a late Tree Swallow and a smattering of other migrants.

Honey Pot:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25101706
North Lane: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25101709

I started off a very cool Monday morning once again at the Honey Pot where I turned up a number of migrants as the overnight conditions for migration were ideal. I really wish I had more time as the activity seemed to be increasing as the sun warmed things up but I had to head to work. No luck again turning up any unusual sparrows but I did have some decent stuff including a Winter Wren (unusual there), a continued Yellow Warbler, eight species of sparrow including at least four Vesper Sparrows (with one singing) and my first White crowned and White throated Sparrows of the fall.

Honey Pot:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25116309

Today I stopped at Arcadia before work and checked the marsh and a small part of the meadows. A couple Killdeer and a Greater Yellowlegs were the only shorebirds I could turn up. There was certainly an influx of Palm Warblers (both yellow and western) and Swamp Sparrows since my last visit. Other stuff was around but not in huge numbers but a lot of farming activity probably knocked down the bird action a bit (not to mention the cool temps). Another interesting sighting included a Great Blue Heron capturing an enormous fish (that it somehow managed to consume...wish it was a little lighter out so I could have gotten some photos)

Yesterday also marked the anniversary of an epic hurricane hitting the area back in 1938.  The storm caused extensive damage but also delivered some very unusual birds to the area.  I did a post about it (plus other tropical systems) back in February...if so inclined to read a bit about it here is the link:

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