Friday, October 9, 2015

Loads of sparrows at Arcadia yesterday (plus some warblers) and south Quabbin today

Swamp Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
Swamp Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
Song Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
Savannah Sparrows, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
White throated Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
White crowned Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
Northern Harrier, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 8, 2015
Yesterday morning I decided to use a little vacation time in the morning and spend a bit of time down at Arcadia trying to catch up with some of the migrants moving through.  I arrived there before dawn and flushed a couple American Woodcocks before heading out briefly to the marsh which featured just the expected species (plus a bit of fog) plus a somewhat late Wood Thrush giving its 'popping' call.  I then headed over to the meadows where I spent the next couple hours exploring around the Ibis Pool and the roadside up to the trolley line.  Really large numbers of sparrows and others were in evidence even before the sun came up.  There were hundreds of individuals of eight species of sparrows around including a dozen White crowned Sparrows (with a few singing), five Chipping Sparrows, a Field Sparrow, 28 White throated Sparrows, 107 Savannah Sparrows, 64 Song Sparrows, 5 Lincoln's Sparrows and 46 Swamp Sparrows.  All of these numbers are minimums with only a small amount of the habitat covered...really makes me wonder about the total number of sparrows down there.  Unfortunately I was not able to find a reported Nelson's Sparrows down there but it could certainly still be around.  On the upside I did catch up with an Orange crowned Warbler along the roadside with Palm Warblers between the Ibis Pool and the trolley line.  This brings my county total for the year to 231 so far.  Another notable species down there were Palm Warblers which numbered at least seventy.  I have included the full list below (lots more details and photos):
Cackling Goose, Barton's Cove, Gill, MA, Oct 8, 2015
I once again had to go Greenfield in the evening so I made a swing by Barton's Cove where I had the continued Cackling Goose once again but not too much else. 
Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 9, 2015
Wood Duck, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Oct 9, 2015
Today I stayed around the south Quabbin area hitting a number of locations before the arrival of the forecasted rain.  I hit Beaver Lake, Quabbin Park and Winsor Dam plus Lake Wallace.  Overall waterfowl numbers were quite low but I did find my first Horned Grebe of the season (at Hank's Meadow) and 33 Wood Ducks and a dozen Wood Ducks at the Route 9 marsh.  Quabbin itself held no other waterfowl at all besides the grebe.  There were a few dozen Yellow rumped Warblers moving southwest early in the morning despite the less than optimal migration conditions.  The southerly winds were not conducive for making birds move but a change in the wind direction overnight to west and then northwest should get some stuff moving tomorrow...time will tell.  I heard about a Yellow breasted Chat that was caught and released by a researcher at UMASS but by the time I heard about it the weather conditions had deteriorated with fairly strong winds and then rain so not great conditions to go chasing the chat.  I may try for it at some point this weekend but trying to refind a skulking species like a chat can be tough to say the least.

After some heavy rain during the afternoon and evening I made a brief stop over at Winsor Dam to see if any birds were forced down by the rain and I was rewarded with two Ruddy Ducks which are quite unusual at Quabbin (for some odd reason).  I attempted some photos but the distance was just too far and the light too low to get much.  Ruddy Duck adds another new species to the county list for the year which now stands at 232.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin look to be getting ready to impact Europe (Portugal and Spain mainly) and the chance is certainly there for something from the new world to make it over there.  It will be interesting to see what turns up there once the storm arrives.  An eBird article posted today gives some updated information on the potential impact (link here: ).  Always nice to see our epic lists from Hurricane Irene mentioned in the article.

No comments:

Post a Comment