Friday, October 30, 2015

Morning around Quabbin Park

Bufflehead, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Common Loons, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Hooded Mergansers, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Horned Grebes, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
Horned Grebe, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 30, 2015
With the forecast calling for strong northwest winds for the day I had hopes that it could be a very good day for waterfowl over at Quabbin but the forecast was wrong and I arrived at Winsor Dam just before sunrise and had light southwest winds. I scanned the water and managed to come up with at least ten Common Loons (with eight in one tight group) but no other waterfowl. Devin said he would be joining me at some point in the morning but before he arrived I figured I would head over to Beaver Lake and the marsh on Route 9 in the hopes of finding something interesting. Absolutely no waterfowl on Beaver Lake (which has been very quiet this season). The marsh was a little more active with a growing number of Hooded Mergansers plus Wood Ducks, Mallards, Black Ducks and Green winged Teal. I then headed back over to Winsor Dam where I still had a number of loons plus a Bufflehead. Devin arrived and we continued looking for birds and eventually had another Bufflehead come in with a Long tailed Duck with it plus a couple Common Mergansers and a single Hooded Merganser. As the winds continued out of the west, southwest and with only a little activity we headed into Quabbin Park to try our luck there. The original plan was to go check the water at Hank's Meadow but the area was closed for the annual deer hunt (last week it was the filming of Super Troopers 2 and this week hunting....). Instead we hit the area near Goodnough Dike where we had a group of seven Horned Grebes together. We initially had some excitement as one of the grebes had lots of dark coloration on the face (we hoped for an Eared Grebe) but a better look revealed the bird to be a Horned Grebe still transitioning to non breeding plumage. We also found another lone Horned Grebe further out as well as three Common Loons plus a single flyby Hooded Merganser but no other waterfowl. We headed back to Winsor Dam in the hopes the winds had shifted to northwest but no luck. We still had a few loons on the water way out but no other waterfowl at all. We did have some movement of raptors with Cooper's, Sharp shinned and Red tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers and Turkey Vultures as well as some migrant crows and a few flights of Pine Siskins. No luck finding a hoped for Golden Eagle but with the winds present I was not too surprised. Hopefully the winds will eventually turn to the northwest as forecast for tonight before turning back to a southerly direction for several days.

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