Friday, October 23, 2015

Quabbin Park this morning and birds from the last week

Bald Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 23, 2015
Turkey Vulture, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 23, 2015
Winsor Dam at dawn (before the waves really kicked up), Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 23, 2015
Wood Duck, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 23, 2015
After winds out of the south the last few days a cold front moved through late yesterday and brought in some much colder and windier weather (highs struggling to get into the 50's compared to a high in the 70's yesterday). I had high hopes that the northwesterly winds would bring in more waterfowl but unfortunately there were few to be found over the course of a few hours at Quabbin (although the route 9 marsh was quite productive).  There were some raptors moving as well as robins but not too much waterfowl given what I guessed would be great migration conditions.  I guess you never know until you go out and check.  I was joined for a time by Devin and we both endured some very late fall like conditions with a strong north wind and temperatures in the 40's.  List from the morning at Winsor Dam: and the list from Quabbin Park itself:
Cackling Geese (front) with Canada Geese, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 22, 2015
Cackling Goose, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 22, 2015
Greater White fronted Goose, Power Canal, Turners Falls, MA, Oct 20, 2015
Red tailed Hawk eating squirrel, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 20, 2015
Wild Turkeys, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 20, 2015
Earlier this week I made a few morning stops over to Arcadia mainly looking for waterfowl. On Tuesday I had 25 Canada Geese, 19 Wood Ducks, 4 Black Ducks, 33 Mallards and three Green winged Teal for waterfowl plus a group of 36 Wild Turkeys and a Red tailed Hawk dining on a squirrel.  Thursday at Arcadia produced two Cackling Geese in among the Canada Geese plus a decent number of Wood Ducks and Mallards.  I also managed a brief stop at the power canal in Turners Falls on my way to class on Tuesday and had the continued Greater White fronted Goose among nearly five hundred Canada Geese plus I ran into Joshua as I arrived and then James further down the canal.  The changeable weather of fall continued this week with the early part of the week also featured record setting cold with lows in the teens.

Now for a little weather geek time about Hurricane Patricia that is impacting the pacific coast of Mexico.  I have been watching the storm for the last few days and have been truly amazed by the growth of the system. Until just a couple days ago it was forecast to just reach hurricane strength.  The storm has surprised most everyone with its explosive growth from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours.  It is now the strongest hurricane on record in the western hemisphere with sustained winds at 200 MPH and a pressure of 879 mb.  The storm dropped its pressure 100 mb in just 24 hours...absolutely amazing!  There is no doubt the storm will cause catastrophic damage where it makes landfall.  The storm will rapidly lose strength as it moves through Mexico and eventually into the gulf coast region.  We may feel some of the remnants of the storm mid to late next week in the form of some rain.  Additional details about this historic storm can be found at these links:

I also ran across a few blog posts about some of the new world birds that have shown up over in Europe lately (almost certainly at least related to the weather conditions associated with Joaquin). Here are the links:

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