|Hooded Merganser, Beaver Lake, Ware, MA, Dec 11, 2015|
|Common Merganser, Quabbin Park, MA, Dec 11, 2015|
|White tailed Deer swimming in reservoir, Quabbin Park, MA, Dec 11, 2015|
|Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Dec 11, 2015|
This morning started off foggy but I figured I would head out anyway in the hopes of finding some holes in the fog. I started off at Quabbin Park and headed to Hank's Meadow which looked like it would be too foggy to see anything but I could hear some ducks so I headed down to the waters edge and I was able to see a bit of the water which produced some decent waterfowl including 16 Black Ducks, 22 Mallards, 17 Hooded Mergansers, 8 Common Mergansers and 11 Horned Grebes. I'm sure there were more birds further out lost to me in the fog. The nearby route 9 marsh produced three more Hooded Mergansers. Beaver Lake was as busy as I have seen it yet this season with seven Canada Geese, a couple Black Ducks, 19 Mallards, 68 Hooded Mergansers and 7 Common Mergansers. When I stopped by Winsor Dam it was fogged in and I had just a few flyby Canada Geese and Common Mergansers. Lake Metacomet was completely empty of waterfowl (at least the part of the lake I could see). As I was watching the activity at Hank's Meadow I noticed three deer swimming in the reservoir heading north from Gate 52. Not much else of note around but it was nice to get some waterfowl as well as enjoy the above average temperatures.
I also made some early morning stops this week on my way to work but found just the typical waterfowl along the river and at Arcadia. I tried for the Short eared Owls at Arcadia yesterday too but came up empty.
The weather this month has continued to be warm with no snow as of yet (and none in the near future). The forecast through the weekend into next week shows even warmer temperatures with highs approaching or exceeding 60 degrees (record breaking warmth). The lows over the next week will be closer to what the average high should be (low to mid 40's). Hopefully this will be a trend through the remainder of the winter, which is certainly possible given the strong El Nino that has developed. Time will tell but it is enjoyable weather for now. In another weather item the initial look (not a forecast but a trend) at the 2016 hurricane season for the Atlantic is out and it could be a very active year or a very slow year depending on a number of variables with one major being how fast the current strong El Nino weakens...a faster weakening would favor a busier season. More about this can be found at the following link: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/first-look-at-2016-hurricane-season-unusually-big-question-marks