Thursday, January 7, 2016

First week of January

Northern Shoveler with Mallard, Quabbin Park, MA, Jan 2016
Northern Shoveler, Quabbin Park, MA, Jan 2016
Hooded Mergansers, Quabbin Park, MA, Jan 2016
Ring necked Ducks, Quabbin Park, MA, Jan 2016
Connecticut River at dawn, Northampton, MA, Jan 7, 2016
Although most mornings have started off quite cold (single digits) it has steadily warmed up during the day light hours as the week has gone on breaking the freezing mark on Wednesday and Thursday. The more January like temperatures have frozen up most of the small ponds and even started putting some ice on the Connecticut River. This has resulted in the waterfowl being concentrated quite a bit more. I have had some luck in finding some good stuff over the course of the week with several stops at multiple locations. Quabbin Park produced the most notable species (and three new species for the year) with a female Northern Shoveler (#66), three male Ring necked Ducks (#67), 18 Black Ducks, 172 Mallards, five Common Goldeneye, 68 Hooded Mergansers and 14 Common Mergansers plus a couple Red breasted Nuthatches (#68). The Connecticut River below the Coolidge Bridge has produced up to 900 Canada Geese as well as some Mallards and Black Ducks but not too much else during early morning visits.  The first week of January in the county has produced a total of 68 species, which is a great start to the year.

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