Friday, January 8, 2016

'Gambel's' White crowned Sparrow at the Honey Pot and lots of other stuff

White crowned Sparrow (Gambel's), Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
White crowned Sparrow (Gambel's), Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
Dark eyed Junco, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
American Tree Sparrow, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
White throated Sparrows, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 8, 2016
Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
American Wigeon, Swift River, Ware, MA, Jan 8, 2016
Canada Goose with odd markings, Holyoke Dam, South Hadley, MA, Jan 8, 2016
Winsor Dam at dawn, Quabbin Park, MA, Jan 8, 2016
With the weekend forecast calling for freezing rain, freezing drizzle, maybe some sleet and then heavy rain and wind I figured I would take advantage of the nice weather today and cover several areas to see what I could find.

I started off well before dawn in a fruitless search for a Barred Owl around Covey WMA before heading over to Quabbin Park to try to catch up with waterfowl.  The amount of waterfowl around at the park was quite low but I did have some stuff around.  After Quabbin I headed over to areas along the river starting off in Hadley and then working across the bridge to the East Meadows in Northampton before continuing on to South Hadley.  I then headed for home to pick up Wilson and we headed out to a few spots.  After I dropped Wilson off I headed back to Quabbin Park as well as the nearby Swift River.  Highlights for my various stops included the following:  Honey Pot: a Peregrine Falcon devouring a kill on top of a telephone pole in full view of morning commuters, at least 43 American Tree Sparrows and a rare 'Gambel's' subspecies White crowned Sparrow (a subspecies from the west) which I was able to relocate after being discovered yesterday by James. CT River in Hadley: at least 27 Common Goldeneyes as well as hundreds of Canada Geese.  East Meadows: at least a hundred doves and nine White throated Sparrows.  Quabbin Park: a flyby Pine Siskin and 27 Black Ducks.  Swift River in Ware:  an American Wigeon male.  Also had Winter Wrens at a couple spots in Belchertown as well as a uniquely marked Canada Goose at the Holyoke Dam that had some white coloration on the top of its head and down its neck.

It was a very productive day with a total of 49 species including four new for the year: White crowned Sparrow (#69) at the Honey Pot, Great Black backed Gull (#70) at the Holyoke Dam, Brown headed Cowbird (#71) in Belchertown and the American Wigeon along the Swift River (#72).  .

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