Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring begins cold with snow in the forecast

Hooded Merganser, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 19, 2016
Hooded Merganser, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 19, 2016
Rusty Blackbird, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 19, 2016
Eastern Phoebe, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Mar 19, 2016
The entire weekend certainly felt much more March like than the weather has been lately with temps yesterday in the 40's, lows overnight around 20 and temps today topping out in the upper 30's.  The forecast calls for snow overnight into Monday morning with a few inches possible.  Hopefully this will be the last gasp of winter but time will tell.

Yesterday I stayed around the local area with stops at Quabbin Park and Lake Wallace among other stops during the morning.  Highlights included 20 Hooded Mergansers, four Eastern Phoebes, a few Tree Swallows and four Rusty Blackbirds at Lake Wallace.  I managed just seven species of waterfowl overall.

Today I started out along the rail trail before dawn listening for owls and had a few Great Horned Owls (plus another odd call that may have been just another Great Horned Owl but it could have been something better)  The best bird of the morning was an early Virginia Rail calling from one of the marshes (#108).  Several woodcocks were also calling and displaying as the sun came up.  I checked a few other spots for waterfowl but it was once again very quiet with no goose flocks at all around...perhaps they have already moved north and through the area due to the warmer than normal temps this month and lack of snowfall.  The best group of waterfowl I had was a group of 27 Green winged Teal along the river in Hadley.

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