Saturday, May 7, 2016

A few more rainy days produce more Common Terns and a Common Gallinule

Common Terns, Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2016
Common Terns, Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2016
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, May 7, 2016
Great Blue Herons building nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, May 7, 2016
With the forecast for more rain overnight into this morning I decided I would stick somewhat close to home. I started off at Winsor Dam where I hoped to catch up with some whip poor wills but it was just too breezy to hear any (if they indeed were calling). I did have ten Common Mergansers on the water including an odd individual which appeared to be in transition into full adult male plumage. I then made the short ride over to Lake Wallace and besides a number of typical waterfowl with there freshly hatched young, I had a calling Common Gallinule (#175) in the same general area I had a pair last year. Despite much effort to get a look at the bird it never showed itself. Hopefully it will stick around and attract a mate once again. The Great Blue Heron nest count has now increased to four as a pair started working on a new nest this of the initial work can be found at the following link: 
The other noteworthy species there was my first Eastern Kingbird (#176) of the year. I then headed back over to Winsor Dam where I turned up the continued Lesser Scaup plus a few dozen swallows working the surface of the reservoir. Beaver Lake was once again devoid of birds but always worth checking. Although it continued to sprinkle a bit from time to time a quick look at the radar showed that the heaviest rain would hopefully hold off long enough to make a hike down to the water and back from Gate 5 (it held off long enough to get down there but then the rain started). My reward for the trek down was a pair of Common Terns sitting on the same platform I had several terns on a few days ago. I studied them for a bit to make sure they were not something even more unusual than Common Terns. I managed to get a number of photos before my phone died (a common problem with it when it gets past 50% power and it is cold out). By this point it was raining steadily so I headed back home to get Wilson so we could go for yet another walk in the rain. A few more checks at Winsor Dam during the remainder of the day didn't find anything of note beyond the now ever present Lesser Scaup.
Blue gray Gnatcatcher, Quabbin Park, MA, May 6, 2016
Eastern Towhee, Quabbin Park, MA, May 6, 2016
Blackburnian Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 6, 2016
Common Yellowthroat, Quabbin Park, MA, May 6, 2016
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, May 6, 2016
Yesterday I walked a fair distance on the rail trail and managed just four species of warblers over more than a mile...amazingly low numbers for the date. Thankfully Mitch's Way had a few more warbler but still not too many at all with a total of just over a dozen individuals of seven species! Although the forecast called for afternoon rain it started rainy steadily while I was in Hadley but a I could see some sunny breaks to the east so I headed that way. A brief stop at Winsor Dam found the Lesser Scaup still present plus a single Double crested Cormorant. Quabbin Park was a little more lively but still below average with nine warbler species. By early afternoon the rain started once again and continued through the evening.

The cloudy, rainy cool pattern looks to be slowly changing which will almost certainly result in a large influx of birds once it does change. The big question is exactly when that occurs. The forecast shows winds changing from northeast/east today to light and variable tonight with occasional showers and then southerly tomorrow before a cold front arrives during the day. Sunday night into Monday looks like it could be a decent migration night with southwest winds during the night becoming west during Monday with sunny conditions and warmer temperatures.

No comments:

Post a Comment