Wednesday, May 18, 2016

An impromptu Hampshire County big day and odd and ends the last couple day

Olive sided Flycatcher, home, Belchertown, MA, May 17, 2016
American Redstart constructing nest, Hadley, MA, May 17, 2016
Great Blue Heron on nest, Williamsburg, MA, May 17, 2016
Red bellied Woodpecker with extensive red on face, Williamsburg, MA, May 17, 2016
On Tuesday I headed over before dawn to Williamsburg to check on a few day old report of a couple of Hooded Warblers. Although I didn't have any luck finding them, the area I was checking was very active and I started adding up the species quite quickly. At this point I decided to conduct an impromptu county big day to see how many species I could find. I almost headed to the hill towns to pick up a few species (Sandhill Cranes and American Bittern) that would be very tough to find in the valley but I decided against it so I would be driving less and birding more. I headed to Arcadia and then down south to South Hadley and then back up through Hadley before heading back closer to home. I made it home by early afternoon and stayed around there instead of covering more ground. The house delivered some good birds including my first Olive sided Flycatcher of the year (#202) which I was able to share with Devin and Aidan (my second yard record for this species). I then headed out again near dusk and added a more species bringing my total to 133 including 25 species of warbler (full list of them below per request of Mr. Rose) . Highlights were many and included a flyby Evening Grosbeak and the continued Lesser Scaup. A pair of very intriguing birds flew past Winsor Dam around 7:30 that I'm still not sure what species they were...still trying to figure it out. I believe this total is my highest ever for a single day in the county but one that could certainly be eclipsed with a little more planning and effort.

Warblers for the day:
Worm eating Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Blue winged Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut sided
Blackpoll Warbler
Black throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow rumped Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Prairie Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 18, 2016
Chestnut sided Warbler with nest material, Quabbin Park, MA, May 18, 2016
Yellow billed Cuckoo with nest material, Quabbin Park, MA, May 18, 2016
Blue Gray Gnatcatchers at nest, Quabbin Park, MA, May 18, 2016
Today I stayed local and spent time at Covey WMA, Quabbin Park and a couple other local locations. Still a decent number of migrants around but more and more birds are on territory and starting the breeding process. I added one more species for the county for the year with an Alder Flycatcher (#203) in Belchertown.  Lots of good photos ops and I have included the full illustrated lists below:

Covey WMA:

Quabbin Park:

Black throated Blue Warbler, home, Belchertown, MA, May 17, 2016
Northern Cardinal, home, Belchertown, MA, May 18, 2016
I continue to add species to my list of those that I have managed to capture with a motion camera in the yard.  I added Black throated Blue Warbler yesterday and Northern Cardinal, Black capped Chickadee and Northern Flicker today bringing the total to 23 species as of this afternoon.

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