Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sightings from the past week

Chimney Swift, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 18, 2016
Common Merganser, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 18, 2016
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 18, 2016
Virginia Rail, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 18, 2016
Virginia Rail, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 18, 2016
Great Blue Heron nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 18, 2016
White tailed Deer fawn, Quabbin Park, MA, June 18, 2016
Trees stripped of leaves by caterpillars, Quabbin Park, MA, June 18, 2016
I was originally going go up to Prescott Peninsula this morning but decided to hang around the local area instead starting out at Lake Wallace before moving over to Quabbin Park. Lake Wallace was fairly active with about fifty species present including at least eight Great Blue Herons (half of those young in nests), five Green Herons, a couple Virginia Rails and other expected species.

My visit to Quabbin Park covered only a few areas with stops at Winsor Dam, the Goodnough Dike area and the Route 9 marsh. The area of denuded trees along the shoreline past Goodnough Dike has increased substantially as the moth caterpillars continue to move through. The trees in the area look like they would in winter with almost no leaves at all. It gives good views of the water but I wonder what it will do to the long term health of the trees. Nothing really out of the ordinary around as far as birds go.  It appears that the Lesser Scaup that had been present at Winsor Dam from at least May 1st has finally either departed or met its end. I have not had it there during multiple stops over the last few days...I last saw it on the 14th which made it a month and a half run for the bird at the dam. There is a chance it could resurface again but not likely.
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 14, 2016
Black Vulture, Hadley, MA, June 14, 2016
Great Blue Heron, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, June 15, 2016
Cerulean Warbler nest, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, June 15, 2016
I made a few stops over the course of the week on my way to and from work. A few highlights but nothing too unexpected. Besides the Lesser Scaup at Quabbin (mentioned above) I had at least two Black Vultures at the roost in Hadley.  Most other stops produced the expected breeding birds with lots of evidence of nesting.  The Cerulean Warblers at Skinner SP fledged sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning as they were out of the nest when I arrived on Wednesday morning (they were seen in the nest by others late Tuesday). There were at least a half dozen Cerulean Warblers in the general area with three singing males, two females and at least one fledgling being fed by one of the females. Nice to see the nest was successful despite it being rather exposed.
Wood Duck, Belchertown, June 13, 2016
Swamp Sparrow, Belchertown, June 13, 2016
On Monday I explored a few areas around Belchertown and Granby looking for marshy areas I have not previously explored in search of marsh birds.  No real luck finding anything unusual but it was quite windy. A few areas will be worth a check in the future.
Gray Catbird nest, Belchertown, MA, June 15, 2016
Gray Catbird at nest, Belchertown, MA, June 15, 2016
Hooded Merganser eggs, Belchertown, MA, June 15, 2016
House Wren with leg bands, Home, Belchertown, June 17, 2016
Eastern Phoebe, home, Belchertown, MA, June 16, 2016
Meanwhile at home the Gray Catbirds have hatched and continue to grow bigger everyday, the two banded House Wrens continue to bring food to the nest box and a Hooded Merganser continues to sit on eggs in one of the duck boxes. I'm still not sure what is going on there but I suspect the second group of eggs may not be viable as they should have hatched by now. I'll see what happens over the next week or so. Besides the wrens I'm still seeing one of the banded American Robins around the sign of any of the other banded birds.  I also added another species to the water feature list when a Eastern Phoebe showed up, bringing the total to 26.

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