Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A number of rare and unusual birds around including a Red headed Woodpecker

Black Vulture, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, July 5, 2016
Great horned Owl fledgling, rail trail, Amherst, MA, July 5, 2016
Black Vultures, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, July 5, 2016
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, July 5, 2016
Despite the rain this morning I headed out to try to track down a few more rarities that have recently shown up (more on rarities at the end of this post).  I made a brief stop at Winsor Dam but the rain and fog made viewing too difficult so I then headed over the Larch Hill Conservation Area and surrounding neighborhoods to try to track down a reported Red headed Woodpecker.  I walked around the neighborhood and trails for about an hour and third quarters without any luck.  I then decided to make a swing over to the rail trail near Mill Lane to check out Hop Brook for any shorebirds or waders.  Unfortunately the dry conditions have allowed all the areas that otherwise would be muddy to have filled in with vegetation and I found just a single Great Blue Heron.  A nice bonus bird there was a juvenile Great Horned Owl sitting on the little shed on the far side of the marsh.  It started to brighten up a bit so I headed back over to try for the woodpecker again and after about twenty minutes I heard it call twice and then fly over between Memorial Drive and Hillcrest Place.  It was gone before I could get a photo and I was unable to relocate the bird but I was not able to check a lot of areas as it was in a residential area with limited access.  The bird must be regular somewhere in the area but I had no luck tracking it down.  The original person that discovered it managed to get a couple of cell phone shots of the bird as it came into a feeder.  Hopefully I can get a shot of the bird with another trip over there.  The Red headed Woodpecker became not only #210 for the year in the county but #290 for Hampshire County ever.  Looking at eBird records the last Red headed Woodpecker was seen in the county in Hatfield in 2007 and then in Hadley in 2002.  Prior to those last two records you have to go back to the 1970's for records in the county. After my woodpecker escapade I headed over to Gate 8 at Quabbin to try to find the Acadian Flycatcher which showed back up in the same area after a few year absence.  I managed to find the bird calling distantly along Cadwell Creek but I will wait until another day to park at the end of the road and walk in to get some recordings and photos.  Amazingly the second new bird for the year in Hampshire County today...#211.  On my way home I made a quick stop at Winsor Dam and once again found the Lesser Scaup present...glad to see it still around.
Great Blue Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 4, 2016
Great Blue Herons at nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 4, 2016
Great Blue Herons at nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 4, 2016
Belted Kingfisher, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 4, 2016
Northern Rough winged Swallow, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, July 4, 2016
Brown Thrasher, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, July 4, 2016
On the Fourth of July I stayed local with a trip to Lake Wallace at dawn which produced ever growing Great Blue Heron chicks as well as what appears to be the second brood of Wood Ducks with several groups of small ducklings with an attendant adult female....a minimum of 52 Wood Ducks in the area, likely more. Not much else in the way of notable stuff at the lake. A quick trip through Quabbin Park and a couple stops at Winsor Dam produced the usual suspects but the Lesser Scaup was not around.
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, July 1, 2016
Raccoons, Lower Mill Pond, Easthampton, MA, July 2, 2016
Raccoons, Lower Mill Pond, Easthampton, MA, July 2, 2016
Double crested Cormorants, Holyoke Dam, South Hadley, MA, July 2, 2016
I made a number of stops on my way to and from work as July began and hit a bunch of different spots.  On the first I stopped at Lower Mill Pond, Arcadia, Honey Pot and Winsor Dam.  Highlights included a couple Vesper Sparrows at the Honey Pot, a family of Raccoon's at Lower Mill Pond and the Lesser Scaup.  On the second I stopped at Arcadia and Lower Mill Pond but didn't find anything out of the ordinary.  The third was a bit more productive with stops at Paradise Pond (not drained yet but hopefully it will be soon), Arcadia, Lower Mill Pond and the Holyoke Dam.  The best birds were half a dozen Double crested Cormorants at the dam.
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 29, 2016
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 29, 2016
Great Blue Heron at nest, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, June 29, 2016
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, June 29, 2016
Black Racer, Land Trust trail, Belchertown, MA, June 29, 2016
The last couple days of June I covered a variety of areas including Lake Wallace, Quabbin Park and the land trust trail on the 29th and Moody Bridge Rd and Arcadia on my way to work on the 30th. Just the usual stuff at each location plus the continued Lesser Scaup at Quabbin. The Glossy Ibis didn't stick around (or at least I could not find it again).  The best non bird sighting was a Black Racer seen along the land trust trail on the 29th.

There has been an incredible string of unusual to rare sightings in western Massachusetts the last week with the two biggest coming from Berkshire County on June 29th with an American Avocet and a Ruff at two separate locations...each is one of just a handful of records for western mass.  Not one but two Red throated Loons have shown up with one seen and photographed near Boat Launch Area #2 at Quabbin (in New Salem) on June 30th and another that was rescued from a small pond in Hampden County after it had a run in with a Snapping Turtle.  The injured loon was brought to Tufts but the injuries were too severe and the bird was euthanized. The photos of both birds show them to be two different individuals.  These two records represent the only records I could find for this species in either June or July in western mass.  The Lesser Scaup continues on and off at Winsor Dam for over two months now, the above mentioned Red headed Woodpecker in Amherst plus the previously mentioned Glossy Ibis at Arcadia, Pied billed Grebe in Easthampton, Merlin at Winsor Dam, many records of Evening Grosbeaks (including an adult feeding a juvenile in Shutesbury) plus a smattering of Red Crossbills.  A very active time for late June into July!

No comments:

Post a Comment