Thursday, August 4, 2016

July ends and August begins

Green winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 3, 2016
Green winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 3, 2016
Gray Fox, Home, Belchertown, MA, Aug 2, 2016
A stop at Lake Wallace on Wednesday morning produced more waterfowl including at least three Green winged Teal.  I wanted to make a few other stops along the way to Northampton but the fog was too thick to see anything.  The Gray Fox also made another appearance on Tuesday night but the motion camera didn't manage to catch a great shot this time.  I initially captured the fox on the camera on July 17 and then again on July 25 and then the latest on August 2 which means it should show again on August 10 if the pattern continues...we shall see!
Belted Kingfisher, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 2, 2016
Green winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 2, 2016
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 2, 2016
There were a few inches of rain overnight Monday into Tuesday morning so I headed out after work to try to find some shorebirds that might have been forced down.  The heavy rain covered up all the sandbars at Lower Mill Pond as well as areas near Arcadia.  The only shorebirds I could find on the west side of the river were a handful of Killdeer at Arcadia.  I also checked the shoreline of the river plus some plowed fields in Hadley but no luck with shorebirds beyond Killdeer and a couple Spotted Sandpipers.  A brief stop at Lake Wallace right before I got home produced 63 Wood Ducks plus at least one continuing Green winged Teal.  A Virginia Rail was still calling from the cattails but I didn't get a look at it.
Green winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 1, 2016
Green winged Teal, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 1, 2016
Peregrine Falcon, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, Aug 1, 2016
On my way to work on Monday morning I made a few stops with the one at Winsor Dam which produced the best bird of the morning by far when I had a flyby, calling Whimbrel.  The last time I had a Whimbrel at the dam was during Irene back several years ago.  The Whimbrel became species #212 for the county this year.  It is a tough bird to catch up with most years and it is missed more than it is found. My next stop was over to Lake Wallace before dawn which produced 59 Wood Ducks, 163 Mallards, three Green winged Teal and a still singing Louisiana Waterthrush (I also had another waterthrush singing at home when I got up).  No luck finding any Black Vultures at the roost in Hadley but the presence of a Peregrine Falcon in the tree they normally roost in may have had something to do with that.
Lesser Scaup, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, July 31, 2016
Green Herons, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, July 30, 2016
Least Sandpiper, Lower Mill Pond, Easthampton, MA, July 30, 2016
I birded a bit in the morning both days this past weekend.  I covered the area from Quabbin over to the Northampton/Hadley area on Saturday and I stayed around the south Quabbin area on Sunday.  Highlights on Saturday included an Eastern Whip Poor Will at Winsor Dam; several dozen Chimney Swifts along the Connecticut River; half a dozen Killdeer, a couple Solitary Sandpipers and three Least Sandpipers at Lower Mill Pond; 28 Turkey Vultures along Moody Bridge Rd; and eight Green Herons at Lake Wallace.  On Sunday I had 44 Wood Ducks and 7 Green Herons at Lake Wallace and the continued Lesser Scaup at Winsor Dam.  The scaup has now been present for three months and is starting into its fourth.

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