Monday, October 31, 2016

October comes to an end with some more waterfowl

Long tailed Ducks, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 31, 2016
Long tailed Ducks, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 31, 2016
Black Scoters, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 31, 2016
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Oct 31, 2016
I headed right to Winsor Dam after work this morning in search of waterfowl being blown in by the northerly winds and managed to find a flock of Long tailed Ducks on the water and occasionally flying around.  The flock eventually grew to 29 individuals which is a fairly high count for the area.  The only other waterfowl I had there were five Common Loons and a single Mallard (a brief stop later in the morning produced two Black Scoters).  The other notable sighting was a large migration of American Crows which was underway when I arrived just after eight and was still going (but reduced) an hour later when I left.  I counted at least 1100 crows all moving off to the biggest count of the species so far this season.  There were also a few raptors moving but nothing unusual.
Cackling Goose with Canada Geese, Northampton, MA, Oct 30, 2016
Canada Goose with white on neck, Northampton, MA, Oct 30, 2016
On Sunday morning I managed to catch up with one of the two Cackling Geese that Keenan found in Northampton in among a flock of Canada Geese.  I attempted to get some photos of the bird but the light was terrible and by the time it got light enough I could not relocate the bird in the among the tight flock of geese and I quickly ran out of time.  I did have one Canada Goose with extensive white on its neck and managed to get a photo of that bird.

As October comes to an end I now stand at 234 species for Hampshire County for the year which is just three short of my best year.  At this point there are no easy species yet to find and I will have to luck out with a few irruptives and/or rarities to push me over the old record.