Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving and today produce Cackling Geese (plus other sightings over the last few cloudy, foggy, rainy days)

Cackling Geese, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 26, 2016
Cackling Goose, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 26, 2016
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 26, 2016
Today dawned very foggy so I decided to head over to Arcadia instead of waiting for the fog to lift at Quabbin. Despite the fog that never lifted through mid morning at Arcadia I still managed to find some good stuff including a couple Cackling Geese in among 500+ Canada Geese as well as a late Eastern Phoebe.  I didn't have any luck finding the Red headed Woodpecker that has been seen in the area sporadically. I then headed across the river checking various fields without finding too much.  I was also unable to find the Brant at the campus pond this morning but it may have been with a group of geese feeding elsewhere.  A late morning stop at Winsor Dam just as it started to rain again found a pair of White winged Scoters but not much else.
Long tailed Ducks, Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, Nov 25, 2016
Long tailed Ducks, Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, Nov 25, 2016
Red necked Grebe with Canada Geese, Quabbin Gate 5, Belchertown, MA, Nov 25, 2016
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 25, 2016
After a good nights sleep I got up at dawn on Friday and headed over to Quabbin where the weather was less than ideal with low clouds, fog and drizzle.  I spent a bit of time trying to find stuff on the water despite the limited visibility at times.  I managed to find just the expected species with nothing unusual around.  The weather didn't get any better so I headed for home.  Around midday I noticed the weather had improved slightly with increased visibility so I headed back to Winsor Dam and scanned the nearly dead calm water and noticed a diving duck way out that I could just not ID so I decided to try my luck by heading over to gate 5 and then viewing from there.  I made it over there and as I walked down toward the water I had some great looks at an Eastern Coyote.  A scan of the reservoir once I made it down to the water turned up a group of three Long tailed Ducks and a few Common Loons.  I could see the duck I had from Winsor Dam off to the south but still too far away to identify.  I then walked down the shoreline almost to gate 4 before I was able to get a good enough look to identify it as another Long tailed Duck.  On my way back out I noticed a small group of geese had come in and among them was a single Red necked Grebe.  By the time I made it back to the car the clouds and fog had dropped back in again and the drizzle started again.
Cackling Goose with Canada Geese, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 25, 2016
Black Scoters with Ring necked Duck (R) and Hooded Mergansers (L), Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 25, 2016
I had just a little time on Thanksgiving to check anywhere as I was tired from work and didn't have the energy to spend too much time outside.  I stopped briefly at Winsor Dam and my time there was rewarded with a flyby Cackling Goose in among a small flock of Canada Geese as well as half a dozen Black Scoters, a Ring necked Duck and nine Hooded Mergansers on the water.

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