Sunday, August 19, 2018

Loads of Green Herons, the annual eBird checklist update and a nearby Brown Booby

Green Herons, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 16, 2018
Green Herons, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 16, 2018
Least Sandpiper, Lower Mill Pond, Easthampton, MA, Aug 16, 2018
Green Herons, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Aug 19, 2018
A few days ago I made it to Lake Wallace at first light and got an amazing count of Green Herons as they arrived for the day from a roosting location nearby. I counted at least 37 individuals which is by far the largest count I have ever had of the species at a single location in the county.   I stopped by again this morning but was a little too late to catch them all leaving roost but still managed a very respectful total of 34.  I did not have the Marsh Wren on my last few visits but did still have at least two Virginia Rails calling.  I have been searching with some success for shorebirds the last several days but have not found anything too unusual but I have a few spots that look prime to attract something good.
Andean Duck, Antisana, Ecuador, Nov 23, 2015
The annual update to the eBird list is now complete and the changes have produced a few new species for me through splits and the loss of another through the lumping of Cherrie’s and Passerini’s Tanager back to Scarlet rumped Tanager. The species I gained include Mexican Duck which was split from being a subspecies of Mallard, Andean Duck that was split from Ruddy Duck and Chiriqui Foliage Gleaner that was split from Buff throated Foliage Gleaner. My world total now stands at 1384.
Brown Booby, Marino Ballena NP, Costa Rica, Dec 21, 2012
Elsewhere in the local area a Brown Booby showed up at Onota Lake in Pittsfield and was still being seen as of today. This is only the second inland record ever in the state (and the first one that has stayed around for multiple people to see). This species should be way south of here in the tropics and over the ocean but there has been an increase the last several years of birds wandering north and occasionally being found inland. I have seen the species multiple times in the tropics but never up north.


  1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Mexican Duck split from Mallard was not accepted by the AOS. eBird uses their own Clements checklist, not the AOS's (even if they usually agree).

    1. You are correct anonymous poster...I have made some changes to the original post.