Sunday, September 2, 2018

Baird's Sandpipers and Yellow breasted Chat (and many others) to start off September

Common Yellowthroat, Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 1, 2018
Baird's Sandpiper, Hatfield, MA, Sep 1, 2018
Peregrine Falcons, Hatfield, MA, Sep 1, 2018
Baird's Sandpiper, Hatfield, MA, Sep 1, 2018
The first two mornings of the month have produced some spectacular birds including a number of rarities.  I spent the morning yesterday covering a variety of locations on either side of the river and turned up a number of notables including the following: two Eastern Whip Poor Wills at Winsor Dam predawn, a half dozen Common Nighthawks, two Virginia Rails, a Sora and a number of Green Herons at Lake Wallace, a pair of Baird's Sandpipers in Hatfield and a Yellow bellied Flycatcher and at least 112 Chimney Swifts at the Holyoke Dam.  The Baird's Sandpipers were the rarest for the day...I have only had the species on two other occasions in the county before (one in the East Meadows back in 2004 and a flyby during Hurricane Irene in 2011...all sightings have occurred in the narrow window between very late August and very early September).  Overall a very productive morning and a great way to start off the month of September.
Yellow breasted Chat (really!), Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 2, 2018
Yellow Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 2, 2018
Pine Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 2, 2018
Black throated Green Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 2, 2018
Chestnut sided Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Sep 2, 2018
Today I decided to stay closer to home spending a few hours at Quabbin Park which proved to be a great decision as I ran across a rare Yellow breasted Chat among decent numbers of other migrants in mixed flocks.  I was not really expecting to turn up a chat but you never know what you will find when you go out.  I had a number of mixed species flocks throughout the morning but came upon the chat in among some dense vegetation mostly by itself.  I was scanning the bushes and noticed a flash of bright yellow that popped out into the open briefly revealing the chat.  They can be notoriously tough to get good looks at as they stay down in the dense undergrowth and I only managed a few out of focus photos before the bird disappeared.  The chat sighting today was only my fifth in the county (2005 and 2014 at Arcadia, two in 2016 with one at Arcadia and one at UMASS plus the one today).  It was also the first time I have seen this species at Quabbin becoming species #239 for Quabbin Park and #246 for Quabbin overall...I bird Quabbin quite a bit so finding a new species is certainly noteworthy for me.  The year list for me in Hampshire County is on a record setting pace so far with 223 species year to date...we shall see what the rest of the year brings.


  1. Love reading your posts... Was wondering, when you say "traveling" Quabbin park do you mean driving through or walking the trails...As I have to stay on solid,level ground, I only get to ride around. We miss so much.

    1. Glad you like them. It is a combo of driving and can get some great stuff this time of year by just driving the road and stopping when you hear birds and then getting out and see what you can find.