Monday, October 8, 2018

More shorebirds and another hurricane

Pectoral Sandpiper, Hadley, MA, Oct 8, 2018
Pectoral Sandpiper, Hadley, MA, Oct 8, 2018
Greater Yellowlegs, Hadley, MA, Oct 8, 2018
White rumped Sandpiper, North Hadley, MA, Oct 8, 2018
We continue to enjoy some nice warm days with an occasionally cool day thrown in as we rapidly head into fall.  We enjoyed a warm day on Sunday and the forecast calls for warm (near 80) again on Tuesday and Wednesday before a cool down comes for the end of the week, likely proceeded by some rain around Thursday associated with what will remain of  Hurricane Michael (more on the hurricane below).  Today was another overcast and cool day with occasional drizzle/light rain.  I followed up on reports of shorebirds at a few fields in Hadley and found a total of half a dozen species (Killdeer, White rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs) but missed a Dunlin that was present yesterday (and apparently back again later today).  The numbers of Pectoral Sandpipers have continued to be impressive with 16 present in just one field.  Overall a total of ten shorebird species have been reported in just a couple flooded fields in the area in the last two day (besides those species mentioned above there have been reports of Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipe).  The various fields also held some waterfowl including several hundred Canada Geese as well as a female Northern Pintail and a bunch of Mallards.  Hunting season starts tomorrow here so waterfowl will become a little harder to find in some of the fields where they are now.

The latest tropical system to form this hurricane season is Hurricane Michael which has rapidly progressed from a depression to a tropical storm to a hurricane despite less than optimal conditions.  The forecast calls for continued intensification as the storm tracks through the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall as possibly a major hurricane on Wednesday.  The storm will then track northeast and interact with a front and possibly bring us some rain toward the end of the week.  Once the storm passes by the temperatures will drop at the end of the week into the weekend with highs in the 50's with northerly winds which should bring in a decent push of waterfowl.

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