Sunday, November 11, 2018

Northern Shrike and others at Arcadia

Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 11, 2018
White crowned Sparrows, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 11, 2018
White crowned Sparrows, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 11, 2018
I noticed a post yesterday from Derek about a Northern Shrike that he and Ted had down at Arcadia but I had no chance to try for it until I got out of work this morning.  I immediately headed over to the area where it was seen and found a few others looking for it.  I saw Chuck and he mentioned he had it relatively close in along the road several minutes ago but it was no longer in view.  I parked and started walking the various hedgerows and fields in search of the bird.  I was joined by Chuck for part of the time and we had a brief false alarm when we noticed a distant bird that turned out to be a Northern Mockingbird.  We did turn up a number of sparrows along the way including a number of Fox Sparrows, Field Sparrows, a Vesper Sparrow and others (finished the morning with nine species of sparrows including three late White crowned Sparrows I turned up right before I left).  After quite a bit of searching I finally got distant views of the shrike teed up in a tree out in the middle of a field in the same general area as a mockingbird.  I got the scope out and got a quick look before it dropped down out of sight.  I continued searching for it but came up empty in my continued quest to get a closer look (and a photo).  Hopefully the bird is still in the area and just moved to a different area that I did not check but as far as I can tell it was not seen again through midday.  I also made a quick search for a late Pine Warbler that Derek also had yesterday but it was nowhere to be found...I had to be content with a few Yellow rumped Warblers.  The Northern Shrike was my 238th species for Hampshire County for the year and ties my best overall year (2016) with over a month and a half left of the year.  Full list for the morning here.

Although I had seen Scott while at Arcadia and he mentioned he stopped by Winsor Dam earlier and found it quiet I just had to make a quick stop given the history of rare birds (both new Hampshire County records) I have found there on past Veteran's Days including a King Eider back in 2013 and a Pacific Loon in 2015.  Sadly no great rarities were to be found during my brief stop with the only waterfowl around being a group of four Common Mergansers flying past.

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