Sunday, December 16, 2018

Northampton Christmas Bird Count

Northern Pintail, Great Pond, Hatfield, MA, Dec 16, 2018
Pileated Woodpecker, Hatfield, MA, Dec 16, 2018
White tailed Deer, Hatfield, MA, Dec 16, 2018
I spent the entire morning with the Griffith's covering our area for the annual Northampton Christmas Bird Count.  I arrived before dawn and immediately went to check the river in the north part of Hatfield where I had a nice selection of waterfowl with over fifty Common Goldeneyes and a Red breasted Mergansers flying past with a group of Common Mergansers.  Around 6AM I met up with the Griffith's and we covered the area around Great Pond and then back over to the river.  Although the Snow Goose seen at Great Pond a few days before was a no show and we were not able to relocate the Common Gallinule I had about two weeks ago, we did turn up impressive numbers of Black Ducks (over a hundred) as well as singles of Northern Pintail and Wood Ducks plus a flyover Common Redpoll and Great Blue Heron.  One of the staked out groups of White throated Sparrows were still around but another large group in another spot had moved on to a new area we were not able to locate.  Our return trip to the river turned up a number of woodpeckers and a few more small groups of waterfowl as well as a flyby Sharp shinned Hawk.  Overall the river area was quiet as far as land birds go with just a few sparrows and cardinals.  The weather conditions continued to deteriorate as morning came to an end with sleet and rain mixed with a steady breeze out of the north.  I left the Griffith's at that point to carry on without me as I made a brief stop back to Great Pond before heading for home.  I managed to find just 36 species but the weather conditions were far from ideal.  Besides the expected mammals such as squirrels we had a Red Fox, Eastern Coyote and three White tailed Deer.

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