Thursday, January 17, 2019

My first week back in the north with lots of good stuff including two species of warblers

Common Yellowthroat, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, Jan 17, 2019
Swamp Sparrow, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, Jan 17, 2019
Song Sparrow, Rail trail, Amherst, MA, Jan 17, 2019
Snow Goose, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Jan 17, 2019
Mute Swans, Connecticut River, South Hadley, Jan 16, 2019
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 15, 2019
Hooded Mergansers, Swift River, Ware, MA, Jan, 16, 2019
Barred Owl, Hadley, MA, Jan 12, 2019
Now that I have been back from Costa Rica for a week I thought I would take a look at the birds I have been able to catch up with in Hampshire County since I have been back.  I had a lot of catching up to do and thankfully the weather has been cold but snow free allowing me to catch up with 79 species in the county so far.  There are a number of rarities that continue (although I didn't make it back soon enough to see the Canvasback or Great Cormorant) and I have caught up with most of them including Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, Gray Catbird and Ruby crowned Kinglet.  I have also managed to find a few others before today including a few Hermit Thrushes, a Yellow rumped Warbler on the 15th and Lapland Longspur and White crowned Sparrow on the 12th.  Today was a banner day for birding here despite the cold temperatures.  I headed over to Amherst along the rail trail in search of a flock of Pine Grosbeaks seen there yesterday.  Although I didn't think the chances were high the birds would still be around I decided to give it a try.  I missed the grosbeaks but did manage to find a flock of half a dozen Common Redpolls that were last seen flying northwest toward Amherst College.  The best bird of the morning by far was a Common Yellowthroat that popped up briefly before disappearing and not being seen again.  The yellowthroat is very rare around here in winter with just a handful of records and my first one ever in January.  I'm making a special effort this year to turn up warblers and the effort paid off this morning.  Other notables for the morning included a Swamp Sparrow and Yellow breasted Sapsucker.  It now appears that winter will be arriving with a vengeance with a major storm of snow and ice this weekend followed by bitter cold air for early next week...inevitable given that it is January but not looking forward to it!
Bobcat, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jan 8, 2019
Black capped Chickadee with leg bands, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jan 2, 2019
Black capped Chickadee with leg bands, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jan 15, 2019
The cameras around the house continue to produce with multiple captures of Bobcat as well as the continued banded Black capped Chickadees.

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