Friday, April 26, 2019

Glossy Ibis and an early American Redstart yesterday and then rain today

Glossy Ibis, rail trail, Amherst, MA, Apr 25, 2019
Glossy Ibis, rail trail, Amherst, MA, Apr 25, 2019
Hairy Woodpecker, rail trail, Amherst, MA, Apr 25, 2019
Black and White Warbler, rail trail, Amherst, MA, Apr 25, 2019
Great Blue Heron, rail trail, Amherst, MA, Apr 25, 2019
I managed to get a few hours off in the morning yesterday for my birthday before going into work and I enjoyed a productive morning that started off a bit chilly (36 degrees) but warmed up nicely once the sun came up.  I started off my morning at Winsor Dam where I had at least two Eastern Whip Poor Wills calling.  My next stop was over to the rail trail in Amherst going from Station Road up to Hop Brook.  The best birds were waiting for me up at the Hop Brook marsh where I heard a Virginia Rail calling as I arrived and as I scanned the marsh I quickly found a single Glossy Ibis...a quite rare species in Hampshire County.  I have only had sightings of the species on five other occasions in the county before yesterday at the following locations and dates:

1 on Apr 22, 2004 at Arcadia
3 on Apr 18-25, 2013 at Hop Brook in Amherst
5 on Apr 15, 2014 along Aqua Vitae Rd in Hadley
1 on Jun 28, 2016 at Arcadia
2 on Jul 31, 2017 at Arcadia

I watched the ibis for several minutes as it fed and actually called once as some geese were flying around near it.  I texted a number of people to see if they were available to come see the rarity for themselves.  The bird was still there when I left but people were unfortunately unable to relocate it later in the morning.  Another unusual bird at the marsh was a Sora that called a couple times as I was admiring the ibis.
American Redstart, Quabbin Park, MA, Apr 26, 2019
Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Apr 25, 2019
I then headed back toward home to check out Quabbin Park for about an hour and a half.  The best sighting was an early male American Redstart (the record beats from previous earliest date a few old record was April 29 in 2017).  Lots of other migrants around with high counts of Blue gray Gnatcatchers, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Towhees and Black and White Warblers (actually a drop in numbers of these species from April 24 but still a good morning).  I made a few other stops on my way into work but didn't find anything too unusual.  The month is still shaping up to be one of the best every for overall number of species and rarities...I'll review it all in detail once the month ends.
Bufflehead, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Apr 26, 2019
Today has featured rain most of the day with occasional downpours and some thunderstorms.  I stopped along Aqua Vitae Road on my way home and although the area looks perfect for shorebirds I once again came up empty in that department.  A stop at Winsor Dam turned up some Bufflehead but nothing else too unusual although a Red breasted Merganser and some Bonaparte's Gulls were reported later.

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