Saturday, July 13, 2019

Blue Grosbeak in Hadley in mid July

After doing some yard work this morning I headed inside and happened to check my phone and noticed a missed call and message from Scott, which almost certainly means some unusual bird has appeared.  I checked the message and found out Scott had a male Blue Grosbeak at the Honey Pot in Hadley.  Blue Grosbeak is a very unusual species around here, especially in the summer time.  Looking at eBird data there are just three records of Blue Grosbeaks in Hampshire County during the summer with a late June record from Williamsburg (2000), an early August record from Northampton (2005) and a late June/early July record at Quabbin (2003).  I quickly grabbed my camera and made my way over to Hadley.  I arrived and immediately heard the bird call and sing a few times but then it got quiet.  Mary and Scott were there already and had managed some photos and recordings.  Talking to Scott he had the bird singing occasionally from multiple different locations but it mainly stayed out of view.  It remained quiet for over another thirty minutes before it sang distantly again a few times.  I tried for a recording but the distance and background noise from other birds, farming activity and boat noise from the river made it too tough to get anything.  I was surprised it was singing at all as it was midday by the time I got there and the temperatures were into the 80's.  I may try again tomorrow morning on my way to work to see if it is still around. 
Green Heron, Lake Wallace, Belchertown, MA, Jul 13, 2019
Bobcat, Quabbin Park, MA, Jul 13, 2019 (zoomed in)
Bobcat, Quabbin Park, MA, Jul 13, 2019
Elsewhere for the last several days it has been quiet, which is exactly what I expect in early July around here.  I have checked Lake Wallace on multiple occasions the last week in the hopes of finding something unusual but no luck yet.  I also checked the Holyoke Dam yesterday but work being done on the dam kept the avian activity low. 
Tree Swallows in nest box, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jul 9, 2019
Gray Catbird with leg bands, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jul 4, 2019
The nesting activity continues at the house with the Tree Swallows almost ready to fledge.  The Gray Catbird banded this year continues to occasionally show up at the water feature.

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