Saturday, November 16, 2019

Two Golden Eagles this morning plus lots of other stuff the last several days

Bald Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 16, 2019
Golden Eagle, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 16, 2019
Canada Geese, Winsor Dam, Quabbin Park, MA, Nov 16, 2019
After yet another cold front passed through last night the winds were howling out of the north when I arrived at Winsor Dam this morning in the hopes of finding birds moving on the strong winds.  Although it was very cold and windy at the dam there is no better spot to be in those conditions in the fall then at Winsor Dam.  Although there was not too much in the way of waterfowl moving I nevertheless had a stellar morning there with not one but two Golden Eagles and an unidentified swallow species.  I spotted the first Golden Eagle (a juvenile) as it steadily moved south and got some decent views through the scope and tried for a few digiscoped shots.  The couple other birders there also got to see before it disappeared.  Perhaps 10-15 minutes later I spotted another interesting eagle moving along the same line and this one turned out to be an adult Golden Eagle.  I have never had two Golden Eagles in the same day in Hampshire County and have only had two in the same day once before in Massachusetts...back in the late 1990's when I was out in the Berkshires.  The most frustrating sighting of the day was a swallow species that rocketed past.  I got just a brief look at the bird and couldn't get any details off of it before it disappeared beyond it not being a Barn Swallow.  Any swallow around here in November is very rare but I just didn't get a good enough look to ID...the one that got away.

Although I didn't attempt to stop by and see it lately the Pacific slope Flycatcher was seen and photographed again for the last couple days.  A truly tough bird as he has made it through the record setting cold with multiple days with lows around 10 and daytime highs at or below freezing and some strong winds.  It appears to be feeding on berries when it gets too cold for insects to be flying.  The bird has now been around for at least three and a half weeks.
Snow Goose, Aqua Vitae Rd, Hadley, MA, Nov 15, 2019
Friday turned out to be the warmest day in the last several with highs that eventually reached into the mid 40's (where it should be this time of year) after another cold start in the low 20's.  I hit a number of spots in the morning including UMASS (nothing too noteworthy), then down to the Honey Pot and then across Route 9 to Aqua Vitae Road (best bird at either spot was a single Snow Goose in with a few hundred Canada Geese) and then finally over to the rail trail.  I intended to search some of the marshes along the rail trail but with a few fields yet to be cut down, access was nonexistent.
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle' on ice, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
Song Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
Eastern Bluebird, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
American Robins, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Nov 14, 2019
After work on Thursday morning I headed over to Arcadia with my main focus being lingering warblers and waterfowl.  I had a couple of small groups of Yellow rumped Warblers but could not find any rare warblers among them.  I had seven species of waterfowl but nothing out of the ordinary.  Other highlights included an American Woodcock that exploded from right in front of me when I was exploring some areas along the Mill River and lots of American Robins in the old orchard area.
American Coots, Great Pond, Hatfield, MA, Nov 13, 2019
On yet another bitter cold morning I stopped at Great Pond on my way to work on Wednesday to see if the American Coots reported there over the previous few mornings were still around.  All the shallow parts of the pond were frozen but there was still a decent amount of open water which held seven American Coots (an oddly tough species to find in the county for some reason).  The total of seven is the largest group of them I have ever had in the county beating my previous high of half a dozen at Quabbin Park back in 2007.
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Nov 10, 2019
Downy Woodpecker, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Nov 10, 2019
I took advantage of a hunter free day on Sunday morning by checking a few spots in the East Meadows.  Nothing too unusual but five Yellow rumped Warblers were a good count for mid November.  They were in the same general area I had a Yellow rumped Warbler overwinter last winter so hopefully some stick around again.
Black capped Chickadee with leg bands, Home, Belchertown, MA, Nov 12, 2019
Black Bear, Home, Belchertown, MA, Nov 14, 2019
At home the cameras caught yet another previously banded Black capped Chickadee on Tuesday...a bird banded back in 2017!  Unfortunately I had a visit from a bear on Friday so I will have to hold off on putting out any suet or feed for a bit.

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