Sunday, December 1, 2019

Birding before the storm

Yellow rumped Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Dec 1, 2019
Ruby crowned Kinglet, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Dec 1, 2019
I headed out this morning to begin the month trying to track down lingering species with the main focus being any warblers and the long staying Pacific slope Flycatcher.  The day started off cold with lows around 15 and rapidly increasing clouds as the oncoming nor'easter approached.  I started off the morning before dawn at Arcadia where I checked out the waterfowl gathered in the rapidly icing up marsh and had mostly the same selection I had there yesterday with nothing too unusual.  The waterfowl got excited once when a Great Blue Heron flew past squawking the entire time as it headed out to the oxbow.  As the sun came up I caught up with my first group of Yellow rumped Warblers of the day, marking the second full year I have had a warbler in Hampshire County for every month of the year (much more about this at the following post: warblers into December).  I turned up another single Yellow rumped Warbler elsewhere along with two Ruby crowned Kinglets travelling together and a selection of woodpeckers.
Yellow rumped Warbler, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Dec 1, 2019
Yellow rumped Warbler, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Dec 1, 2019
After Arcadia I headed over to the East Meadows where I found another group of Yellow rumped Warblers and at least three Northern Harriers working the fields and occasionally flushing small groups of Horned Larks.
Greater White fronted Goose, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Dec 1, 2019
Cackling Goose, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Dec 1, 2019
Canada Goose with white on neck, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Dec 1, 2019
Bald Eagle, Moody Bridge Rd, Hadley, MA, Dec 1, 2019
I then made a stop to the Pacific slope Flycatcher spot to see if the hardy bird was still hanging on before the storm.  Unfortunately I struck out on the bird but the breeze was starting to pick up and the temperatures were still in the low 20's.  Hopefully it is still around and hunkering down for the storm.   I then drove over to the nearby UMASS campus pond where I had three species of geese including a Greater White fronted Goose and a Cackling Goose plus the hordes of Canada Geese.  I made one last stop along Moody Bridge Road looking for vultures before heading home but had no luck turning up any vultures.  There were a few raptors around and a flock of 75+ Horned Larks that were very wary and almost constantly in flight.  Overall found a total of 53 species for the morning...not too bad at all.
Wilson enjoying a previous snow storm
The forecast calls for anywhere from 6"-24" of snow depending on what outlet you look at with fairly strong winds on Monday as the storm really explodes off the coast.  We have been lucky to escape anything beyond a light dusting so far but it doesn't look like our luck will  least Wilson will be happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment