Today, Scott Surner, Val Miller and I took part in the Quabbin Christmas Bird Count with our sector being centered around Hardwick village, to the east of Quabbin resevoir. The morning began foggy but very mild for a Christmas count, the fog burning off by about noon. This year's count was highlighted by Pine Grosbeaks and we recorded twenty individuals around Hardwick. Most impressive was the frequency with which we encountered them, the largest flock size being only eight birds. Many, like the bird featured here, were singles scattered throughout the rural countryside of Hardwick and their calls became common sounds over the rolling hills. A most enjoyable day of birding closed in late afternoon with thanks to Scott Surner featured below photographing the illustrated female Pine Grosbeak. The overall tally for the Quabbin Pine Grosbeaks logged 154 individuals, a new count high.
The beautiful, rambling countryside around Hardwick. Other good species recorded in this area today included a Northern Shrike, Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, 4 Evening Grosbeaks and 15 Common Redpolls.