Blueberry Hill, Granville, MA. - Susannah chats with resident hawk counter John Weeks.
The day started off in the nicest possible manner with 3 Black-throated Green Warblers together in the trees at the rear of the apartment, visible from the rear balcony. Lots of American Robins, some Tufted Titmice and a White-breasted Nuthatch too.
Later, we had a family outing to Blueberry Hill in Granville (West of Springfield), a spot famed amongst birders for its raptor migration watch point. It was another glorious fall day, maybe a little too nice for a decent migration of raptors, but in the ninety or so minutes that we were there we saw two Bald Eagles, several Red-tails (non-migrants), about 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks, about 3 Cooper's Hawks, and 2 migrant Peregrines drifting South. Perhaps the highlight for us, simply because we don't see that many in Western MA, was the near constant presence of 2 -3 Red-shouldered Hawks drifting around, sparring with other raptors and frequently calling over the hillside. No pics of these unfortunately, but we all enjoyed good scope views. Quite a few passerines present near the hill top as well, with about 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 4 'Eastern' Palm Warblers, a single Nashville Warbler, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. All in all, a most enjoyable trip to Granville. Many thanks to John Weeks for putting up with us and for introducing us to his raptor migration watch point.
Juvenile Accipiter - This bird passed the watch point at relatively close range. We thought Cooper's in the field, based largely on structure, but looking at these images I don't mind admitting that I'm increasingly troubled by the Cooper's/Sharp-shinned species problem, especially with birds like this! Comments would be most welcome.
Peregrine - Adult migrating over Blueberry Hill.