Friday, October 31, 2008
Pale-bellied Brants - Turner's Falls Oct 31st,
Had quick run out this afternoon finding two first-winter male Common Mergansers at Tri-town beach in Whately, some 120 American Pipits in Old Deerfield, and a beautiful family party of Pale-bellied Brant (Branta bernicla hrota) at the Turner's Falls power canal. I might have missed them as I was busy going through the Canada Geese on the water. This family was grazing on the far embank by the bike path on the East side of the power canal. I didn't hesitate and walked around to get amazing views. I must say they were ridiculously tame. I've had one or two flocks of Brant pass through the Connecticut River valley in most recent years in October. They usually go through fast and high, so getting this close to a family group was a real treat.