Saturday, November 8, 2008
Cackler, Bonaparte's and a BB Plover - Hadley Nov 8th
The discovery of Horned Lark flocks at the Hadley Honey Pot yesterday pulled me back this morning and I was out early. Overnight rain, and muggy conditions with a Southern element to the wind felt good, though I wasn't really sure what I was hoping for. 350 Ring-billed Gulls were feeding on the Amherst High School playing fields but didn't have anything else amongst them. On arrival at the Honey Pot I soon started to hear and see Horned Larks, and shortly afterwards, Snow Bunting and a Lapland Longspur. The flock was typically skittish but I estimated some 300 Horned Larks in the area, and certainly no less than seven Lapland Longspurs, and 20 American Pipits.
Around 07:30am, hunting activity pushed several hundred Canada Geese from the Northampton area towards Amherst, and in one of the closer flocks was a Cackling Goose - it went straight overhead! Hanging around a little aftewards paid off. A Bonaparte's Gull past south tracking three Ring-billed Gulls at 08:54 followed by a calling Black-bellied Plover moving south at 09:07. In addition, lots of birds were on the move including 500+ American Robins and a few Purple Finches and Pine Siskins.