Monday, November 3, 2008

Snow Bunts, Horned Grebes and American Golden Plovers - Nov 3rd

American Golden Plovers - three birds with Killdeer close to home in Hadley. Found by Harvey Allen. Thanks for the message Harvey!

Horned Grebes - Nine birds at Quabbin Park today.

Snow Bunting - not so skittish.....this one was taken with a point n' shoot camera less than two feet away.

Snow Buntings - gathered on Winsor Dam wall.

Common Loon - adult winter.

Long-tailed Duck - female type. Didn't stick around for pics.

Common Goldeneye - two drakes on the power canal at Turner's Falls, the first of the fall.

Super day. The perfect tonic after a poor night's sleep. Began early at the admin buildings at Quabbin Park with a walk along Winsor Dam. Perfectly calm conditions with high, flat gray cloud giving excellent visibility. Noteworthy waterbirds included a male Ring-necked Duck, a female Long-tailed Duck, 5 Common Loons and 3 rather distant Horned Grebes. Along the dam itself, at least 10 Snow Buntings, 5 American Pipits and 5 Horned Larks. Flocks of Pine Siskins buzzed southwards totaling 220 birds, the only real movement this morning. A single Northern Harrier also migrated south. The 'Blueberry Patch' at Quabbin Park was similarly productive with 6 Horned Grebes, including 4 nice n' close to shore and a huge raft of 42 Ring-necked Ducks. Four Snow Buntings also flew in from the north.

I spent the afternoon with Matan, but thanks to a phone message from Harvey Allen, we got down to Hadley to see three super American Golden Plovers in a corn stubble field with huge numbers of Killdeer and American Pipits. This field was loaded with birds and would be worthy of further checks. After that, a quick run up to the Turner's Falls power canal produced the first Common Goldeneyes of the fall and a notable increase in gull numbers (c.600 over the town and Barton Cove).

Postscript: After a mid-morning run, I'm almost certain I heard a Pine Grosbeak calling from some tall spruces just off N. Whitney Street. Good numbers of Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos were present in the same area, and I'll be keeping my eyes and ears peeled over the next few days. The same trees did hold Pine Grosbeaks earlier this year during last winter's amazing incursion into the New England states.

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