Northern Goshawk - digibin shot of adult/sub-adult migrating south-south west over Blueberry Hill, Granville, MA.
The day got off to a good though rather cold (32 F) start with an American Pipit flying over the apartment in Amherst, another local 'first of season'. Also, about 10 Yellow-rumped and a single Blackpoll Warbler, along with 35 Common Grackles and 25 Canada Geese flew south.
Later we had a family visit to the Hawkwatch at Blueberry Hill in Granville which turned to be thoroughly worthwhile, despite the gloomy forecast of strong Westerly winds. Raptors were almost constantly in view from the time we arrived at 0930hrs. The highlight was easily an adult/sub-adult (probably male) Northern Goshawk which passed relatively low over the summit allowing me to grab a few horribly backlit images. During a two hour vigil we, togther with official counter John Weeks and a visiting birder Austin Stokes, notched up Cooper's Hawk (1), Sharp-shinned Hawk (17), American Kestrel (4), Merlin (2), Bald Eagle (4, only 1 migrant), Osprey (1), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (4), and Turkey Vulture (25, including a kettle of 17). Migrating passerines included 34 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Palm Warblers, 1 Blackpoll Warbler, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet and 2 Purple Finches. John had also managed to coax a female Eastern Towhee into view with some seed.
An afternoon non-birding visit to Groff Park, Amherst in the produced 10 White-throated Sparrows, Eastern Phoebe, 2 Eastern Bluebirds, 6 Chipping Sparrows and 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Nice birds and a beautiful time of year to be out.