Sunday, October 25, 2009

MA - Short-eared Owl plus - 10/25

Short-eared Owl - being mobbed by American Crows. Seen from Hadley but actually over Hatfield. Extreme 'digiscope shots of bird about 1.5 miles to the North. Watched for about 8 minutes from 0915hrs, then last seen heading North.

Had another fine morning in Hadley, spending the entire time in the vicinity of the transfer station. In some respects it was a tad frustrating that most of today's birds were in flight and often going away from me! Even so, I had a great selection for the local area, especially between 09:00hrs and 10:00hrs when I found myself glued to one spot in the same field and picking up one good bird after the other.

Highlights included;
Mute Swan
- 3 (2 ads,1 juv) heading north at 09:25hrs, carefully checked for Tundra Swan.
Cackling Goose - 1 flying South with a small group of Canada Geese at 09:05hrs.
Canada Goose
- c.1000, many flocks in the air all morning, most (c.750) rising up from Hatfield and heading West towards Northampton.

Gadwall - 1 male, seemed to get up from the CT River, and then headed south towards Hadley Cove.

Northern Harrier - 2 lone passing migrants heading south.

American Golden Plover - 1 flying North at about 1040hrs.
Short-eared Owl
- 1, in the air being mobbed by crows on the Hatfield side of the the CT River and rather distant. Eventually got rid of the crows by gaining height and drifting North.

Lapland Longspur
- 2 singles, one of which was male. Both were calling birds in flight.

Snow Bunting
-1, calling bird heading SE.

Still very good numbers of sparrows around, especially Savannah (300), Song (50) and White-crowned Saprrows (7), plus Horned Larks (25), American Pipits (20+), Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Phoebe, and Purple Finch (5).

Other raptors included at least ten Red-tailed Hawks and 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks.

All in all, a very nice morning in the field, and just ten minutes from home!

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