Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MA - NE Quabbin Fox Sparrow - 11/25

Fox Sparrow. Quabbin, Gate 35, Franklin County, MA. November 25th, 2009.

Dull, drizzly, but incredibly mild conditions persisted all day. The day started well with yet another November Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, this time on Redgate Lane, Amherst just up the road from North Whitney Street. Later in the afternoon, I decided to have a look at one of the Quabbin gates (35) in the North-east part of the watershed. The powerline cut was quite lively here with 30+ White-throated Sparrows, and a really fine (Red) Fox Sparrow. Some 300 American Robins and 18 Cedar Waxwings were also here.

The reservoir held a few widely scattered Common Loons (8) and I had close views of a pair of Bald Eagles attempting to take (unsuccessfully) a Common Merganser. Five Hooded Mergansers also flew in with some Mallards and Black Ducks.

Bald Eagle over a drizzly Quabbin Reservoir, Franklin Co., MA. November 25th, 2009.

On the way home, despite the precipitation, I tried for Northern Saw-whet Owls in a couple of spots and met with success in one of these. I'll be offering a more complete update on my saw-whet findings later this month.

Northern Saw-whet Owl. New Salem, Franklin Co., MA. November 25th, 2009. Image taken using Canon Powershot A590, without zoom or any optical aids.


Kim said...

You got some really great shots of the Saw-whet considering the lighting obstacles. Have yet to see one in the wild but it's on my list for 09! Happy Thanksgiving.

Hilke Breder said...

Nice shots of the Fox Sparrow and the Saw-whet Owl. I have yet to see one. I saw a Saw-whet Owl in a rehab center but that doesn't count.

James P. Smith said...

Thanks Kim and Hilke! Needless to say I was thrilled to find a perky saw-whet that would sit for long enough to have his picture taken! Most of them this month have been 'heard-only' birds, calling from deep within the woods. This bird was tooting so quietly that I initially thought it was beyond range (30+ meters) for views. It's really amazing how this bird can throw its voice and leave you completely baffled as to where it's calling from.