Thursday, November 19, 2009

MA - Yard Sapsucker - 11/18

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - First-winter male, North Whitney Street, Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. November 10th, 2009. Unusual in November, though earlier this year we had one at our feeders in January. This bird was digi-binned from the back window on Nov 10th, but another or the same appeared briefly in front of our apartment on November 18th.

The day began well with an early morning Snow Bunting passing West over North Whitney Street, Amherst at about 7am. Not quite countable as a yard bird, but not that far away either. It was certainly nice to hear the clear ringing calls as it passed overhead. Then came a Common Raven, again calling, but this time visible (naked eye) from the yard. Common Ravens have been fairly frequent over North Whitney Street since August which seems like a slight shift in occurrence as we only used to see hear them here in the winter months. Around noon, our second Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the month appeared in front of the apartment but was too quick for the camera. It may have been the same bird as that photographed above, taken on November 10th.

In the afternoon I had a drive out to the Quabbin and visited Gate 5, only the second time I've tried this particular gate. As I arrived, two immaculate juvenile Bald Eagles passed so close that I could hear the air whistling through the feathers - nice! They were probably heading for roost. Just offshore, a lovely adult male Long-tailed Duck was diving and preening. It was the only bird on the water that I could see! With dusk fast approaching I managed just a couple of blurred shots.

Long-tailed Duck - Adult male, Quabbin Reservoir, Hampshire Co., MA. November 18th, 2009.

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