Friday, November 4, 2011

MA - Unprecented late October weather event - 10/30

 Gill, Franklin Co, MA. 17:00 hrs on October 29th, 2011. Main Road can just be made out on the extreme right.

There was a lot talk of how big and bad this storm was going to be. I'm often sceptical about these discussions but this one lived up to its formidable reputation. Snow began falling in Gill at about 15:00 hrs on Saturday October 29th. By 17:00 hrs we'd accumulated about 3 inches in the yard. As the snow came down in broad, heavy, wet flakes it was sobering to watch a Ruby-crowned Kinglet trying to glean insects from the undersides of willow leaves in the yard. Snow continued to fall hard and heavy, and by 20:20hrs we'd lost power altogether in the house. We would have to wait three full days before it was restored, and I think we were the lucky ones!

 View from the yard looking SW towards Pisgah Mountain. 08:00 hrs, October 30th, 2011.
 The following morning (October 30th) dawned crisp and a little breezy. Snow had stopped falling but about eight inches had accumulated overnight. My early morning run was challenging to say the least with black ice every where, several downed trees on the roads, and even worse, downed electricity lines. It was pretty clear it was going to take days to clear up the mess. Thank goodness for our wood stove.........

Snow Geese - 22 migrating SW over our yard (very cool!), Gill, Franklin Co. MA. October 30th, 2011.

But the storm, or rather post-storm, did produce some good birds including the first Snow Geese that we've had over the yard. At Barton Cove the first Buffleheads of the fall appeared plus another party of 12 Snow Geese moving SW. The Turner's Falls power canal was also quite productive with 2 Bonaparte's Gulls in with the loafing Canada Geese, an American Wigeon and 3 'Eastern' Palm Warblers, plus 6 Yellow-rumps.

 'Eastern' Palm Warbler - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 30th, 2011.

Bonaparte's Gull - first-cycle, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 30th, 2011.

Despite the presence of 650 Canada Geese at Barton Cove and Turner's Falls, there was absolutely no sign of the Pink-footed or any other unusual geese.  Later in the afternoon, a Red-tailed Hawk and 4 American Herring Gulls migrated SW very high over the yard.



Larry said...

At least you got some good birds out of it! We just got our power back late Thursday. The storm certainly did live up to all the hype and then some!

James P. Smith said...

Yes it did live up to its hype, though I hear folks in Connecticut got hit even harder than us, some still without power a whole week after the event.

I must admit, I was thrilled to get the Snow Geese whilst shoveling snow from the driveway!