Friday, March 9, 2012

MA - Woodcocks galore and waterfowl on the move - 03/09

Gill - The day began cold but nice, with an American Woodcock displaying close to our yard at 05:20am. On my run I came across a further four, possibly five woodcocks on Boyle Street, Gill. Only the emerging dawn prevented me from recording others on my loop and I didn't hear them after 05:50am. A Hermit Thrush also called from a yard at the intersection with Boyle and North Cross, my first locally this year. Killdeers were also calling off Boyle Street in the pre-dawn with another seen in a field off Lyons Hill Road, Gill later in the day. I noted my first American Woodcock and my first local Killdeer of the year on February 29th.

 Common Mergansers - part of c. 85 present, Barton Cove, Franklin Co., MA. March 9th, 2012. 

Ring-necked Ducks - part of flock of c.80 with Greater Scaup (near center), Barton Cove, Franklin Co., MA. March 9th, 2012. 

Canada Geese - part of a mass of c.1800 birds, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. March 9th, 2012.  

 Gadwall - male (left) with Black Ducks and hybrid (right), Barton Cove, Franklin Co., MA. March 9th, 2012. 

By mid-morning I was keen to get a sense of migration which has certainly gathered momentum over the previous two days. I headed down to Barton Cove and wasn't disappointed. The cove was full of newly arrived Ring-necked Ducks (c.80), and some scaup (5 Greater and 3 Lesser Scaup), plus Mallards, Black Ducks and a pair of Gadwall. Over 80 Common and 2 Hooded  Mergansers were also present, dodging several marauding Bald Eagles seemingly intent on stealing the mergansers catch. I would admit to being more than a little surprised to see six Bald Eagles in the air together, including four adults - all the birds were in the heart of the territory of the resident pair.

Not wanting to neglect the power canal, I then headed down to Turner's Falls, timing my visit perfectly for a sudden mass-arrival of 1800 Canada Geese - quite the spectacle. Despite much effort, I couldn't rustle up any of the rarer geese and they all appeared to be Canadas. Six Ring-necked Ducks were present here too, along with with about 6 Common Goldeneyes and another Bald Eagle.


1 comment:

KaHolly said...

Wow! Woodcocks already? Are they early? I haven't had the pleasure for a couple of years, now, and I forget.