Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MA - White-winged Crossbill and more in Gill

A most interesting day developing. This morning, around 7am, I had a calling White-winged Crossbill heading east over the top of Derby Hill in Gill. Minutes later, as I descended down the hill I had good looks at a Barred Owl crossing the snowmobile trail.  Susannah also had two Barred Owls calling on Main Road, Gill about 1 mile North-east of the intersection with Route 2.

Winter Wrens (2) and Golden-crowned Kinglets again featured on our neighbor's property and our own yard was full of Dark-eyed Juncos bringing a Field Sparrow with them.

A quick mid-morning drive down to the Turner's Falls power canal was fruitless in terms of geese with only 4 Canadas present but careful scanning produced a few newly arrived waterfowl including a Pied-billed Grebe, 3 Ring-necked Ducks and a male Ruddy Duck. Similarly, Barton Cove looked very quiet at first but ultimately produced 2 Ruddy Ducks, 2 Hooded Mergansers and no less than 5 Pied-billed Grebes in what appeared to be a clear arrival of the latter species. 

 Ring-necked Ducks - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co.,  MA. October 24th, 2012.

 Pied-billed Grebe - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co.,  MA. October 24th, 2012.

This morning's White-winged Crossbill may well fit within a broader pattern of irruptive northern passerines in New England and I've now seen reports of Pine Grosbeaks from Massachusetts and Vermont, Evening Grosbeaks, White-winged and Red Crossbills from Massachusetts, a Common Redpoll in Connecticut and an early Bohemian Waxwing in Vermont. That's aside from the Pine Siskins and Purple Finches present everyday around Gill. This could be shaping up into a very interesting late fall/early winter.

Ruddy Ducks (above) and Pied-billed Grebe (below)  - Barton Cove, Franklin Co.,  MA. October 24th, 2012.

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