Monday, December 31, 2012

MA - Greenfield CBC - 12/30

Today I joined Josh Rose for his sector of the Greenfield CBC. Our plot was centered around Turner's Falls covering sites entirely situated on the eastern side of the Connecticut River, roughly from the Turner's Falls Rod and Gun club south to the bike path off Greenfield Road. 
It's the only day of the year which gives me the opportunity to spend an entire day birding sites that typically I would only visit for an hour or less whenever I managed to get out locally. It felt like a true winter's day with four or five inches of fresh powdery snow on the ground, at times drifted by 15-20 mph northerly winds. Temperatures never rose above freezing all day and actually felt much colder due to the wind chill.

Migratory Way - Turner's Falls power canal, early morning before the snow plough. December 30th, 2012.

Bird-wise the day included a fine tally of 51 species beginning at 0650hrs with a calling Eastern Screech-owl at the Turner's Falls canal. This bird gave 'whinny' calls constantly for 20 minutes and was a personal highlight for me. Incredibly, Josh and I heard another giving 'whinny' calls at around 10am just north of Depot Street giving us two day-calling screech-owls for the count. We found Barrow's Goldeneyes from the bike path at Greenfield Road, at Barton Cove and the power canal, a Lesser Black-backed Gull off Unity Park, Pine Grosbeaks in downtown Turner's Falls, Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaups at the Rod and Gull club, and the long staying Pied-billed Grebe on the power canal. As always, redpolls proved to be frustrating with a flock of over 30 buzzing around the power line cut north of Depot Street with only a single bird offering itself for definitive identification - that one was a Common Redpoll.

All in all, a superb count well above expectation - amazing what can be discovered on the local patch in a single day with a bit of effort!

Thanks to Josh for his company, organization and the invitation to join.......

Best birding for 2013!


American Robin at dawn - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012.

Turner's Falls power canal - Josh Rose getting the count the underway,early morning, December 30th, 2012.

Barrow's Goldeneye - female (right) with female Common Goldeneye, CT River at Montague City, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012. We believe that the same female Barrow's flew into the power canal at dusk along with almost 40 Common Goldeneyes.

Barrow's Goldeneye - adult male, Barton Cove from Unity Park, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012.

Lesser Black-backed Gull - adult (left) with American Herring and Ring-billed Gulls. Found at lunch time when it was the only dark mantled gull present for a while. Unity Park, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012.

Pied-billed Grebe - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012. Present since late October but capable of disappearing for long periods.

Pine Grosbeak - one of three female-types, 3rd street, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012. The birds fed oblivious as a guy used a snow-blower to clear the sidewalk below their feeding tree! I still can't get used to how absurdly tame these northern breeders can be.

 Belted Kingfisher - male by the CT River, Montague City, Franklin Co., MA. 
December 30th, 2012.

Pileated Woodpecker - working cavities by the CT River, Montague City, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2012.

1 comment:

JRandSue said...

Happy New Year James,Cya in three weeks time.
John and Sue.