Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MA - late April arrivals in Gill

Apologies for neglecting my posts lately. Texas became increasingly intense towards the end of the trip and since returning home it's been the usual cycle of settling into the daily rigors of 'normal' life, preparing for the next tour (Ohio and Michigan) whilst trying to put away the last tour (Texas).

But, as always, late April proved to be an exciting time in Gill, especially within the immediate vicinity of our house on Main Road. Within a two mile radius of the homestead we recorded many new species for the year with fresh birds arriving every single day. Here's a short list of some of the notables;

April 25th: Louisiana Waterthrush - singles singing on the brook behind our house and another behind Gill Fire Station. Widespread after this date with many small streams around Gill hosting singing males.

April 26th: Black-and-White Warbler - one singing in our yard. Eastern Towhee near intersection of Mountain and Main Roads. First Barn Swallows and House Wrens appear.

April 27th: Blue-headed Vireo - several singing along Main Road along with a Yellow Warbler. A single Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in our yard plus another along Main Road. Broad-winged Hawk gliding low over Main Road, probably a local breeder. Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers already widespread. An especially bold House Wren singing at Giving Tree School off Main Road.

Close encounter of the Red-tail kind - extra-ordinarily approachable first-summer Red-tailed Hawk.
Turner's Falls bike path, Franklin Co., MA. April 27th, 2013. Scroll down for more shots of this very tame bird.

April 28th: Prairie Warbler - male singing along the power line cut to the east of Main Road, possibly my earliest in Gill. Palm Warblers (yellow, eastern birds) at South Cross Road and one in our yard. First Black-throated Green Warblers appear. Yellow Warbler on territory in our yard.

(Eastern) Palm Warbler - Gill yard, Franklin Co., MA. April 28th, 2013.

April 29th: Many Black-throated Green Warblers in the Hemlocks on the slopes of Darby Hill.

April 30th: First Ovenbird singing from woodland off Main Road. Common Yellowthroat calling (but not singing) near intersection with Mountain and Main Roads. First Warbling Vireos (in our yard and along Main Road).

May 1st - First Blackburnian Warbler and Northern Parula, both along Main Road SW of Gill Fire Station.

In general, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers seemingly everywhere in Gill, including a pair nesting in our yard. Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, Field Sparrow and Purple Finch all present in good numbers in suitable habitat around Gill in the last week or so.




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