Friday, June 7, 2013

MA - Black-billed Cuckoos in the Quabbin

This seems to be a great spring and summer for Black-billed Cuckoos in Western MA. Not only have I noted them on our neighbor's 'Blake Farm' property but more recently I've had the privilege of being allowed into parts of the restricted area of the Quabbin Watershed, the Prescott Peninsula. Two recent field mornings here have produced 3 - 6 singing males on each visit, much more than I can recall during any other birding experience in Western MA, including many previous visits to the Prescott. Indeed it seems ironic that last year, when I tallied 635 species in North America during the course of the year, I didn't see a single Black-billed Cuckoo!! Admittedly, 2012 was a big travel year for me but even so, I would have expected the odd Black-billed Cuckoo to be heard locally in Gill. This year seems to be very different, and I hadn't really appreciated just how erratic the appearance of this species can be from year to year in Massachusetts.

All images taken at the Prescott Peninsula. New Salem, Franklin Co., MA on June 5th, 2013.

And a Ruffed Grouse sneaking through the shadows as it crosses the track......

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