Friday, August 30, 2013

MA - late August Nighthawks and more 08/30

Gill - There was still a Yellow-throated Vireo singing this morning (08/30) in a spot where I've periodically heard one singing throughout the summer. Before this morning, I last heard it on August 25th and was impressed to hear him singing again on the rather late date of August 30th. Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos can also be heard singing in the same spot centered around the intersection Main and South Cross Roads in Gill.

This week also saw several 'waves' of Common Nighthawks moving through our area including about 50 hawking low over Montague on August 26th, and about 30 over Gill Riverside on August 28th. Although Matan and I didn't witness the hundreds being reported from various migration watch points in Western Mass, we had our birds close enough and low enough to provide a real spectacle.

Common Nighthawks - foraging over Montague, Franklin Co., August 26th, 2013.

Our yard in Gill has also been quite busy throughout the week, though no obvious major arrivals of migrants have been detected. Good numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Gray Catbirds remain and species such as Veery, Ovenbird, Baltimore Oriole, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat have made appearances. It's been a decent week for flycatchers though, with single Least, Alder (calling), Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood Pewee and Great Crested Flycatcher all being found, plus tantalizing but unconfirmed views of a possible Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on August
Veery - Gill yard, Franklin Co., MA. August 28th, 2013.

Gray Catbird - Gill yard, Franklin Co., MA. August 28th, 2013.
About a dozen present in the yard at the moment.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - female/imm, Gill yard, Franklin Co., MA. August 28th, 2013.
Probably about six present in the yard at the moment feeding as much on Jewelweed as they are on our feeders.

We haven't seen our breeding Louisiana Waterthrushes for a few weeks but a migrant Northern Waterthrush has spent at least four days on the stream amongst the Alders. It's been elusive and difficult to photograph. Also saw my first Merlin of the fall this week at the sod fields on Pine Meadow Road in Northfield. This bird cropped up during a very unproductive search for shorebirds - I couldn't even dig up a Killdeer!

Merlin - juvenile, Four Star Farms. Northfield, Franklin Co., MA. August 29th, 2013.
Looking rather lost in the middle of the sod fields, perhaps hoping to find a few Least Sandpipers!

A change in weather would be welcome, hopefully bringing some warbler flocks through the yard.


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