Monday, October 7, 2013

MA - October Swainson's Thrushes

Swainson's Thrushes have been filtering through the yards and woodland fringes in Gill during the last few mornings. They might have gone undetected were it not for their distinctive piping flight calls ('pweep') heard mostly around first light. We had one in our yard on Oct 4th, and on Oct 5th several were calling around the West Gill Road/South Cross Road intersection and along South Cross Road - probably about five individuals in all. Other than that, a fairly mixed bag of random observations in the last few days.

At Barton Cove on Oct 4th, 2 Pied-billed Grebes and 4 Ring-necked Ducks were present along with a nice 'wave' of 10+ Yellow-rumped and 7+ Blackpoll Warblers. The powerline cut at Depot Street at the Turner's Falls bike path was again very 'birdy' on Oct 4th with a bright adult Tennessee Warbler being the pick of the species present.

Susannah pulled a nice yard bird on Oct 5th in the form of a Nashville Warbler, whilst the best I could do was a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers, 3 Common Yellowthroats and a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

The fine spell of warm, sunny weather finally broke on Oct 6th with continuous rain and drizzle into the morning of the 7th. Sadly I couldn't get out in the storms of the 6th, but did note a late Osprey being mobbed by American Crows over Barton Cove around noon.

Magnolia Warbler - first-winter on a wet, gray morning.
Mountain Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 7th, 2013.

The 7th saw a clear and impressive arrival of White-throated Sparrows which seemed to be everywhere in Gill in large numbers (tens of birds in many places). With then came good numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers and quite a few Blackpoll Warblers. The powerline cut on Mountain Road was again of interest with a nice Magnolia Warbler close to the road. There was also a male Eastern Towhee there along with many commoner migrants such as Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows. At Barton Cove there was a major change in the composition waterfowl present with a raft of 32 Ring-necked and 4 Ruddy Ducks present. Scattered amongst the 100 or so Mallard were 2 American Wigeon, 2 Green-winged Teal and an American Black Duck.

Ring-necked Ducks - part of a group of 32 along with 4 Ruddy Ducks.
Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 7th, 2013. Apologies for the poor quality
shot. Been having some problems digi-scoping with the G10 lately.
Finally, our local Great Horned Owl pair have recently become increasingly vocal at dawn and dusk along Main Road, Gill.

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