Monday, March 17, 2014

MA - random weekend birds - 03/17

Barton Cove's 'purple patch' continued all the way through the weekend into Monday morning (03/17) giving lots of visiting birders an opportunity to catch up with species such as Canvasback, Redhead, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck (new female), and Glaucous Gull. Counts of other diving ducks varied tremedously between observers with 45-100 Ring-necked Ducks, 5-15 Greater Scaup, 2-5 Lesser Scaup and numerous Hooded and Common Mergansers being reported on ebird. In addition, I also had my first local Wood Ducks and Peregrine of the year at the cove on Saturday morning (03/15).

Long-tailed Duck - female, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. Fresh arrival on March 15th, 2014.
Gracious thanks to Steve M. for letting me know about this just as I was about to head home from the power canal.
 The same bird continues to March 17th at least. 

Canvasbacks - males, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. March 16th, ive.
These distinctively handsome diving ducks continued through to March 17th at least. 

Sharp-shinned Hawk - juv/fisrt-winter, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA.March 16th, 2014.
Never common in winter in our area, this bird managed to spook all the gulls and ducks at Barton Cove on Sunday evening. 
Quite possibly my firts local 'Sharpie' of the year. 

On Sunday afternoon we had a nice but brutally cold outing to Quabbin Park hoping to see some eagles and we weren't disappointed. Two immature Bald Eagles were feeding at a deer carcass way out on the ice as soon as we arrived and we later had an adult and a sub-adult soaring over the Lookout Tower late in the afternoon. The latter birds were actually much more satisfactory than the distant immatures, beautifully illumated from below by snow as they soared overhead. Also spectacular views of a close Turkey Vulture at the trout hatchery south of Winsor Dam.

Turkey Vulture - McLaughlin Trout Hatchery, Quabbin Watershed, Hampshire Co., MA. March 16th, 2014. 
Already widespread in the Pioneer Valley after my first local bird on March 11th. 

Bald Eagles - Quabbin Park, Hampshire Co., MA. March 16th, 2014.

After a brief respite with a milder day on Saturday we're back to frigid conditions once again with nightime temperatures being especially low. 
The winter seems determined to hang on for as long as it can.

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