Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MA - poking around - Winter Wren and Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow - West Northfield yard, Franklin Co., MA. October 29th, 2014.

The last two days have been beautifully calm and autumnal. The first was superbly clear with glorious late autumn sunshine while the second was fog-bound until well after noon and a complete contrast to the previous day. Both days produced some nice species as I selected my birding spots between running errands.

October 28th brought six Horned Grebes to Barton Cove as well as a fly-over Snow Bunting and 5 Ring-necked Ducks. At the power canal, two, possibly three Cackling Geese were present in the afternoon including the continuing bird for its fifth straight day. A female Northern Pintail appeared all too briefly amid the Canada Geese before disappearing downstream.

The next day was heavily shrouded in fog but still had some good species in the woodland edges at Barton Cove including several Golden-crowned Kinglets, ten plus Yellow-rumped Warblers, a late Blackpoll Warbler, a calling Red-breasted Nuthatch (seem scarce this fall) and a perky Winter Wren. Late afternoon was dark and gloomy but brightened up considerably by a super 'Red' Fox Sparrow - the first at our new place in West Northfield, even bursting into song a couple of times toward dusk.

Horned Grebes - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2014. 
Seems like the best way to get close to these grebes is by kayak! The shot below is a very heavy crop of the same group of six Horned Grebes. 

 Cackling Goose (center) - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2014. 
My second of the fall at this location. Less 'frosty' looking than the previous individual with a lot more buff to the breast color and narrower pale fringes to the upperparts. 
Again on the large side for a Cackling Goose but note the completely different head and bill shape compared to the surrounding Canadas.

 Winter Wren Troglodytes hiemalis  - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 29th, 2014. 
Not too uncommon around Gill but views like this are few and far between with most of my observations going down as 'heard only'.

 Northern Pintail (center) -  female-type, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2014. 

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