Monday, April 6, 2015

MA/VT - recent obs

Common Loon - adult breeding, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 5th, 2015.

As usual, I didn't get out to do a lot of birding over the weekend but I did have a few incidental observations of interest namely a Common Loon at Barton Cove, Gill, a northbound Cackling Goose over Turner's Falls with a small group of Canada Geese, and a concentration of a dozen Song Sparrows on the bike path, again at Turner's Falls. Sparrows proved to be an on-going theme with a newly arrived White-throated Sparrow in our yard on Sunday morning, then 2-3 singing Fox Sparrows on North Cross Road, Gill this morning along with 25+ Song Sparrows ground feeding by the roadside. Later in the morning I ventured up to Miller Farm fields in Vernon, Vermont where I found good numbers of Song Sparrows (45+) ground feeding along the fringes of the field.

Song SparrowsMiller Farm, Vernon, Windham Co., VT. April 6th, 2015. 

Miller Farm fields and overlook was good though I had high expectations of finding big concentrations of waterfowl on the CT river above Vernon Dam. The birds were there but distance made observations relatively difficult though there were a couple of nice surprises, most notably in the form of a pair of nesting Ospreys. Amazing to see how quickly they get on with the job of nesting building having only just arrived a few days ago.......and I still haven't seen a single migrant Osprey at Barton Cove this year!

Ospreys - Miller Farm, Vernon, Windham Co., VT. April 6th, 2015.

I also spotted a real odd-ball at Vernon on the CT river - a leucistic Canada Goose, essentially all creamy-white apart from a perfectly normal black neck-sock and white cheek. I've seen quite a few aberrant Canada Geese in the valley over the years but nothing quite like this one. Hector Galbraith independently found the same bird but was viewing from the the New Hampshire side of the river in Hinsdale.

leucistic Canada Goose (center) - from Miller Farm, Vernon, Windham Co., VT. April 6th, 2015.

Back in Gill, a very quick check of Barton Cove between errands revealed a few new birds, including four Double-crested Cormorants and two Northern Pintail but otherwise similar, or even slightly diminished numbers from recent visits. The Bald Eagles were also creating havoc among the gulls so nothing new to report there.

 Double-crested Cormorants - four fresh arrivals, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 6th, 2015.

Bald Eagle - juvenile/first-winter, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 6th, 2015.

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