Monday, July 27, 2015

MA - hello autumn

Signs of autumn are not always that easy to detect in my corner of the Pioneer Valley but one of the strongest indicators is the appearance of Yellow Warblers as they filter through the trees and bushes bordering the many fields in our area. I first noted them on July 9th and they've been a regular feature ever since most easily detected by their 'buzzy' flight calls. This is more likely to be post-breeding dispersal rather than true migration but the appearance of Yellow Warblers has always marked the tail end of the breeding season and the beginning of autumn migration for me.

Throughout June and into July, I had regularly seen single Green Herons flying back and forth over North Cross Road in Gill, quite scarce in the Gill area, and I strongly suspected that they were breeding locally. On Friday morning I had a high-flying small heron over North Cross road but this bird behaved differently gaining height and then flying around in at least four loops. It was a Green Heron but my photos revealed it to be a pristine plumaged juvenile, most likely relatively recently fledged and no doubt a result of local breeding.

Green Heron - juvenile, North Cross Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. July 24th, 2015.

Nowadays I see very few migrant shorebirds locally, so it was nice to come across two adult Least Sandpipers this morning (07/27) foraging at the edge of the Oxbow Marina in Northampton. These were certain migrants but 3-4 Spotted Sandpipers close by may have been local breeders. Hopefully I'll be blogging about more local shorebirds in the weeks to come. 

 Least Sandpipers - adults, Oxbow Marina, Northampton, Hampshire Co., MA. July 27th, 2015.

 Spotted Sandpiper - Oxbow Marina, Northampton, Hampshire Co., MA. July 27th, 2015.

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