Thursday, October 29, 2015

MA - PIWO and Greater Scaup (FOS)

Pileated Woodpecker - two different individuals, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2015.

With a few minutes to kill before an appointment at nine, I pulled up at the Turner's Falls power canal at one of my usual spots. Slap-bang on the utility pole in front of me was a super Pileated Woodpecker! Hardly believing my luck I slowly opened the car door and snapped a pic before it shuffled around the pole and became more difficult to see. Then I heard a second Pileated and looked up to find another perched on the utility pole behind me.....not too shabby I thought! The first Pileated continued to work the original utility pole and then something additional caught my eye......atop the exact same pole was super Merlin, seemingly totally unconcerned by my presence. Within seconds the Merlin took off to pursue a small group of Cedar Waxings that flew in to feed on wild grapes - a pretty 'sweet' cameo of species at close range!

 Merlin -  Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2015.

 Cedar Waxwings - Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 28th, 2015.
Good numbers of these in small groups scattered along the fringes of the power canal, about 40 in total.

By mid-morning, rain and showers set in for the day and continued heavily through the night with some thunderstorms in the mix, apparently the remnants of Hurricane Patricia. As so often with these weather events, expectations were raised for some wind-blown waifs but it wasn't to be. In fact, a quick spin around Turner's Falls in the morning found it to be incredibly quiet though pleasantly warm and windy. The afternoon was better with the power canal producing two Greater Scaup while the Lesser Scaup continued, and three drake Common Goldeneyes were also present.

  Greater Scaup - first-winter male and female, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. October 29th, 2015.
Fresh arrivals and my first of the season. Lesser Scaup also present but not associating with these guys.

 Bonaparte's Gull - adult in winter plumage, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 29th, 2015.
Image taken from Unity Park, Turner's Falls, thus distant and very grainy. Gull diversity is picking up with up 43 Ring-billed and 7 Herring Gulls seen this week. Bonapartes are far less usual here.

At Barton Cove, an adult Bonaparte's Gull was a nice end to the day and had likely dropped in sometime during the afternoon because I certainly didn't see it on the morning rounds.

No comments: