Columbus Day weekend (as with any holiday weekend) was absorbed by family time leaving very few time-windows for birding. Even so, it was a joy to be outside and Columbus Day itself was just about as glorious as any New England day could be. Despite a chilly, foggy start, the day filled up with warm sunshine which seemed to be a cue for many birds to start singing. Around the fields and woods of Gill, the air was full of birdsong as my morning bike ride encountered Northern Mockingbirds, Northern Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, White-throated, White-crowned and Song Sparrows some singing rather vigorously as though spring was just around the corner. The highlight was a singing Orange-crowned Warbler on North Cross Road very close to the Bernardston townline, the second time that I've heard an Orange-crowned Warbler singing locally this week. Although it's not rare to hear some species break into song on autumnal days, the volume of song this morning was struck me as unusual. Other birds of note included a Blue-headed Vireo calling across the road from Gill Elementary School and about half-a-dozen American Pipits in the fields at Upinngil Farm.
North Cross Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. Mid-October, 2015.