Tuesday, March 8, 2016

MA - early March Barrow's Goldeneyes and a Glaucous Gull

Barrow's Goldeneye (left) - male, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. March 4th, 2016.

The opening week of March might best be described as 'steady', at least from the Gill/Turner's Falls perspective. It was very much a picture of gradual increases in waterfowl numbers and, respectively, dwindling numbers of large gulls. On the plus side, the attractive pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes remained at the Turner's Falls Rod and Gun club throughout the period along with up to four drake Bufflehead that consorted between there and Barton Cove. Good numbers of displaying Common Mergansers were present throughout. Numbers of Ring-necked Ducks peaked around the 4th/5th with up 23 at Barton Cove and a further 13 at the power canal - most were males. 

Just as the large gulls appeared to be dispersing, a surprise Glaucous Gull showed at Barton Cove on the 7th and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls (first-cycle and second-cycle) brought more interest on the 8th. In fact, on the evening of the 8th, Ring-billed Gull numbers had swollen to 250 birds so there was clearly an arrival of fresh birds there. Many of the Ring-billeds were calling from the ice, as were the Herring Gulls. 

In the fields around Gill, well lots of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles to be found there and this morning (the 9th) I thought I heard a 'snatch' of Eastern Phoebe song but couldn't quite clinch it. That was on North Cross Road where a calling Barred Owl and a Winter Wren were rather easier to confirm. It's currently very spring-like with temperatures expected to reach 70 deg F this afternoon...pretty crazy for early-mid March!

Barrow's Goldeneyes male (left) and female (right) -  Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. March 4th, 2016.

Glaucous Gull - first-cycle, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. March 7th, 2016.

 Lesser Black-backed Gull - second-cycle, Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. March 8th, 2016.

Ring-necked Ducks - daily at Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. March  1st - 7th, 2016.
Numbers peaked at 23 on Mar 4th and 5th with a further 13 birds at Turner's Falls power canal.

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