Thursday, November 3, 2016

MA - Evening Grosbeak in Gill

Update: It certainly seems like an incursion of Evening Grosbeaks is taking place in the Northfield/Gill/Turner's Falls area. This morning I stumbled across a flock of 12 feeding in Sugar Maples (?) in Gill, and on the 10th I saw nine apparently dispersing from roosts on North Cross Road, and in the days prior to that, single fly-overs in Northfield, Gill and Turner's Falls. It certainly seems plausible that more have yet to arrive, perhaps showing up at feeders later in the month. 

Evening Grosbeaks - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 12th, 2016.

Evening Grosbeak - juv/first-winter, North Cross Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 3rd, 2016.

This morning I was just finishing up a run on North Cross Road, Gill when I heard the distinctive call of a Tropical Kingbird. It was just one call note, but sounded spot on for that species which I know well from multiple trips to Arizona, Texas and most recently, California. Being very aware of a resident pair of Northern Mockingbirds in the exact same spot, I took the call with a 'pinch of salt'. On the other hand, having just seen Western and Gray Kingbirds in New England in the last ten days, I wasn't prepared to take any chances and returned to the area after dropping Matan at school. A few bursts of playback didn't yield the hoped-for result but in the distance I did hear an Evening Grosbeak which eventually worked its way towards me. Evening Grosbeaks are scarce, perhaps irruptive and certainly unpredictable in Franklin County in my experience, late spring and fall seemingly being the best periods to catch up with them.

Elsewhere, Pied-billed Grebe, 6 Ring-necked Ducks and a Merlin chasing a Red-bellied Woodpecker enlivened a relatively quiet Barton Cove.

Ring-necked Ducks - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 2nd, 2016.

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