Monday, December 5, 2016

MA - early Dec

The first week of December was generally mild, calm and often foggy. Owls continue to feature with Barred Owls being relatively easy to find. Unfortunately, several have succumbed to vehicles and I've seen no less than seven road-killed Barred Owls over the last two weeks including five in the Greenfield area alone. 

With fall migration pretty much behind us, it’s perhaps surprising that Northern Saw-whet Owls continue to feature in the local woods in relatively large numbers with many birds seemingly settling down to winter territories. For example, owling with friends in Putney, Vermont, we found a minimum of six individuals at four sites on Dec 6th, and a minimum of five birds in three sites in Franklin County on Dec 7th. Contact calls included a full range of vocals, the familiar 'tooting' song being among the least frequent of the vocalizations heard. 

At Turner's Falls, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull continues to be seen most afternoons. A second-year Iceland Gull on Dec 2nd was my first of the current winter season, hopefully the forerunner of more to come later in the month. Waterfowl numbers continue to impress at the power canal with a show of up 165 Common Mergansers and up to 35 Common Goldeneye at dusk. A Cackling Goose continued in the area to Dec 1st at least and a pair of Gadwall showed up at Barton Cove, Gill on Dec 7th. Also in Gill, another Northern Shrike, again a brown-immature on Dec 7th.  

 Barred Owl - Greenfield, Franklin Co., MA. December 5th, 2016.

Barred Owl - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. December 8th, 2016.

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Putney, Windham Co., VT. December 6th, 2016. 

Gadwall - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. December 7th, 2016. 

  Lesser Black-backed Gull - adult, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 3rd, 2016.

Kumlien's Iceland Gull - second-cycle, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 2nd, 2016.

Cedar Waxwings - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 4th, 2016.

Common Goldeneyes -  Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 3rd, 2016.

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