Monday, November 6, 2017

MA - Redheads and a Red-throated Loon in Gill

 Redheads - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2017.

 Yet another fascinating day for migration in northern Franklin County, a day which really began the previous evening as warm, moist air brought fog and heavy rain showers all night resulting quite a few birds. The previous evening brought the first major arrival of gulls to Turner's Falls as a single flock of 15+ Ring-billed and 45+ Herring Gulls suddenly appeared out of the gloom and settled at the power canal. 

This morning (11/06) I did my run in the darkness and finished with enough time to get down to Barton Cove for first light. It looked quite barren at first but an American Coot suddenly appeared next to the boat ramp and 3 Redheads looked nervous as they hung around with the Canada Geese. At the Rod & Gun club good numbers of Canada Geese were already departing by the time I arrived and there was no sign of the previous day's Pink-footed Goose seen by just two lucky observers mid-morning. But I did find 16 Green-winged Teal, 2 American Wigeon, a Bufflehead, a Common Goldeneye, 2 Ring-necked Ducks and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers among other things whilst I was there. 

Red-throated Loon - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2017.

By 8am I was back home and back into our daily routine but sneaked out just before noon amid yet more heavy showers. The Redheads remained on Barton Cove but as attractive as they were, the bird that really captured my imagination was a Red-throated Loon way out on the cove. Since I was some distance away, I decided to move over to the boat ramp for better views, proceeded to lose it and never saw the bird again! It disappeared just as mysteriously as it had appeared. Despite watching the Gill/Turner's Falls area regularly during spring and fall migration I couldn't recall ever seeing a Red-throated Loon in the area before and for some reason it looked unexpectedly out of place on Barton Cove!

American Coot - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2017.

The balmy, wet southerlies continued for much of the day, grounding the Redheads for the whole day and bringing a nice male Long-tailed Duck to the Rod & Club in late afternoon. On the other hand, 8 Common Goldeneye at the power canal looked more like returning winterers than actual migrants. As if the day wasn't complete enough, the White-eyed Vireo once again showed up in its sheltered nook by the Connecticut River in Turner's Falls.

White-eyed Vireo - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2017.

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