Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MA - Turner's Falls sector of the Greenfield CBC


Black-capped Chickadee - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
One of 61 recorded inside our sector at Turner's Falls.

As well as final holiday celebrations, the end of the year has become synonymous (for me at least) with the Greenfield Christmas Bird Count and this year was no exception. Having still been with family in the UK on December 28th, I felt quite lucky to be back just in time for the count on December 30th and even luckier to be joined for the entire day by Brian Kane and Josh Layfield.

Josh Layfield and Brian Kane - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
Checking the scrub for passerines under the power lines at Depot Street. 
This spot produced our only Golden-crowned Kinglet for the day.

Unlike last year's frigid count, the day was seasonably mild and pleasant throughout, so pleasant in fact that we had no real weather event to 'stir' things up for our benefit. That much said, for a rather banal day with seemingly little avian action we did well to find 48 different bird species and tallied some 1927 individual birds, all in the Turner's Falls sector of the count. Notable misses included Northern Flicker, Brown Creeper and Cedar Waxwing all of which can often be found around Turner's Falls in the winter months. And, given the frequency of irruptive finch reports in late fall and early winter, it was a major surprise to find only one 'winter finch' for the day - a single Common Redpoll flying over Unity Park.


Brian Kane trying to track down the only unidentified call of the day, a call which remained a mystery and eluded identification. 
Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.


Red-breasted Nuthatch - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
A decent tally of four, all of them at the same spot. 


Bald Eagles (immature and adult) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
A great count with eleven seen, most of them in the afternoon when the sun came out and breeze picked up. 

On the other hand, highlights were many and included some good counts for Bald Eagle (11), Downy Woodpecker (16), White-breasted Nuthatch (18), Red-breasted Nuthatch (4), Black-capped Chickadee (61), Eastern Bluebird (16), and House Finch (82). Alas we didn't find anything truly rare but scarce, noteworthy species included Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Bufflehead (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), and a Glaucous Gull picked out by Brian Kane late in the day. Particularly niggling misses included Cackling Goose and Lesser Scaup, both of which could be seen from Unity Park the previous day.

House Finches (males) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
A bumper crop of these with 82 for the day compared to 23 the previous year!


Cooper's Hawk (male) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
A fairly consistently seen raptor around Turner's Falls, we saw this particular male Cooper's in two different spots near Unity Park.


Brian Kane and Josh Layfield counting waterfowl from the bike path off Depot Street.
Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.

Glaucous Gull (first-winter) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
A nice reward for repeated checks of the gull flock from Unity Park. One of six species of the gull for the day.

Cackling Goose - Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. December 29th, 2018.
We worked hard to pick out this bird on count day but couldn't find it anywhere!

White-breasted Nuthatch - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
Surprisingly common around Turner's Falls with 18 recorded on count day.

Brian and Josh worked especially hard on this count and I'm very grateful to them for putting up with me for the day. We had loads of fun and look forward to doing it again!

Brian Kane and Josh Layfield scanning for a calling Red-shouldered Hawk off Depot Street.
Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.

View from the Rod and Gun Club - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.


Long shadows - scanning for 'the' Red-shouldered Hawk off Depot Street.
Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.

View from the Rod and Gun Club - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.


Barton Cove at dusk from Unity Park, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. December 30th, 2018.
Home to a modest gull roost of six species including Glaucous, Iceland and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.







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