Sunday, May 31, 2020

May - fourth week; Canada Warblers, Black Bears and a Sandhill Crane!

Canada Warbler (male) - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 

The last week of May began with an especially notable arrival of Canada Warblers on the 25th, most of which appeared to be pure migrants with singles singing on Boyle Road, Gill, Smiarowski Road, Montague (Brian Kane and Noel Watkins) and Hilltop Farm, Deerfield (David Sibley). I say "especially notable' because Canada Warblers have been especially scarce this spring. As luck would have it, I found a further three Canada Warblers during a mid-morning visit to Orchard Hill at Umass-Amherst where I came across an unexpectedly good fall-out of northern passerines including; Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1), Swainson's Thrush (3), Tennessee Warbler (11), Northern Parula (3), Magnolia Warbler (9), Bay-breasted Warbler (3), Blackpoll Warbler (6), Black-throated Green Warbler (12). In the evening a Common Nighthawk flew NNE over the Sunderland/Montague townline, one of the very few local nighthawks seen in migration this spring.

Magnolia Warbler (male) - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 


Black-throated Blue Warbler (female) - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 


Swainson's Thrush - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 


Ovenbird - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 

Bay-breasted Warbler - Orchard Hill, Umass-Amherst, Hampshire Co., MA. May 25th, 2020. 


The following day (May 26th), saw two Blackpoll Warblers, an Alder Flycatcher and a new Canada Warbler all singing on North Cross Road, Gill and single Olive-sided Flycatchers at Hell's Kitchen, Northfield (Josh Layfield) and Hilltop Farm, Deerfield (David Sibley).


The 27th saw a further three Blackpoll Warblers along North Cross Road, Gill where there was also had a singing Black-billed Cuckoo but I think the highlight would have to be the discovery of one, possibly two, Grasshopper Sparrows at a new site in Deerfield.

Grasshopper Sparrow - Deerfield, Franklin Co., MA. May 27th, 2020. 

Two Blackpoll Warblers were singing in our Northfield yard on the 28th and a singing Mourning Warbler was in Deerfield (David Sibley), the latter species seems to have been decidedly scarce this month, especially compared to last year.

The week also produced a number of daytime Black Bear sightings including singles in Gill on the 28th and Charlemont on the 31st, and this one neatly photographed by Brian Kane in his backyard in Sunderland on the 27th!

Black Bear - Sunderland, Franklin Co., MA. May 27th, 2020. 
Image appears courtesy of Brian Kane. 

As the month drew to a close, the air was full of the sounds of breeding species settling down for the season in Franklin County with especially an especially vocal Virginia Rail in Gill, and a distinct increase in singing Alder Flycatchers and Black-billed Cuckoos. The last day of the month was neatly rounded off by a stunning Sandhill Crane preening in a roadside marsh, quite oblivious to the Sunday traffic and attention that it was receiving from the passing public! 

Sandhill Crane - Ashfield, Franklin Co., MA. May 31st, 2020.



No comments: