Thursday, April 15, 2010

On my way home this evening I came up over the rise only to find the gates of the railroad crossing coming down….Damm. Lately these 6:00pm trains have been a little lengthy, so as I counted the cars as the train rolled passed I said to myself, it’s time to update the blog. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it, because I have, it’s just life has been a little busy.

The last time I updated my blog, I had just finished up my first class of the spring birding course…and of course it had to “SNOW”. All was not lost; we had a nice morning looking at horned Larks and Snow Buntings. The Second trip was supposed to go to Plum Island, this time the forecast was for heavy rains, steady winds and maybe a little sleet thrown in. We decided to stay closer to home, and the majority of the heavy weather held off until the afternoon, so we finished up the morning at Barton’s Cove in Turners Falls enjoying immature Bald Eagles flying about the cove and two adult Bald Eagles staying close to the nest, and a Red-breasted Merganser to add a little icing.

A quick look back over the past several weeks shows a fairly slow waterfowl migration here in the Valley. Numbers of ducks were very low this spring, probably due in part to the early warm up we had in March. Tree Sparrows seemed to have exited a little early this spring and Fox sparrow numbers were unimpressive. The warm weather brought in early migrates to the region, not necessarily here in the valley but along the Massachusetts coast….Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Vireo, White-eyed Vireo and Prothonotary Warbler too mention just a few.

So another class heads out Saturday…..that can only mean cool temps and rain awaits the hardy group. Hopefully I’ll be able to start updating the blog a little more often.

Below are some photos from the past outings,



Oh, the train count…..4 Engines and 103 cars.

(Adult)  Northern Shrike- Pump Station off of Mt. Warner Road, Hadley.

Fox Sparrow- Mass Audubon - Arcadia Sanctuary

Imm. Bald Eagle- Barton's Cove/Turners Falls

Common Mergansers- Quabbin H.Q. This happen to be the largest group of Mergansers I encountered this spring. (150+)

Killdeer- Hadley

Wilson's Snipe- East Hadley Road in Hadley. One of the most reliable locations in Hampshire County in early spring.

Wilson's Snipe- Close Up.