Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quabbin & Greenfield CBC

I spent the last weekend of 2014 participating in two Christmas Bird counts. The first one was the Quabbin Count which was held on Saturday the 27th. This particular count I happen to be one of the compilers along with Jim Lafley. We had forty observers this year, the weather was simply outstanding for late December and every part of the reservoir was ice free. We tallied 69 species, two off the all time high, had 3 new high counts and one new species for the count.

The next day I team up with James Smith and Eric Huston for the Greenfield Christmas bird count. With Josh Rose out of state, James took over as area leader for our section in Turners Falls..
Our area includes two major hot spots in the count circle- The Turners Falls Power Canal & Barton's Cove. The weather was no where near as inviting as Saturday's, but we managed 47 species (at least that was the count before I departed) Highlights.....Bufflehead, Merlin, Iceland Gull, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, (4) Hermit Thrush, (2) Winter Wren and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Below is a complete list of the Quabbin CBC.

Happy New Year....

Day break-Quabbin Count

Bufflehead-Turners Falls. Greenfield CBC

Carolina Wren-Greenfield CBC

Common Goldeneye-Greenfield CBC

Golden-crowned Kinglet at Barton's Cove

1st year-Iceland Gull-Barton's Cove

Merlin-Power Canal

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Red-tailed Hawk & American Crow

Canada Goose 54
American Wigeon 1 (2nd Record)
American Black Duck 108
Mallard 44
Bufflehead 1
Common Goldeneye 28
Hooded Merganser 56
Common Merganser 265
Red-breasted Merganser 1 (3rd record)
Ruffed Grouse 17
Wild Turkey 109
Common Loon 28 (New High)
Horned Grebe 39
Red-necked Grebe 1
Bald Eagle 21
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Northern Goshawk 3 (all on Prescott)
Red-shouldered Hawk 1 (3rd Record)
Red-tailed Hawk 32
Ring-billed Gull 109
Herring Gull 8
Rock Pigeon 48
Mourning Dove 121
Eastern Screech-Owl 4
Great Horned Owl 15
Barred Owl 7
Northern Saw-whet Owl 19
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 33
Downy Woodpecker 112
Hairy Woodpecker 35
Northern Flicker 6
Pileated Woodpecker 29
Blue Jay 413
American Crow 189
Common Raven 24
Horned Lark 20
Black-capped Chickadee 713
Tufted Titmouse 212
Red-breasted Nuthatch 38
White-breasted Nuthatch 214
Brown Creeper 15
Carolina Wren 9
Winter Wren 5 (New high)
Golden-crowned Kinglet 21
Eastern Bluebird 88 (New High)
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 134
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 8
European Starling 372
American Tree Sparrow 117
Song Sparrow 19
Swamp Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 27
White-crowned Sparrow 1 (New Species)
Dark-eyed Junco 354
Northern Cardinal 58
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Purple Finch 4
House Finch 19
Red Crossbill 1
Common Redpoll 5
Pine Siskin 43
American Goldfinch 283
House Sparrow 590

69 Species

River Otter 3
Coyote 2
Red Squirrel 17
Gray Squirrel 20
Beaver 1
Muskrat 1
Moose 1

White-tailed Deer 8 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ross's Goose-Barton's Cove

Clearly a rarity anywhere in New England...this Ross's Goose was found early this morning (12-20-14) at Barton's Cove in Turner's Falls. The Barton's Cove area remains of the best locations in the Valley to consistently produce uncommon and rare birds at anytime of the year.

Also just finished up (12-14-14)  a very successful Northampton C.B.C. (Area #8-Honey Pot Region) with James Smith and Brian Kane. We tallied 51 Species with the highlight being a Long-eared Owl that James picked out in the heavy tangles in the Honey Pot. Other highlights included a Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Northern Saw-whet Owl and a handful of Snow Buntings.

Next up the Quabbin Christmas looks good so far!

Ross's Goose (left) along with Imm. Snow Goose. Barton's Cove, Gill, Mass side.

Ross's Goose- Barton's Cove

Ross's Goose

Snow Goose-Imm. Barton's Cove

Cooper's Hawk-Adult. Northampton CBC Area #8

Coyote-early morning in the Honey Pot

Hermit Thrush-Hadley. Northampton CBC

Northern Saw-whet Owl-one of two in the early morning hours of the Northampton CBC (Amherst)

Long-eared Owl- Honey Pot. Certainly the best bird of the day was spotted by James Smith as we were walking along the thickets in the Honey Pot.