Saturday, February 2, 2013

North Quabbin - 1/27/2013

Nine individuals from the South Shore and Brookline Bird Clubs joined Ernie LeBlanc for a trip to the Royalston/Athol area to look for winter finches, and then on to the Honey Pot area of Hadley to pursue some of the recent sightings such as the Clay-colored Sparrow and Gyrfalcon. The North Quabbin area in the winter can be very rewarding, or rather bleak, depending on the numbers of northern visitors. In December and early January, good numbers of Evening and Pine Grosbeaks were sighted along with Redpolls and Pine Siskins. Royalston center usually is a focal point for the winter visitors. Although the center was rather quiet today, Vin Zollo was able to spot one female Evening Grosbeak at a hidden feeder, the only grosbeak of the day. Fruit in the area is rather scarce and no Pine Grosbeaks or waxwings were found. At Ernie’s house a sizable flock of Common Redpolls contained at least one individual that demonstrated all the characteristics of an immature/female Hoary Redpoll. All who got good looks at the bird seemed in agreement with the identification.

Common Redpolls 
While in Royalston, the group received a report of a sighting of the Gyrfalcon in Hadley so after visiting the Orange airport and finding several Horned Larks and little else, the group proceded to Hadley. A sweep of the Honey Pot area netted the group several Bald Eagles, a Kestrel and a couple of Pileated Woodpeckers. The Clay-colored Sparrow as viewed by all, and it was on to look for the Gyrfalcon. A thorough search of much of the area failed to locate the Gyr. Exploring the East Meadows area of Northampton produced another flock of Common Redpolls and a sizable flock of Snow Buntings. At that point, the group called it a day, but Vin and Ernie sighted a Northern Harrier while leaving the fields, and while crossing the Connecticut River back into Hadley, sighted a large group of birds on the ice of the river. A swing onto Aqua Vitae Road brought them near the river and the large flock turned out to be approximately 900 Canadian Geese.

East Meadows - Northampton
By day’s end the trip had netted 37 species, not to bad for a cold day in January in the central part of the state. Complete list:

900 Canada Goose

1 Hooded Merganser

20 Common Merganser

1 Northern Harrier

3 Bald Eagle

15 Red-tailed Hawk

72 Ring-billed Gull

68 Rock Pigeon

14 Mourning Dove

1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

4 Downy Woodpecker

1 Hairy Woodpecker

2 Pileated Woodpecker

2 American Kestrel

23 Blue Jay

45 American Crow

1 Common Raven

136 Horned Lark

26 Black-capped Chickadee

6 Tufted Titmouse

6 White-breasted Nuthatch

3 Eastern Bluebird

14 American Robin

320 European Starling

75 Snow Bunting

46 American Tree Sparrow


2 Song Sparrow

1 White-throated Sparrow

22 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)

18 Northern Cardinal

7 House Finch

100 Common Redpoll
Common Redpolls


38 House Sparrow

This trip summary was created using the BirdLog app for iPhone and iPad.

See BirdLog for more information.

Ernie LeBlanc

No comments:

Post a Comment