Date: 2/25/17 3:16 pm
From: 'Phil Brown' via NHBirds <nhbirds...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Catbird, Killdeer, blackbirds, and ducks - CT River
I birded the CT River valley in Westmoreland and Walpole this morning, stopping at Chickering Farm, Sawyer Farm, Boggy Meadow Farm, Malnati's Farm, and the CT River below Fall Mountain. 40 species in the valley in just three hours; generally many birds seem 2-3 weeks ahead of the usual spring migration schedule here. Wild Turkeys displaying today seem to be an indication of the current conditions. Dabbling ducks besides geese were few, though.

Highlights included:
Gray Catbird - a surprise bird along River Road near the Sawyer Farm (at the Townsend's Warbler spot); certainly not a spring migrant, but rather a likely overwintering bird (and not very happy about it, from what I could tell)
Killdeer - 1 flew in and landed at Chickering Farm, where there were lots of areas of bare ground, making finding the horned lark flock challenging

Northern Harrier - 2 flew low over the Chickering Farm together, flushing 40 horned lark
Ring-necked Duck - a flock of 6 was flying South over the CT River from the Malnati Farm
Red-winged Blackbird - all over; 150 with starlings at Malnati's and 40 at Boggy Meadow
Brown-headed Cowbird - about 100 mixed in with an astounding number (maybe 1,500) starlings and other blackbirds at Boggy Meadow - this would be a great place to find a yellow-headed blackbird in the next few weeks!
Canada Geese - several hundred feeding in corn fields, and about 150 or so in small flocks flying over (both north and south) along the river
Peregrine Falcon - pair copulating on powerlines on Fall Mountain
Other spring migrants included Belted Kingfisher, Song Sparrow, Hooded Merganser, and Turkey Vulture.

Phil BrownHancock, NH

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