Date: 2/25/18 8:15 pm
From: Josh <opihi...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] WMB: Weekend waterfowl out west
Hi MassBirders,

My kids and I just got home Friday night from vacation, so I haven’t had a chance to do any local birding in over a week. However, the past few days have seen a nice fallout of waterfowl across western MA, judging by reports on Western Mass Birders. Some of the highlights:

Larry Therrien found a Ross’ Goose on Friday in Hadley. He relocated it by the CT River Saturday morning, then it appeared in northern Hadley/Amherst where loads of birders observed it yesterday and today. It somehow suffered a scary-looking neck injury late Friday, as all Saturday and Sunday sightings have shown extensive blood stains on its neck and body, but descriptions are that it is moving around OK so the injury might look worse than it really is. The Ross’ which was previously reported down around Longmeadow hasn’t been reported in nearly two weeks, from what I’m seeing on eBird, so maybe this is the same one?

The same large Canada goose flock with which the Ross’ has been seen has also included, at various times, at least one Cackling Goose, and on Sunday was joined by a Blue-morph Snow Goose. At least three of the Canada geese had neck tags, no word yet on where they might have received those tags.

Sunday, Jeff Johnstone found a drake Barrow’s Goldeneye, and possibly a hen as well, with a small flock of Common Goldeneye, south of Branch Bridge near the south end of Lake Rohunta, in New Salem. Several other local birders managed to see it before the end of the day.

Saturday, Josh Layfield had 5 Pintail on Barton Cove near Unity Park, and 6 Ring-necked Ducks on the Turners Falls Power Canal. Larry had a pair of wigeon near Windsor Dam on the Quabbin on Thursday, then he and Derek Allard saw another pair plus 9 Pintail, 2 GW Teal, and 5 RN Ducks at Arcadia MAS on Saturday.

In the Berkshires, on Thursday, Ken Schopp found a Greater White-fronted Goose at Bartholomew’s Cobble. On Saturday, Jonathan Pierce had 2 Shovelers, 2 Wigeon, and 4 Ring-necks on Cheshire Lake, 7 Wigeon and a GW Teal on Pontoosuc, 2 Pintail in Tyringham, and a Cackling Goose, 2 Pintail, and 14 GW Teal in Sheffield. Sunday in Sheffield he relocated the Cackling plus a White-fronted, presumably the same one from Thursday, plus 9 Wigeon and 7 Pintail.

The most notable non-waterfowl sightings have been Black Vultures, with one pair in Northampton (Derek Allard) and another in Great Barrington (Jody Soules), both on Saturday.

I’m hoping that at least a few of these birds will still be around on Tuesday when it looks like I’ll get my first chance to see a few of them for myself….

Good birding!


Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
Amherst, MA

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