Date: 3/31/18 8:07 am
From: Josh <opihi...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Western MA migration (mostly but not all waterfowl)
Hi MassBirders,

After the birds had been pretty static for most of the first 3/4 of March, the past few days have seen a lot of change in western MA. Some of the action:

Maybe the most surprising, a Broad-winged Hawk reported to eBird. I’d be dubious except that the report was filed by Tom Tyning. He said that he has photos.

A wave of Great Egret sightings yesterday, with 3 at Bennett Meadows WMA in Northfield, 3 more flying over New Salem, and one reported in Easthampton

A bigger wave of Snow Geese, with flocks reported flying over several locations over Berkshire County and a few over Franklin. One flock touched down in New Salem right by Route 202, Larry Therrien found a couple of others in cornfields in Hadley, Sue Lewis added another flock from Worthington, and Gael Hurley yet another from Lee (she also had a trio of Sandhill Cranes fly past there). An eBird report by Ken Schopp from south of Sheffield on Thursday reported 275 Snow Geese plus two Ross'!

Northern Shovelers appeared in all three counties of the Valley, as did Green-winged Teal, and Lesser Scaup in several Franklin and Berkshire County spots and at least one in Hampshire (Winsor Dam). I personally struck out on the shovelers but did well with the scaup, finding three on Barton Cove on Thursday (which I originally misidentified as Greater but told James Smith where the birds were and he straightened out my ID), then a pair at Tri-town Beach the same day, followed by another trio on Leverett Pond (the one actually in the town of Leverett) on Friday. I also stopped by the Turners Falls Rod & Gun Club on Friday and found about 20 GW Teal with a pair of Gadwall, among other species; the Gadwall were most likely part of a trio that James had spotted standing on the retreating edge of the ice at the Cove a day earlier. Larry Therrien topped my teal total with a group of 82, plus a female Blue-winged, on the marsh at Arcadia MAS.

Chuck Stern spotted a Pied-billed Grebe at Barton Cove yesterday. Larry Therrien had a Red-breasted Merganser and an Osprey at Winsor Dam. Jonathan Pierce and Rene Wendell added another RB Merg from Richmond Pond. Peter Gagarin found a pair of American Wigeon at Hell’s Kitchen near Northfield, which he described as “still about 80% iced in."

Tree Swallows, Eastern Phoebes, and Great Blue Herons have been appearing all over the place the past couple of days. Reports of Rusty Blackbirds trickling in from several locations too, with an uptick in American Woodcock and Belted Kingfisher sightings. And I’ve suddenly started hearing Winter Wrens singing all over, with one by the Fort River Trail on Wednesday, another Friday by the Turners Falls power canal, and a third on Friday at the TF Rod & Gun Club.

Good birding!


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

Join us on Facebook!