Date: 5/2/18 9:02 pm From: Josh <opihi...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Valley spring arrivals
William Freedberg’s prediction was right on target, as western MA was hit by a wave of new arrivals Wednesday. A Black-and-White Warbler was singing outside the bedroom window before I even got my pants on this morning.
I started at Barton Cove as usual. The water level had dropped abruptly and exposed a large sandbar, where three Greater Yellowlegs flew in not long after I arrived. My FOY Yellow Warbler was singing along Riverview Drive. From there I visited the Turners Falls Airport and saw a kestrel and a Killdeer and heard the usual towhees and Field Sparrows. Then I cruised through the Montague Sandplains where I heard my first Prairie Warblers and Ovenbird of the spring, along with a gnatcatcher, another Black-and-White and a Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Next I explored the Montague meadows area. Vesper and Savannah Sparrows were singing along Wills Ferry Road, and a pair of Fish Crows flew over calling. My FOY Baltimore Oriole was not far away, and American Redstart just a couple of miles down Meadow Street from there. I capped off the morning commute photographing a Northern Waterthrush singing and feeding by Mill River Lane in Hadley, under a swarm of Yellow-rumps. Another Ovenbird sang after I got home to east Amherst.
An appointment for my daughter in south Amherst in the evening bought me a few minutes along Moody Bridge Road through the Silvio Conte NWR tract there. Heard my first Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark of the year, and saw two more kestrels.
Western Mass Birders on Facebook is very busy with posts today, many people seeing FOY birds like the above and many more, including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Solitary Sandpiper, Gray Catbird, Wood Thrush, warblers including Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Nashville, Blue-winged, BT Blue, Parula, Yellowthroat, Worm-eating, and Cerulean, lots of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and House Wrens, and hummingbirds all over (though none at my feeder yet). Plus a couple of birders (Greg Watkevitch and Jeff Johnstone) with a boat toured the Quabbin and encountered quite the haul of shorebirds for an inland location, around 50 birds of 8 species including a Dunlin and a Black-bellied Plover.