Date: 12/5/18 12:45 pm From: James P Smith <keenbirder...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Franklin County notes and the Longmeadow Baer's Pochard.
Iceland Gulls have been passing through the Gill/Turner's Falls area in numbers over the last week or so. I've identified at least 9 individuals from plumage characteristics with; 3 adult, 2 third-cycle, 2 second-cycle and 2 first-cycle all between Nov 30th and Dec 5th. The birds have been favoring the ice patches at Barton Cove, Gill and the Turner's Falls power canal. Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls (adult and first-cycle) have also been frequenting the gull flocks in the area.
A female Long-tailed Duck was at Turner's Falls Rod and Gun club on Dec 4th.
Evening Grosbeaks have been notable and in keeping with many other areas in the region, with 1 - 3 daily over North Cross Road, Gill usually heading SW in early morning, another 3 over Turner's Falls Airfield on Dec 5th. Also, Snow Buntings (25) on Upper Farms Road on Nov 30th and 11 on River Road, Gill on Dec 2nd.
For those interested, and mentioned with the usual caveats regarding escaped waterfowl, the exceptionally handsome male Baer's Pochard is still being seen along Pondside Road at Fannie Stebbins Refuge in Longmeadow. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable 55 minutes with the bird on Dec 3rd. So far, at least from what I've been able to glean, this bird has yet to be traced back to a collection;