Friday, March 27, 2009

Westminster to Hinsdale, NH 3/21

Last Saturday 3/21 I birded various stops which eventually lead me to through Northfield, to Hinsdale, NH and I finished the day back in Northfield's Bennett Meadow WMA. A few pictorial high lights are below.

Common Mergansers, always looking handsome!

I found my first of year (Worcester County) Fox Sparrows (5 together) in Templeton.

Muskrats were out and about.

This is actually a pair of Mallards, the drake about to "jump" the hen, a lucky digi-bin shot. If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you'll just make out the out line of the male's head and white neck band. I'd like to say I skillfully composed it, but I didn't realize I "got" the shot until I uploaded the photo onto the computer.
I was able to digi-bin this soaring Cooper's Hawk in Templeton.

Species like this Wood Duck (above) and other waterfowl are a welcome sight after a long cold winter in Northern Worcester County!

I had been reading reports (from Lance Tanino et al) of a pair of Peregrine Falcons fequenting the powerline stantions in the Connecticut River in Hinsdale, NH. I got a long distance digi-scope shot of the pair (not much to look at other than apparent size differential), the male (noticably smaller) to the right and the female (much bulkier) to the left.

Just before sunset looking east from Bennett Meadow, many dabbling ducks were tucked into the far bank, catching the last rays of sunlight. In total just over 130 Black Duck at this location, more than 2 times as many Mallards, 30+ Wood Ducks and a few dozen Green-winged teal. These were probably low counts as there was a lot of arrivals and movement after dark.

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