Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fall Migration Underway

Ludlow G. cleared 200 birds in Concord during 2013 nearly two weeks ago with a Snowy Egret, several of which are now being seen daily at Great Meadows in Concord.  Joining them is an elusive juvenile Little Blue Heron.  But the star of the show, so to speak, was an American Golden Plover which arrived over the weekend and has attracted a lot of attention, as it appears to be the only one seen so far in Massachusetts. (this has since changed, with small flocks appearing along the coast).  AGPL usually leaves its last staging area in eastern Canada and heads out over the Atlantic for its very long migration to southern South America, but some stay inland a bit longer and touch down in New England before heading out.

The count since 200 looks like this:

201:  a fly-over, calling dickcissel at Great Meadows

202:  American Golden Plover, still in breeding plumage (last reported on 8/26, with rumored re-sightings)

203:  Little Blue Heron, juvenile, associating with Snowies

and just this morning,

204:  a hatch-year Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

and this afternoon (8/27), much to my chagrin,

"205":  a juvenile Olive-Sided Flycatcher, or so it seemed to my desiring eyes.  It was, in fact, an adult phoebe undergoing heavy molt.  Use your imagination!

In our next post we will forecast a theoretical total for 2013 based on current needs and what has historically shown up during fall and early winter in Concord.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ludlow G. makes 200

With the Great Meadows survey sighting of a Snow Egret on Monday, August 12, Ludlow G. has reached his putative year goal of 200 birds during 2013 in Concord, Massachusetts.  Clearly, his original goal was conservative, and with the bulk of fall migration still to come, how high will he go?

Thanks to all who have contributed their field lists and shared their eBird reports as we have built this collaborative Big Year in Concord in 2013.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shorebird Season at Great Meadows, Concord (August 2013)

For the first time in several years, a good variety of shorebirds are visiting the mud-flat (such as it is) at Great Meadows.  So far there have been concentrations of Least Sandpipers (20-30) and a surprising number (for an inland location) of Semipalmated Sandpipers, which on some counts have outnumbered Leasts. Killdeer have been joined by Semipalmated Plovers in small numbers (under 10).  Solitary Sandpipers have actually outnumbered Spotteds on most counts.  Since August 5 one or two early Pectorals have been seen most days, but are still scarce.

Lesser Yellowlegs have been fairly regular since the beginning of August, with the occasional Greater. Several observers have seen the occasional pair (or more) of Short-billed Dowitchers.  On August 9th a cold front passed through the area and immediately afterward Willy Hutcheson found 17 Stilt Sandpipers preening on the mud, but as soon as the rain stopped, they flew out.  No word yet on whether they have returned.

With at least 8 species of shorebird seen most days, this bodes well for the rest of August.  Fingers crossed for a Baird's, or a Whimbrel, or some phalaropes.