Thursday, October 25, 2012

Looking at the Numbers-Wachusett Reservoir

I've now collected data from Recent Central Mass Bird Sightings from October to February into the database and figured now would be a good time to look at Worcester County IBA's with Wachusett Reservoir being top of the list as it's the place to be for fall migration when it comes to water fowl so figured I'd share it on my blog.  The data chart above shows TOTALS for Oct to Dec 1998 to 2011 and Jan 1999 to 2012.  Looking at it this way is very interesting and shows November as the best month numbers wise for ducks with Black Scoter and Bufflehead in particular.  It also shows me I need to get my White-winged Scoter in quick as the number of them dwindles in November.  What I found most interesting doing this analysis was the month of January where you see an impressive number of ducks on Wachusett and they are  the typical "pond ducks" who have moved away from the frozen ponds and into waters at the reservoir that still remain open.

 Next are a "hodge podge" of birds I wanted to look at and you'll see the Great Cormorant numbers high in October and pick back up in January (and Feb too, but I didn't include those numbers in this as I just finished getting them in and haven't audited them yet)  Gull numbers are sure to catch the eye but note, Ring-billed Gull's in December are undereported because a lot of people in their reports to Rick will say "a lot of Ring-billed Gulls and 50 Herring or something like that so I left it blank in those cases as I didn't want to guess what a lot was.

Pretty cool huh??  I sometimes forget just how lucky we are to have Wachusett Reservoir as close as it is and seeing it from a numbers standpoint, reminds me how fortunate I am to live less than a half and hour (drive time) away from it.

Last are my lists in alphabetical order of birds of interest by date to be on the lookout for as past sightings happened around this time.  While Wachusset is the place to be for waterfowl, Quabbin remains the place to be if you're hoping for shorebirds it seems.

The second portion of the list, and everyone of them would be a county bird for me except the Rough-legged Hawk.  Hey a girl can dream can't she. ;-)

Take care all.

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