Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Worcester County Migration First Half of October

Data First two weeks of October for Worcester County 1998 to 2011
With fall migration now in full swing, I thought I'd rollup some of the numbers and sightings using data from Recent Central Mass Bird Sightings to allow a sneak peek of what we can expect and where for the first two weeks of October.  Sure we all know what arrives and where, but sometimes it's interesting to put a visual on it as well.  The chart above shows ducks and geese only and I highlighted in black the locations with the highest overall numbers that also had numerous species reported.  I also highlighted in black the birds with the highest numbers being reported overall in multiple locations as well.   Green-winged Teal take center stage the first week of this month which isn't surprising as I've seen recent reports of them coming in and saw some myself just last week at St Philips in Grafton.

The American Wigeon are on my "must see" list for the weekend and am glad to see Alan has finally found them at All Faith's Cemetery in Worcester after we dipped on them this past weekend which is welcome relief considering it's been the most reliable place to see these birds since Rick started his site in 1998.

American Wigeon sightings around the Massachusetts area overall with the reds being reports of the past 30 days and there's Alan's report right smack dab in the middle between Auburn and Worcester. ;-)

The other bird to look for (and only because its this week's obsession for me) are the adorable and always smiling Snow Geese!  Sure we've gotten sightings of them in the past several years with most of them coming from the Hawk Watch spots and local ponds with Orlando's having a consistent appeal for these geese.

As you can see Snow Goose numbers have yet to surface anywhere around the New England area the past 30 days but you can see them moving from Canada and into New York here and there.  What I really found interesting in seeing this map is the pattern it tells you when these birds move as this is only for fall migration so isn't distorted with spring migration sightings.

Of course me being the curious and inquisitive type ;-), I decided to pull out my book The Flight of the Snow Geese and see the largest migration routes of the Snow Geese being the Mississippi and Central Flyways being their preferred method of travel with the Atlantic Flyway not even getting a special mention but this book was published in 1975.

So I decided to look for something a little more recent which looks a little more promising.  ;-)

And the water fowl flyways for those of you who actually find this stuff interesting.  :-p

Are you still with me???  Good!!  Now let's go onto one of my favorites bird species which are sparrows!! Seriously, I was telling Alan this past weekend that I believe sparrows are now on my official top 3 listing of birds I like the most with raptors being number one, gulls stay at number two and the sparrows come in at number three trumping the warblers which Alan tells me will change come May but for right now the sparrows are in the limelight as how could they not as there's no such thing as a drab "little brown bird"!

First two weeks of October 1998 to 2011 for Worcester County

Pardon the small font, but there was a lot of data to share so let me summarize it for you.  The best places for sparrows this time of the year appear to be Bolton Flats, Westborough WMA and Quabog which many of us already knew.  If you were out there this past weekend you couldn't help but notice the numbers with Swamp Sparrows being the most numerous where I was besides the Savannah Sparrow who can't even make it to 350 either of the weeks!  According to this data the Dark-eyed Juncos should increase next week and I should have highlighted the White-throated Sparrows as well as they are moving through in mass too.  Look out for the White-crowned's as well as they almost double in week 2!

Swamp Sparrow sightings September and October of this year with red being spotted the past 30 days.  Source:  eBird

And finally Loons and Grebes!  Yeah the numbers are low compared to the others but they are a coming at our local reservoirs so keep your eyes open!  ;-).  And you should be able to find a Pied-billed Grebe just about anywhere right about now.

Take care all.


Black Cat Gardening said...

Spotted the black vulture in Millbury today. It was sitting on a light pole along 146 south just before the entrance to the Pike. No turkey vultures around. It was noticeably different in body shape (being somewhat squat) and the black head and feathers made it look like it had a heavy cloth hood. Really cool bird that I would have missed had I not been in the passing lane trying to get by someone. I also would have missed it if I hadn't been reading your great birding accounts.

Kim said...

I am so glad you got that bird and THRILLED to hear it's still around. I'm glad my blog helped and hearing comments like yours is why I continue to blog to help spread the word of the great birds we have here right in Worcester County. Congrats on the Black Vulture!


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