Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Great Weekend Part I -- A Quabbin Morning and Black Scoters inland in Rhode Island

Friday promised to be such a great day I decided to call in and take an unscheduled vacation day. I didn't have any meetings scheduled and Mark's interview got cancelled. And I realized that I have only so many days like this left in my life so I thought this was one to enjoy. We decided to head out to Quabbin to see if there were any ducks starting to put down (like scoters) and we were treated to some of the last fall foliage. Many of trees have started to take on that bare November look, but there were still some wonderful splashes of color left to enjoy.
As we scanned the water in front of the Administration Building looking for the elusive scoters or any ducks, we were sidetracked by a group of turkeys coming in to eat the crab apples that had fallen. They didn't seem to mind being photographed and it was amazing to see all the colors they displayed depending on the lighting.
We were surprised by both an adult and immature Bald Eagle flying out from the trees near the Administration Building and heading out to other parts of Quabbin or possibly the trout farm for an early morning breakfast.
We did NOT have any scoters and landbirds were few and far between, so we headed back to Worcester making a short detour to check for scoters on Lake Quaboag. We dipped on the scoters there as well, but were treated to a flock of Snow Buntings feeding along the boat launch and in the parking lot. This made up for my missing the one at Quabbin which Mark had when he walked across Winsor Dam.
As much as I love seeing these birds, it always sends a chill down my spine to think that winter is waiting right around the corner. After all they are SNOW Buntings!
Always good to see them in green grass though....

Then on Saturday morning, we headed down to Cumberland, RI to check for waterfowl there. We needed to do a fairly quick trip since we had a presentation we were doing in the afternoon on the Breeding Bird Atlas project for the Worcester County atlasers.

We were delighted to find a fairly good-sized flock of Black Scoters at Diamond Hill Reservoir in Cumberland.
When we got home we found out from Massbird that Saturday was "the day" for scoters throughout many inland locations. In fact driving up 146 we stopped at several places and found at last 1 Black Scoter at a number of ponds and reservoirs in the Blackstone Corridor.
All in all....a very satisfying morning!

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! I would love to see a bald eagle and am wondering if they stay at Quabin throughout the winter?

    I am from Millbury, Mass and was fortunate enough to stumble upon your blog and have learned of a lot of great places to look for birds.

    I am pretty much a back yard birder who ventures out on occasion to Broad Medow Brook and St. Phillips Cemetary in Grafton, but have not ventured out any futher because I wasn't sure where to go. Now that I found your blog I know of a bunch of new places I am going to have to venture out to this spring!