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Westover Grasslands, Chicopee

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June 3, 2017

Howard Schwartz

Eleven participants gathered to enjoy the grassland birds on the fields on Westover Air Reserve Base.  They garnered a total of 41 species, with highlights including Upland Sandpiper, Meadowlark, Bobolink, Kestrel, Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrows.  Just as happened last year, this trip was attended by three different bird clubs: Allen, Hampshire, and the BBC.  Because Westover provides a bus for us to tour the grasslands, all 3 clubs were limited to about 13 participants.  Since it has been hot on this trip in years past, an air-conditioned bus is quite welcome.  We saw many of the grassland target birds we sought.  These include VERY MANY Bobo links, Meadowlarks, Upland Sandpipers, and a few Grasshopper Sparrows.  There appear to be less of this last species than we have seen in the past.  Normally, we see them on tops of the tall grasses throughout the grassland.  This year (due to grass cutting, perhaps) there was less tall grass for them to stand on and, therefore, less obvious sparrows to observe.  Our hosts at Westover were very welcoming and seemed very enthusiastic to show us around.  One surprise was that the previous person to lead this trip (now retired), who we all grew to admire very much, joined us on this trip.