Howard and Marcy Schwartz
We all met at Sylvester's in Northampton for a nice social get together and breakfast as we always do on this trip. It's a nice way to meet all the people going on the trip: catching up with lives of old friends and getting acquainted with new that don't come to many of the bird trips. We left at about 9:00 to head up to Turner's Falls. The weather started off sunny, nut clouds came in as the trip progressed and just a little after the trip ended it started to rain. The temps ranged from high 40s to mid-50s.
Fifteen members counted over 27 species. Most species were what we expected to see on this trip: a variety of ducks and land birds. There was virtually no ice in Barton's Cove, so there was no expectation of seeing any concentration of ducks there, since they could have flown anywhere with all the lakes in the area free of ice. Normally, if there were ice on the river, we could have seen a variety of gulls sitting on the ice rafts. Unfortunately, there were none, so we missed out on seeing a few more gulls for the species count for the trip. We did see a nice concentration of ring neck ducks there, though. Spotting a Bald Eagle’s nest with a pair of eagles nearby was a thrill for most of us. In addition to those two, we did see many more eagles of various ages during the trip from other locations. Many of us enjoyed our first-of-the-year Tree Swallows from the boat ramp and first-of-the-year Killdeer at the Turner's airport.