Beth Spirito and Tim Carter
We started our walk in the parking lot of the Visitors Center at Quabbin Park at 7:00 a.m. with eight members. When we approached the viewing area to the reservoir in front of the building, there was a heavy fog over the water. Looking through it, we saw a beautiful Common Loon and a Double-crested Cormorant. We walked over to the Rainbow Garden area and then on to the Windsor Dam for some views as well. We saw Chipping and Song Sparrows, Chimney Swifts, Rough-winged Swallows, Cedar Waxwings, Robins, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue jays, Catbirds, and flyovers from a Pileated Woodpecker and a Great Blue Heron.
We then headed back to our cars, drove to the second entrance to the Quabbin. We parked on the right not too long after entering the gate, walked around here and towards the bridge leading to the dam. We had great views of a few Prairie Warblers. Also at this spot were Phoebes, Pewees, a Great Crested Flycatcher, a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and some Eastern Bluebirds. On the concrete bridge here along the cliffs, we saw the resident Ravens.
We got back into the cars and headed up the road, pulling over onto the left, just before the rotary heading towards the tower area. This was a great spot, pointed out to us by Tim S. Magnificent views of a Magnolia Warbler, a half dozen Chestnut-sided Warblers, and a few more Prairies justified his suggestion. Also spotted in this area, were Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, and a Hummingbird.
The next area to explore was the Tower. Due to construction on the tower, we were not able to get into that exact area, but we did manage to see Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a few Brown Creepers. We also walked into the apple orchard, finding this area very quiet. Next was a brief stop at the Enfield Lookout, and then we finished off the morning at Hank's Meadow. Two giant Turkeys were strutting their wares when we arrived at the meadow and provided us quite a display! Flyovers included some Turkey Vultures, Crows, and a Red-tailed Hawk. On the shore by the water, we heard a Common Loon, but didn't see it.
The rest of the list of birds in no exact order of where we saw them include, Hermit and Wood Thrushes, Eastern Towhee, Cowbird, Grackle, and a White-breasted Nuthatch. Warblers were Black-and-white, Blue-winged, Ovenbird, Pine, Parula, and many Redstarts. The morning of birding ended around 11:00 a.m., with sunshine and temps that had climbed into the low 90's.
Great morning, great weather, great group and a total of 53 species!