Bambi Kenney and April Downey
Eleven members joined today’s successful hotline trip, identifying our target bird and a total of 25 species. We met up at 8:00 a.m. and birded in some pretty cold and windy weather until 11:30 a.m. Thankfully, we birders are hardy and enthusiastic!
We began with a visit to Mt Holyoke College campus pond, giving us wonderful, close-up views of the reported Greater White-fronted Goose, along with almost 300 Canada Geese, 13 Mallards, a Black Duck, and a Bluebird calling as we exited our vehicles.
Next, we headed to Hadley’s Honey Pot, where we missed a continuing Smith’s Longspur. We were rewarded, however, with very nice views of several raptors, including a beautiful male Northern Harrier, a cooperative Merlin, a perched and puffed-up Red-tailed Hawk and a Cooper’s Hawk. Also seen were several flocks of Horned Lark totaling over 200 birds, along with at least 3 Snow Buntings. Alone male Common Merganser was all to be found on the river.
Aqua Vitae Rd was our last stop, and after some searching, we got on a couple of large flocks of Horned Larked that landed in the field on the riverside of the road. They were quite active on the ground, but we were able to pick out three more Snow Buntings in their midst. Other land birds there were Mourning Dove, Downy, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers, Blue Jay, Tree Sparrow, Junco, and a pair of Cardinals.