Mallard ducks begin to gather
A mallard drake U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts.
Large numbers of wintering mallard ducks have begun to gather at area ponds. Also seen were green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, ruddy ducks, hooded mergansers, common mergansers and great blue herons. Common loons and horned grebes continue to be reported at the south end of Quabbin Reservoir
Wintering or lingering land birds included merlins, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, horned larks, winter wrens, red-breasted nuthatches, hermit thrushes, gray catbirds, yellow-rumped warblers, purple finches and common redpolls.
Groups of pine grosbeaks feeding on fruit trees were observed on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst, as well as in Turners Falls, Shelburne Falls, Pittsfield, Williamstown and North Adams.
A boreal chickadee was reported in the spruces at the end of the trail across the Moran Wildlife Area in Windsor, but subsequent searches have not confirmed the sighting.
A northern shrike was also at Moran, while another was seen in the Honeypot section of Hadley.
A hoary redpoll was picked out in a large flock of common redpolls in the Honeypot area of Hadley, but was not sighted again.
Two northern shovelers, two gadwalls, and 20 American pipits were found in Longmeadow.
Three scaup ducks were seen in Turners Falls, a great egret was reported in Brookfield, and 12 evening grosbeaks were found in Royalston.
A snow goose was reported in Williamstown and a northern shoveler was on Cheshire Reservoir.
A long-tailed duck and a red crossbill were seen in Quabbin Park at the Quabbin Reservoir, and three white-winged crossbills were reported in Belchertown.
To notify the Voice of Audubon of a bird sighting, please call 781-259-8805 and leave a message.