Bird sightings in western Massachusetts
A dark-eyed junco (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Purchase photo reprints »
The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts.
Feeder birds are crowding feeding stations everywhere, notably white-throated sparrows, pine siskins, purple finches, a few white-crowned sparrows and even some evening grosbeaks.
Woodland birds still being seen in good numbers are ruby-crowned and golden-crown kinglets, red-breasted nuthatches, and yellow-rumped warblers. Smaller numbers of yellow-bellied sapsuckers, winter wrens, hermit thrushes, Swainson’s thrushes and fox sparrows were also reported.
Waterfowl continue to filter in from the north, including green-winged teal, common loons, pied-billed grebes, ring-necked ducks, ruddy ducks and American wigeons. Shorebirds reported were killdeer, golden plovers, pectoral sandpipers, least sandpipers and Wilson’s snipes.
Large flights of raptors, mostly sharp-shinned hawks, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and turkey vultures, were counted by hawk watchers. They also reported impressive numbers of osprey, northern harriers, Cooper’s hawks, merlins and peregrine falcons.
The bird of the week was the dark-eyed junco, with increasing numbers now being seen at feeders.
A yellow-headed blackbird was found among a huge flock of mixed species blackbirds on East Hadley Road in Hadley. A clay-colored sparrow and nine vesper sparrows were reported in the Honey Pot section of Hadley.
Two cackling geese along with a single snow goose were seen at the power canal in Turners Falls and a northern shrike spent a day at the nearby airport. Also nearby, a red-headed woodpecker was found in the pitch pine forest off Bartlett Road.
Six black scoters, a flock of 122 brant, and two red crossbills were seen in Quabbin Park at the Quabbin Reservoir.
Two flocks totaling 70 brant were seen over Deerfield and a dunlin was found in the east meadows of Northampton.
Northern goshawks were reported in Granville and Barre Falls, and a lesser black-backed gull was seen in Pittsfield.
To notify the Voice of Audubon of a bird sighting, please call 781-259-8805 and leave a message.