Blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures contributed to one of the best attended Birding for Everyone
walks of the year. Nearly thirty people set out from the Elks Lodge parking lot in Holyoke for a short walk down to the reservoir.
The three walk leaders (Lesley Farlow, Steve Winn, and derek allard) pointed out birds along the way, among them several White-throated Sparrows, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Double-crested Cormorants that cooperatively flew right in front of the group. As the walk progressed, the group gained experience identifying juvenile vs. adult Ring-billed Gulls and found a pair of Bald Eagles perched on the far shore.
All of this was wonderful, however the most unexpected bird of the day didn't come until late in the walk in a small pond at the edge of the reservoir. A Ruddy Duck swam among Wood Ducks and Mallard, always a good find in our area!
After a couple months of less than ideal weather for the Birding for Everyone walks, it was a treat to have an unseasonably beautiful day. It was also nice to see a lot of Birding for Everyone regulars on this walk. In less than two years, this program has brought together a core of new birders who are getting as good as the trip leaders, which is fun to see.
For a full accounting of the birds seen this month, please see the checklist in eBird.
If you would like to join a future Birding for Everyone walk, they take place on the fourth Saturday of every month and everyone is welcome.
Thank you to MJ Tash, Jesse Sterling Harrison, and Mary Jane McGuire for the photos used in this article.