Least Sandpiper, Sept. 7, 2015

Later summer, low water: Shorebirds on the Connecticut River in Holyoke

In late summer the water levels on the Connecticut River in Holyoke drop, creating shallow pools, sandbars and long stretches of usually submerged rocky areas. Like clockwork, it becomes a habitat teeming with birds — some familiar in the city, like Great Blue Herons and Killdeer, and some making cameo appearances, such as sandpipers and other shorebirds. Below, some photos…

Red-tailed Hawk fledgling

So far, so good for Holyoke’s kestrel, hawk fledglings

The fledgling from the Red-tailed Hawk nest continues to fly high in the neighborhood; above, in flight from the Victory Theater to the Holyoke House building this week. And, this morning I discovered that the American Kestrel brood fledged since my last check-in with them. I found four fledglings this morning, flying back and forth from the edge of Pulaski…

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge in Longmeadow, April 24, 2015

Waiting for the warblers in Holyoke

With a week off and plenty of time to look for birds, I was hoping the spring migration would kick into high gear this week with at least the arrival of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the city. That turned out to be wishful thinking. Factor in unseasonably cool temperatures on a few days, and other days when it seemed like it…

Great blue Heron, April 7, 2015

Early April along Holyoke’s canals

Early April brought the spring draining of Holyoke’s canals, and that — as usual — brought Great blue Herons into the city. This slight change in habitat has brought Belted Kingfishers downtown in the past, and this year one kingfisher hung around the intersection of Race and Dwight streets for a few days, along with two herons that prowled the…