Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Good weather for a Duck!

Yes, birders DO go out in bad weather! Whatever snow fell last night was washed away by heavy rain - and it's raining still. We don't have standing water at West Campus, no ponds or open marshes, but today the puddles in the parking lots were pretty deep. Not deep enough for a duck, but we did have a duck fly-over. Our first duck! Geese are in the same family, but they are geese, so we are happy with our first duck. In my photo, you can see that the Oyster River was running high and fast, good water for a Torrent Duck, but here in Connecticut, we're pretty much out of the range of Merganetta armata. If you're curious why I chose this image of the Torrent Duck, it was to show how they swim upstream, against strong currents. There are many beautiful photos of this beautiful duck, but not so many of them swimming.

Today's intrepid birders: Nick, Kristof, Lynn and Sue
Today's wet birds:
Herring Gull,
Larus argentatus
Ring-billed Gull,
Larus delawarensis
Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Common Merganser, Mergus merganser - ours was flying high overhead, not skimming the water

Wild Turkey,
Meleagris gallopavo
Accipiter species
Northern Flicker,
Colaptes auratus
Downy Woodpecker,
Picoides pubescens
Mourning Dove,
Zenaida macroura
Common Crow,
Corvus brachyrhynchos
Blue Jay,
Cyanocitta cristata
American Robin,
Turdus migratorius
European Starling,
Sturnus vulgaris
Black-capped Chickadee,
Poecile atricapillus
Northern Cardinal,
Cardinalis cardinalis
White-throated Sparrow,
Zonotrichia albicollis
Dark-eyed Junco,
Junco hyemalis
House Finch,
Carpodacus mexicanus
Red-winged Blackbird,
Agelaius phoeniceus

Birding by car means driving from one spot to the next, getting out and looking for birds in the rain, and moving on to do it again - maybe crazy, but definitely typical!

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