Monday, January 20, 2014

Waterfowl, Waterfowl, and more Waterfowl

With cold weather birding comes the invasion and challenge of identifying waterfowl. At first glance, waterfowl seem to be an easier subject than the flighty warblers of spring.  After all, there's no such thing as "Waterfowl Neck".  I've written before about the wonders of waterfowl so I won't go into them here.  Well, I will because I can't help myself.

The waterfowl that breed in the tundra make their way down to the rest of the US during the winter.  While some birds have their favorite spots and refuges, storms and strong winds mean that the possibility of a rarity exists in a variety of spots.  This winter has yielded a variety of types of waterfowl.  I got a Tundra Swan (a lifer) that was hanging out with some Mute Swans and a Trumpeter a few days later.  Which means that I've gotten 3 kinds of swans in as many days.  The only thing left would be a Whooper Swan but that's a real rarity.  As only 2 records of Whoopers in New England according to ebird, I am not going to press my luck.

Still seeing the variety of waterfowl makes me happy.  While they don't bring warmer weather with them, they do provide a great amount of color for the season and excellent practice!  So go out there and enjoy some waterfowl!  Watch the DUCKumentary if you haven't yet!  In the end, get outside and go birding!

4 Canvasbacks in the Quinnipiac River

Some Canada Geese Flying Overhead

Couple of Ring-Necked Ducks and Domesticated Greylag Geese

2014 Year List: 105
Notable Year Birds:
Tundra Swan *Life Bird*
Horned Lark
Iceland Gull
Surf Scoter

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