Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

     I started off my birding new year with a trip to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with two wonderful friends. While cold, the East Pond proved to be the better half to explore today. I was happy that I got to see snow geese, while afar, there were many. Waterfowl were most plentiful with species including American coots (the most I have ever seen at once), Gadwall, Ruddy Ducks, American Wigeon (no Eurasian...), Black Ducks, Hooded Merganser, Red Breasted Merganser, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Scaup (was not able to get a Lesser/Greater ID, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Green-wing teal. Also got to see N. Harrier, brown-headed cowbird, house finch, yellow-rumped warbler, throated sparrow, and robin.
     After braving the cold, but welcoming the sunshine, this is all I have to show for the time we were out, enjoy!
I have never seen so many coots at once, there had to easily be close to 100 or so, with lots of American wigeon and gadwall mixed within. A wigeon male can be seen front right.
A gadwall glides through the coot group.
A male Northern shoveler.
...he is a stunner!
A flock of house finches flying about on the west side, that did not have much to offer in species diversity or numbers, the East Pond was far more lucrative.

We returned to the East side, and found green-wing teal at Big John's Pond.
The gadwall is often considered plain among ducks, but I think he is handsome in his own right. A female leads to the left, with the male behind her.
Happy to see snow geese, wish we got some closer views, but at least we got a view! Happy New Year!