Sunday, January 25, 2015

Manasquan Reservoir 1/25--Common Merganser, Brown Creeper

I was very surprised--and disappointed--to find about 90% of Manasquan Reservoir iced over. I didn't think it had been cold enough to keep this deep body of water frozen. There were a few pockets of open water, the largest one, that we could see, was from the walkway along Georgia Tavern Road. There we found a large flock of coots, some Ruddy Ducks, a few Pied-billed Grebes, a duo of drake Buffleheads and my target bird for the day, a decent flock of Common Mergansers. I've seen literally thousands of these big ducks from that vantage point when the water was open; Shari first found a few landing in with the Ruddy Ducks, then farther out, well over 30 more. Bald Eagles were on the ice, one eating a bloody lunch of what looked like gull.

We took a walk through the woods and (very) wetlands along the Cove Trail, finding decent numbers of the usual birds, the highlight being our first Brown Creepers of the year. At the feeders we had one female Purple Finch, not a year bird but a good one for the state list.

In all we managed 29 species on this relatively warm winter day. Now we await the blizzard.
Canada Goose  100
Bufflehead  2     
Common Merganser  36
Ruddy Duck  20
Pied-billed Grebe  4
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Turkey Vulture  1
Bald Eagle  4     
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  71
Ring-billed Gull  5
Rock Pigeon   20
Mourning Dove  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  5
Downy Woodpecker  4
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  10
Carolina Chickadee  10
Tufted Titmouse  4
White-breasted Nuthatch  5
Brown Creeper  2
Carolina Wren  2     Heard
Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  5
Dark-eyed Junco  10
House Finch  10
Purple Finch  1     
American Goldfinch  10

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