Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Swans at Assunpink 2/11

This morning from the boat launch parking lot, I had in one scope view 3 species of swans. I was watching one black-billed swan dipping its head in the water, wondering whether it was the Tundra Swan that was recently reported there. Its neck didn't look dingy enough to be one of the Trumpeter Swans. Then, 3 swans that were resting on the ice with their heads tucked in that were in front of the swan stood up. They were huge in comparison and were of course the continuing Trumpeters. With the Mute Swans also in the scope view (and 2 Snow Geese for good measure) it was quite a good lesson in white waterfowl identification. Unfortunately, it was way too windy and cold to attempt a digiscope photo. 

I'd say about 2/3 of the lake is frozen (really frozen--I saw 5 guys drilling holes in the ice for ice fishing!) so that concentrates all the waterfowl in one large area. Thousands of Canada Geese make up the vast majority of birds on the water, but there are also Ring-necked Ducks, a Redhead, a Common Merganser, Ruddies, and a few coots. A Bald Eagle was sitting on the ice, watching the passing parade. 

At the driveway across from the burnt house I did not see any White-throated Sparrows, which is surprising, though I did find a couple while walking around. There was, however, an Eastern Towhee in the driveway, scratching away at the dirt. 

A gigantic flock of grackles kept up a constant racket.

A small portion of the grackle flock

Snow Goose  2
Canada Goose  2000
Mute Swan  12
Trumpeter Swan  3    
Tundra Swan  1    
Mallard  1     from boat launch parking lot
Redhead  1     From north side of lake
Ring-necked Duck  15
Bufflehead  1     From boat launch parking lot
Common Merganser  1     From north side of lake
Ruddy Duck  6
Turkey Vulture  1
Bald Eagle  1     
American Coot  3
Ring-billed Gull  8
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  4
Blue Jay  5
American Crow  1     Heard
Carolina Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard
American Robin  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Eastern Towhee  1     
Song Sparrow  10
White-throated Sparrow  30
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  2
Northern Cardinal  6     Near burnt house and along Clarksville-Robbinsville Rd
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Common Grackle  1000
American Goldfinch  1     Heard

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