Monday, March 7, 2016

Lily Lake 3/7--Wood Duck

And it's about time too! I feel like I've spent a month looking for Wood Ducks this year. Every place I've tried--Colliers Mills, Bunker Hill Bogs, Butterfly Bogs, Whitesbog, the exit ponds at Brig (to name just the most likely places I've searched)--I've come up empty. Today, as I was coming off my first loop around Brig, I ran into Greg who was leading a field trip for his community's nature club. He mentioned that he'd seen them over by Lily Lake (which is next to the refuge and part of Forsythe), so after my 2nd loop and still not finding them at the Gull Pond or the exit ponds, I drove over there. I stood at a corner of the lake and scanned, finding only the expected ducks. I took two more steps toward the little pond on the right that's separated by a path and BOOM! I flushed 3 squeaking Wood Ducks. Another minute and two more were on the lake and flew away into the dense thickets that line the pond. I was calling Greg to tell him I'd seen the woodies when he arrived with his group, which, of course, thanks to me, didn't get to see the ducks.

The day started off with a brief moment of panic: the Wawa on Rt 9 was closed for renovations! I have a sentimental attachment to that Wawa. When Shari & I first started going to Brig we lived in Brooklyn and didn't know a Wawa from a whoo-hoo. But after a few visits (the coffee was good and the soda was always on sale with no deposit) we started to say, "We could go to Brig this weekend--and stop at Wawa." Truth be told, it is a rather shabby store and new Wawa on the site will be welcome.

Happily, I remembered the location of the next nearest Wawa and drove over there for my coffee. Since I was now about halfway to Absecon Creek, I figured I might as well drive there and get the American Avocets for the month. These 2 birds have been there since early January and are absolutely reliable. Great looking birds and I finally relented and used them for Bird A Day. I was sort of hoping to hold off and use the species if we went to Delaware later this year, but I'm running out of winter birds to use and migration won't start for at least a few weeks.
American Avocets with Greater Yellowlegs
My two trips around the impoundments produced nothing new for the year. The number of Snow Geese there was really impressive. I would estimate 2500. I didn't bother to look for a Ross's in the marsh multitudes. Because it was so windy, land birds were at a premium today. In all, for my 3 stops, I had 45 species. They were:
Species   Location
Snow Goose   Brig
Brant   Brig
Canada Goose   Absecon Creek
Mute Swan   Brig
Wood Duck   Lily Lake
Gadwall   Brig
American Wigeon   Brig
American Black Duck   Brig
Mallard   Absecon Creek
Northern Shoveler   Brig
Northern Pintail   Brig
Green-winged Teal   Brig
Ring-necked Duck   Lily Lake
Bufflehead   Absecon Creek
Hooded Merganser   Brig
Common Merganser   Brig
Red-breasted Merganser   Brig
Double-crested Cormorant   Absecon Creek
Great Blue Heron   Brig
Turkey Vulture   Brig
Northern Harrier   Brig
Bald Eagle   Brig
Red-tailed Hawk   Lily Lake
American Avocet   Absecon Creek
Greater Yellowlegs   Absecon Creek
Ring-billed Gull   Brig
Herring Gull   Absecon Creek
Great Black-backed Gull   Absecon Creek
Rock Pigeon   Absecon Creek
Mourning Dove   Brig
Red-bellied Woodpecker   Brig
Peregrine Falcon   Brig
Blue Jay   Brig
American Crow   Brig
Fish Crow   Absecon Creek
Carolina Chickadee   Brig
Tufted Titmouse   Brig
White-breasted Nuthatch   Brig
Carolina Wren   Brig
American Robin   Brig
Yellow-rumped Warbler   Brig
Savannah Sparrow   Brig
Song Sparrow   Brig
Eastern Towhee   Brig
Red-winged Blackbird   Brig

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