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.