Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barrow's and Common Goldeneye Sudbury Reservoir

I had the day off today so ventured off with Alan to various places including Scar Hill where we saw the regulars such as Horned Grebes, Common Goldeneye and Hooded Mergansers. Next it was onto Mile Hill Road where the only birds we saw were 13 Long-tailed Ducks who were too far away for a decent photo.

Our next destination was the Sudbury Reservoir in search of the Barrow's Goldeneye we had read about on MassBird earlier this week. We went to the area near the powerline and could see a large congregation of Ring-necked Ducks and Common Goldeneye as shown above. Notice how this drake Common Goldeneye has a black head and round and white spot on its face.
Alan was able to pick out what appeared to be a Barrow's Goldeneye so we went to another location to get a better look at it which was out on some rocks. Let me tell you it was freezing on the waters today. The north winds were strong with no sun for warmth so birding today on the water was for the hearty only! You forgot about the wind and cold once you saw the Barrow's as it is such a beautiful and special bird. Notice the flatter head, the white crescent on its face (lores) (picture below) and the unmistakable black spur this bird has as you can see in the picture above.
Another photo that will show the crescent on the lores as well as the white spots on its back vs. the mostly white on the Common Goldeneye. Awesome bird to see and was happy just getting pictures as this bird was very far away and the scope was on the highest magnification it could be on and usually when that happens my pictures come out so lousy you don't even know what the bird is! Oh, and I also spotted a deer tick while there that was crawling up my leg once I got in the car (just a reminder to all to keep checking as they are still out there).

After that we figured we were on a roll so decided to head out to Ipswich for the 7 Cackling Geese that were reported there on Massbird. On our way there we drove past Hager Pond in Marlborough and what do we see?? Why more banded Ring-billed Gulls of course!!! Yes, that's right folks another gull post. I believe the tags on this first cycle gull is A294 but can't be 100% certain due to how the tags were curled up on the ends. Not to mention this gull was not being at all cooperative. I had to laugh when I saw him though because it reminds me of those arm floats you put on kids before they hit the swimming pool. Too funny!
Alan had his scope on the bird as I tiptoed on a rocky embankment clinging to the guard rail that was the only thing between me and a very busy route 20 in an effort to get a better view of the number to report to DCR and for pictures obviously! Anyhow, the gull looked a little sick to me or just depressed. Perhaps it was just banded recently and is just exhausted by the experience. Also, notice how all of the other gulls are standing far away from him as if the hunter orange tags may be contagious or something. No wonder such the long face!
And just when you thought it couldn't get more exciting check out #105 which is an adult Ring-billed Gull. This bird too had a depressed look to him, I mean is he the picture of happiness or what?? The poor bird looks as if he just lost his best friend or something. I guess the gulls don't like the tags too much.
Interestingly enough, there were three Great Black-backed Gulls mixed in with the Ring-billed, but no Herrings that we could see of.
And another record shot of a first cycle Ring-billed Gull eating natural food instead of french fries which I consider very picture worthy!


Hager Pond, Marlborough
We finally did make it to Ipswich where we drove around for a while trying to locate the Cackling Geese. We never were able to see them due to the fact that all of the Canada Geese were hiding behind some fencing at a horse farm so good views to try and pick out the Cackling Geese was close to impossible as they were too far away to get a good look at the bills or an overall size comparison. We did see this Northern Harrier above though. Notice how long the tail and the wings are.
Another shot that shows its white rump and if you click on the pictures, you will see those geese on the left! Grrrrrr......Too far away to get a good look at them from the side of the road at any angle. Just saw that they had it on MassBird again this afternoon. Such is life I suppose. Have thought about cropping this picture into pieces to see if I can identify one in the bunch that way but it would probably be impossible. ;-)

eBird lists today:

Scar Hill Wachusett Res

9 Common Goldeneye
2 Common Merganser
3 Horned Grebe
2 Blue Jay
5 American Crow
15 American Robin
2 Song Sparrow3 White-throated Sparrow
20 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)


Mile Hill Road
Species
13 Long-tailed Duck

Southborough, Sudbury Res

75-Ring-neck Duck
1 Bufflehead
8 Common Goldeneye
1 Barrow's Goldeneye






4 comments:

Rich said...

Kim,
Your commentary is great! Enjoy the pictures too.
Thanks

Susan W. said...

Hey, Kim, the Sudbury Reservoir is right in my backyard! Let me know when you go again so I can follow you around and learn your techniques. I NEVER see the birds you see - and now I know it is not due to location!
Good job, as always

Kim said...

Susan, I will be sure you let you know as it would be fun to meet up with you and show you the best areas!

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