Black-bellied Whistling-duck Great Meadows, Concord
Alan and I headed to Great Meadows in Concord today in hopes for the Black-bellied Whistling-duck. We'd get there a little before 9 and see two birders who told us they just had it in the same area its been seen most which is at the first bridge when you first make your way down the path. Soon enough Alan would spot it so we moved around for a better view.
And this is what we'd see, swoon! I'd be very happy with this shot considering how hidden the duck was with the cattails.
Similar photo. Love how Peter Dunne refers to this duck as the "Harlot-faced squealer" in the Field Guide Companion. The name is due to the pancake like makeup that adorns this beautiful bird Dunne describes it as a "an overpainted harlotlike face". HA.
After a while the duck looked as if it was getting ready to take a nap so after looking at it a bit more we decided to explore some more to see what else was out there.
We'd be walking along the path when I could have sworn I saw a large white bird spread its wings to the right of us and tell Alan I think I have a Great Egret when suddenly the bird would disappear. We'd both start searching for it again as a wave of doubt crossed my mind wondering if I was now having Egret mirages after a couple of weeks ago but then the bird would re appear much to my relief.
Lousy shot and couldn't get a decent digiscoped photo either but was happy to see it none the less as I'm really learning to appreciate long distance view birds which forces you to look more on shape and behavior vs field marks. Despite the distance you can still see those black legs.
There'd also be a Great Blue Heron in deep thought and enjoying the sunshine. ;-). This preening bird was not at all shy so we were able to get some pretty good looks at it as it groomed and scratched.
The duck would be the highlight of the morning though hands down! I've been seeing posts of it on MassBird and photos on Facebook which made me really want to see it with my own two eyes. These birds are rare up here in Massachusetts which makes for an ever sweeter life bird.
We'd see and/or hear other birds including 2 Marsh Wrens which is always nice as well as a Ruby-throated Hummingbird getting some nectar from flowers along the path which was really nice as I love to see them feeding from natural sources more than I do feeders. The bird would be too quick of course for a photo. All in all a great way to spend a morning and start the month of August off with a lifer for both of us!