Eurasian Wigeon – Braddock Bay

19 03 2011

Eurasian Wigeon - Art Tanghe

Another new species to add to the growing list of ducks I’ve seen over the almost month I have been here. Probably only he second rarity as well. It’s amazing how abundant species that would be considered uncommon or even rare when you get as far east as Connecticut can be here. Tundra Swans are an very day occurrence, flights of Snow Geese regular, numbers of Shoveler, Pintail and Redhead nothing to get too excited about. What was most interesting to me was seeing Horned Grebes sitting right up by the mouth of the creek yesterday instead of way off on the open lake or at least even at the mouth of the bay. One of the few times I’ve had point blank views of Horned Grebes with just bins.

Thanks to Art Tanghe for both finding the bird and sending me a visual memory of the bird and letting me borrow that memory to illustrate the blog. Terrible conditions for photography and the bird was some distance out in the haze but it’s a nice record. Out of interest I wonder whether anyone in the US has ever had a female type Eurasian Wigeon record accepted? I don’t recall any off the top of my head in Connecticut.

This evening I popped out to listen for displaying Woodcock and was intrigued to spot a Great Horned Owl on the far side of the field where the Woodcock were displaying. I think we were both there to listen for owls but its reason for doing so was slightly more sinister than mine. I remember seeing a Great Horned Owl  carrying a Woodcock at Allen’s Meadows and became aware that the Great Horned Owls that nest nearby must make this a regular part of their diet as they would often show up at that time of year. I just hope they don’t try and swallow that Woodcock bill and all – could make for an interesting pellet!



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