Friday, April 5, 2013

Early spring waterfowl

It may be April but it's still cold out.  The Long-tailed Ducks continue to hang around the pier, contrary to what I wrote a week ago, the males do come in sometimes.
It was pretty windy and the bird was getting tossed about in the chop as evidenced by the splashes made by the wave cresting beneath it.

March generally means wild goose chases.  I was gone the weekend Whitefronts were in the county, but did have a Ross's Goose at 3 Oaks.
The extra pixels on the 7D makes it easier to document the straight bill base at longer distances.
Here's a size comparison with the Canadas when they flushed off the berm in front of me before I noticed them (in my own defense they were hunkered down pretty low trying to stay out of the wind).

People chasing the Barnacle Goose before its pinioning was proven found this Trumpeter Swan, also at 3 Oaks.
I've always had trouble appreciating the difference Sibley shows with the cheek pattern; I think the average Trumpeter has more curve down than he shows.  The pointed forehead pattern is easier to see (of course the lack of a yellow dot, long sloped bill, and salmon edge to the lower mandible is also usually easier to see).

This is the Lemon Creek Blue Goose, I think this bird has wintered in that area for at least a few years.  I saw at least one other Blue Geese at LMC this spring. You can get a sense of the difference in head and bill shape from the Ross's.
Finally a hen Wood Duck that swam out from the edge of the ditch along Avery and posed reasonably cooperatively.
The male swam out too but he never turned broadside.

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