Thursday, January 22, 2009

3 Life Birds @ Irondequoit Bay

Finally got out birding again. It's been quite a while. Drove to Irondequoit Bay after class today, and was very pleased to see a multitude of ducks gathered there. Unfortunately, there were also about 70-80 Mute Swans. When I pulled in to park, one standing nearby in a group of Mallards stared me down, as if daring me to come closer. If it came down to it, I think I could take him.

I merrily snapped a ton of photos with my new camera, and enjoyed having a decent pair of binoculars, too. My grandmother gave me a pair of hers for Christmas. There were dozens of Mallards, Long-Tailed Ducks, Scaup, White-Winged Scoters, and Redheads--a new life bird for me! I have to admit I had forgotten about Redheads and assumed I was looking at Canvasbacks. But, now I know better. My guidebook has pictures of Redheads with a dull red-brown color to them. The ones I saw? Ummm, not quite.
Rich, vibrant shades of maroon/burgundy. Gorgeous. I was thrilled to get such a good look at them. Not only did I wind up with three life birds today, but I also got great views and good pictures of Anatidae that I've seen in the past, but only from a distance, like this Hooded Merganser:
Lovely creature. Just absolutely lovely. It was quite cold out, and my fingers were almost devoid of any feeling, but who cares?!? BIRDS!!! I think these images will convey an accurate representation of the temperature:
The other life birds I saw today:
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser (on the edge of the far side of the group)
Male Red-breasted Merganser (okay, not a lifer, I've seen several females before, but this was the first male Red-breasted I've ever seen. half a lifer?)
All in all, a wonderful little trip. I say "little" because I really wasn't there for too long. Just long enough for my fingers to start to hurt. I then retreated to the car. *contented sigh* I missed birding.

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