Amazing work by Suzanne Sullivan.
The one standing at the back center does look a bit different but I’m sure 99% of us would have gone right past it.
Bigger breast band, bigger supercilium, longer and more orange bill.
And the toes.
Another perfectly timed chase. Got there 15 minutes before this Pacific Loon took off.
And here it goes:
Thick-billed Murre bonus:
Last night I did my usual routine after dinner: turned off phone, took off shoes, took off socks, and picked up laptop. I was debating if it was hot enough to lose my pants as well when I noticed that Echofon (twitter client) was showing activity even though I had just checked. That generally means someone has been spamming the BBC account. Sure enough, I switched over and saw a new mention. However, not spam: @jryandoherty: @bbcbirds Black-bellied whistling duck @ great meadows concord!
After whacking the retweet button, I realized it was still a little before 8 and fairly light out. A quick check confirmed that sunset wasn’t for another half hour or so. Grab socks, put on shoes, and run out the door (suddenly glad that I’ve been too lazy to take the scope out of the car). No traffic and green lights meant I made it in 15 minutes.
I started down the path and at the bridge I heard an odd whistle. It took a second time but then it clicked that it would be the duck. A quick scan of the water didn’t turn it up and I could see people further down so I kept walking. Another couple feet and it called again. This time I scanned the air and found it in flight. Nice looks as it circled a couple times before dropping into the far corner.
I made my way down to the group, thanked Ryan, and said hello to Bob, Martha, Ryan, and Jeff. Turns out that the bird had been sitting right on the edge (as seen in Ryan’s photos). That would have been nice, but a couple minutes later and I would have seen nothing so I won’t complain.
Eventually Simon joined the crowd and we moved to the new platform hoping the extra couple feet in height would be enough. It wasn’t, but the duck eventually called and then flew off (barely showing enough for the late arrivals). I attempted some phone video but since I can’t see or hear the bird it’s not being posted.
With the duck gone and the mosquitoes coming out, we headed off. Definitely a good night.
A few photos from the BBC trip to South Beach yesterday:
Highlight of the day and a state bird, Royal Tern.
Gray Seals were all over the ocean.
Quite a few Cory’s Shearwaters were flying by and hundreds if not thousands of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels were around as well.
A mix of terns (Common, Forster’s, Black) plus a Willet and Snowy Egret.
Friday 5/20: Travel day.
Saturday 5/21: Cousin’s graduation. Kingfisher flew over mid-ceremony. Afternoon walk around the FDR estate had first Spot-winged Glider of the year.
Stopped at Bartholomew’s Cobble on the way home. Now 1 for 1 on Black Vulture. Also heard a Bay-breasted and a few other warblers. Plus got Black Vulture in New York on the way as well, would have been nice to get a Connecticut one too.
Monday 5/23: Paine, forgot about the science field trips so ended up working down the hill. BT Green, yb cuckoo, sharpie, etc. Swamp Sparrow was probably the oddest bird.
Tuesday 5/24: BBN had the usual summer birds. Those include Blue-winged Warbler, turkey, many grosbeaks, Indigo Bunting, etc. Plus Cherry Gall Azure, American Lady, and a few other butterflies.
Wednesday 5/25: BBN again before work. Same as yesterday minus the turkey plus site tick Red-breasted Nuthatch along with Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Ovenbird, and Solitary Sandpiper, and a Question Mark. Duck ponds at lunch added Orchard Oriole and first patch odes of the year (many forktails, 1 baskettail, and a tandem pair of green darners).
And since the player probably doesn’t work, audio link. Charlie Nims I think with the commentary.