Friday, March 28, 2014

Field Notes as March Winds Down...

The following are some highlights from the field covering a numbers of sites that I birded over the past few weeks in March. This Peregrine Falcon put on quite a show (looks like a male), while taking a bath in a freshwater puddle.

Although not a year bird, this Piping Plover was my earliest PIPL migrant in Queens on March 12th. For the curious, my year PIPL was in January when I saw an overwintering bird at Point Lookout, Long Island NY, with Doug Futuyma and later with Tom Burke and Gail Benson.

Female ducks don’t often get the recognition they deserve and I recommend spending some time studying them in the field as often times birders get tripped up when confronted with a difficult ID due to unfamiliarity or poor looks. This female Northern Pintail was quite the delight to see at Oakland Lake in Queens NY.

And right after I mention giving the females their due, I am suckered right back into focusing on a drake, but I have an excuse. How could I not with this handsome Wood Duck (right) who was guarding his female companion (not pictured) from the aggressive overtures from 3 other drake Wood Ducks. Those lads were serious about making a move on his girl, but he was having none of it.

Not many reported as yet locally, but I was lucky to pick up my first of the year, Blue-winged Teals, this past weekend. A pair and I managed to pick them out despite their low presence on the water and hiding amongst a group of Mallards.

With all the Red-necked Grebes being reported, I found two this past weekend while exploring new sites to bird. They showed more breeding plumage than any of the other Red-necked Grebes that I have seen at other location this year. Here is one for your viewing pleasure.

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