The fun continues on this fine spring day in Estabrook with new birds on the pond, new birds in the river, and new flowers up out of the ground.
First, the new bird on the pond looks like a female mallard or a female American black duck. You may recall we saw a male on the river back in January. Well, this morning there was duck who looked like a female mallard, but she was much shyer, and I had a heck of a time getting a decent picture of her even on our little pond.
Based on her un-mallard-like behavior, her dark brown body, and her olive bill, I thought she’s a female American black duck. Upon further digging, however, I now believe the better match, especially for “the small white speculum on the wing“, is the gadwall (Mareca strepera). Here’s a shot of our mallard couple from this morning for comparison.
Meanwhile, the geese are doing just fine, but no nesting yet.
And the herring gulls are back for more fish, which is good because there are a lot of them, and they won’t last long in this weather.
Down on the river, between the two islands, the exciting new arrivals are some greater scaup, which you may recall we first saw down by Discovery World back just over a week ago. I’m glad to see that some got a change to sample the waters in our little park before the continue north to Nunavut, Canada.
I spotted our redheads also on the river yesterday afternoon foraging off the mudflats.
Lastly, on the river in the warm sun yesterday afternoon, these large fish, 18-24 inches long, almost seemed to be sunning themselves in the shallow water over the rocks where fishermen usually stand just below the falls.
Finally, here’s another batch of flowers, crocuses, already in bloom along the Oak Leaf Trail.