Monday, February 23, 2009

Barnacle Goose, Barrow's Goldeneye - NYC and NJ

I went specifically looking for two species of waterfowl over the weekend of the 21st/22nd Feb - Barrow's Goldeneye in NYC and Barnacle Goose in NJ.

On Saturday, fighting with three traffic slowdowns and my own tardiness, I did a quick sprint to Warinanco Park in Linden for Barnacle Goose, failed to find it, but somehow did manage to get to Jamaica Bay WR in Brooklyn/Queens a little before sundown. There the male Barrow's Goldeneye was amongst a decent-sized flock of Common Goldeneye on the West Pond around 5pm. This was perhaps the largest flock of Goldeneye I recall seeing on the West Pond. Other ducks were in less impressive numbers, with relatively few (Greater) Scaup, one Canvasback and relatively few dabbling ducks. This was my first Barrow's Goldeneye in NYC, the life bird was the Ransom Beach/Long Island one, and I'd seen other ones at Sandy Hook (NJ) and in Colorado. Other interesting birds at Jamaica Bay included a hardy Great Egret but there wasn't much time to search for more given impending sunset.

Despite much uglier weather on Sunday I did a more diligent search of Warinanco Park in the midst of intermittent drizzle and heavy overcast, and it wasn't all that hard to find the Barnacle Goose there in a large flock of Canadas. The Barnacle Goose had intact halluxes, apparently intact primaries, and was neither more tame nor more wild than the accompanying wild Canada Geese - so at first blush this seems like a legit bird. It was being harassed a little by the Canadas, but otherwise was pretty comfortable in the flock.

No comments: