After checking these ponds, I stopped at White Farm Conservation area which is adjacent to The Durham Fairgrounds off of Route 17. The first thing I noticed was that these fields were flooded and had a healthy population of Killdeer. When I used a spotting scope to search the back end of the area I saw a few Green-winged Teal. They soon flew off further into what I believe is a portion of the Durham Meadows Wildlife Management area. It surprises me how small these ducks look when they're flying. They are so tiny compared to Mallards.
My main focus, for at least the start of this month, is to check ponds, rivers, marshes, and flooded fields that are fairly close to home. I had a little bit of luck at the beginning of March when I saw a flock of Ring-necked Ducks in Portland. I was close enough to get photos but the I couldn't seem to see its eyes well in any of the photos. Maybe I should go back and read Part I -(How to be a quite good bird photographer)- and Part II -(How to avoid being arrested for Bad Bird Photography)- from the bird photography series at Belltower Birding.
I also checked Dooley's Pond in Middletown from the boat launch area. Do you see the Fork-tailed Diving Duck? It's so rare, that it's never been seen by humans. Keep looking toward the left side of the pond. It's going to surface any minute now. As you can probably see-the pond is birdless- at least on this end. I always wonder why certain ponds seem to attract interesting waterfowl while others do not. I know that it has to do with water depth, size of the lake/pond, food sources and location of the ponds. What are some of the other factors? Certain ponds show up on rare bird reports all the time. What makes those ponds so attractive to particular species?
My last visit was at Wangunk Meadows in Portland. Once again, it looks like someone went four-wheeling and ended up trashing their vehicle. Something about this picture struck me funny though. Do you see that little yellow container on the ground next to the vehicle?
What were they thinking? A little elbow grease and some Clorox Wipes will fix the problem?
There were more Green-winged Teal at the fairgrounds, but they were out of camera distance. This is the only photo of Green-winged Teal that I have. It was taken a couple of years ago at the same location. They may not be uncommon but I don't often get a chance to see them. I think they're a pretty sharp looking bird. I'll be looking forward to seeing Wilson's Snipe, which have showed up in big numbers at the fairgrounds in the month of March for the last couple of years. My search for is coming along a little bit slowly but I look forward to checking more local ponds and marshes this weekend. I'd like to see some Blue-winged Teal or Northern Pintail this month. Oh, by the way-did I tell you that I hate the whole daylight savings thing? I say just set the clocks ahead and leave them that way forever.