Monday, November 15, 2010

Stubborn Red-tail And Tiny Long-tail

I went to make my rounds at Wangunk Meadows on Sunday. I started the morning by taking a couple of photos from my truck window of this Red-tailed Hawk. I watched it as 3 crows came in to take a few dives at it. The crows even flew across the street to round up a few more crows to try to harass the hawk but it seemed immovable. I got out of my truck and walked across the grass to get closer. Still, the hawk didn't flinch. I thought it might be nice to get a picture of it flying off but decided to leave it be since it was so determined to stay on his branch.
I searched for birds in the fields and near overhanging trees and snags. I found the usual variety of sparrows including-White-crowned Sparrow, Belted kingfisher, 4 species of woodpeckers, Brown Creeper and and an Eastern Phoebe.
I was on my way out and noticed a small duck on the opposite side of the river that made me curious because it was in the middle of the channel by itself and was holding its position against the current. I tried to search my mind for a list of possibilities but I really wasn't sure (didn't have my field guide with me either). Long-tailed Duck was one possibility I considered but thought that they're only found near the shore. The only time I've seen them is in January at Old Saybrook. I took some photos and mega-cropped them when I came home. Sure enough, it is a female Long-tailed Duck. I checked with the duxperts to confirm the id. It is unusual to see them this far inland so it was an interesting find for me.

11 comments:

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, I was in CT on sunday birding at Lake Hayward where I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker and a brown creeper-both new for my CT list! I would loved to have seen this duck! It would be a Life Bird for me! How smart you were to take a better look and take a photo. I did not bring my camera with me as I did not go to CT to bird but to visit my mom and a friend. I should have known I would find a way to squeeze in some birding though! However, I swear every 3rd house had someone out leaf blowing so it was quite noisy there and I soon left. I wanted the sounds of nature, not of manmade machines! Nice hawk photo.

Larry said...

Kathiebirds-Old Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River in January will get you that Long-tailed lifer if you give it a couple of tries.We get them there when we do Big January.

Chris Petrak said...

Interesting that the red-tail did not fly as you approached. All I have to do is get out of the car, it seems, and a perched red-tail flies off. You were very fortunate. Good shot.

Larry said...

Chris-thanks-I've seen Red-tails on the exact same branch that took off soon after I rolled down the window-this one was fearless.

Jen said...

Nice, I have yet to see a Long-tailed Duck...

Chris said...

Well done for the female long-tailed duck Larry! That's one for sure...

Larry said...

Chris-thanks-this photo is about twice as good as the one I sent out for id confirmation.-Just cropped it tonight.

forestal said...

Great day birding, nice when you can get close looks of hawks. Nice Long-Tail.

troutbirder said...

I never get that close. They must like you.
"duxperts" I love it!

Larry said...

forestal-thanks
troutbirder-yes it's true that hawks like me-ducks-not so much-as you can see from the distant LT photo.I like using made up words-as long as you know what I'm talking about-it works.

Ruth said...

We have thousands of Long-tailed ducks which winter on the north shores of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Hamilton. It is odd to me to see one by itself as I only have seen them in large numbers.