Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ring-Necked Ducks, Central Park Reservoir

Saturday at the Central Park Reservoir, I saw this:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Three--count 'em!-three Ring-Necked Ducks, Central Park Reservoir
Three-count'em!--three Ring-Necked Ducks

Three drake Ring-Necked Ducks, just hanging out. They seemed to be taking turns being the one awake. Andres Peltomaa tweeted that that's the high count ever for Ring-Necked Duck in Central Park. There had been two the previous day.

I didn't find the female Northern Pintail who had been reported a couple of days before. Sunday I went to Randall's Island in search of American Pipits--Jacob Drucker saw four on Saturday morning along the northeast shore line, and David Barrett had one a couple of days before--but had no luck. There was a flock of over 300 Brant on one of the baseball fields, which was interesting, and a bird flew by that I couldn't identify.

It was the size and general coloration and shape of s smallish gull--maybe a Bonaparte's or a Laughing Gull--but was brick red or chestnut on the undertail coverts or vent. It flew very directly east to west along the Bronx Kill with fast steady wingbeats, eventually rising to fly over the bridge and then slowly descending out of sight. I have no idea what it was. It doesn't seem to match anything in the books. maybe the red was actually its feet, tucked up under it? Still doesn't really match anything that I can see.

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