Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First Eurasian Wigeon of the season

On Sunday I found the first Eurasian Wigeon of the season at Stratford Point in the form of a sleeping male in the cove amongst the American Black Duck, Gadwall, and American Wigeon. What I did not expect was that through my scope I found the second Eurasian Wigeon of the season for the property about two seconds later as it slept just to the right of the more obvious bird. Take a look!

Snoozing away in the center

Some stir, one wakes up for a bit while the other...

...goes for a little swim.

There has been a bird or two wandering about the area in Fairfield, Bridgeport, Westport, and even western Stratford, though none had come so far east as us yet. We typically find one nearly annually now with all of the prolonged survey work conducted for waterfowl in Stratford Point's intertidal zone and the constant looks our Science and Conservation staff give the area surrounding our offices. In checking all of my birding records I found that since 2009 I have had 15 instances of Eurasian Wigeon entered into eBird, including this one, but that it was the first of anything other than a solitary bird.

I had just last week mentioned the species to CAS Director of Conservation Services Anthony Zemba while we were walking the property. For some reason I sincerely thought that more were in the fall, but it turns out that none were! Eight of the sightings were in January with decreasing occurrence from February through April. I think it was because there always seem to be a bird or two here and there in the area in December, but for whatever other reason they do not seem to drop by our patch until the New Year. I was delighted to see our foreign friends and I hope there will be more to come - we are due for that Tufted Duck, aren't we?

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission

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