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Birdwalk Highlights for 12/31: Winslow Park, Freeport.

OK, it didn't feel right to go to Winslow on such a temperate morning. It also didn't feel right to actually enjoy standing at the point! So while these continuing above normal temperatures have minimized waterbird concentrations, they do make for pleasant conditions to view them in!

And it was a good thing that we did want to linger at the point, as only when we were about to finally leave did a drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE - our first of the season locally - fly in. Great looks were to be had by all.


Another highlight was the goodly count of 19 DUNLIN that we found in the distance as we finished up the walk - this is the largest winter number I have had here in a long time.


In between, decent numbers of waterbirds were seen. While diving ducks remained low, the open mudflats and shorelines increased the number of dabbling and grazing waterfowl: 185 CANADA GEESE, 116 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, and 89 MALLARDS. The 11 COMMON LOONS were also well above average for here. Other waterbird tallies included: 150 BUFFLEHEADS, 100 HERRING GULLS, 75 RING-BILLED GULLS, 40 COMMON EIDER, 30 COMMON GOLDENEYES, 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, and 7 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.


Landbirds were sparse, however, although we did have two fly-over COMMON RAVENS. One SONG SPARROW and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER were just about the only birds we had away from AMERICAN CROWS, BLUE JAYS, EUROPEAN STARLINGS, and the assemblage in one mixed-species foraging flock: 8 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 4 TUFTED TITMICE, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 1 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and 1 DOWNY WOODPECKER.

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