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Birdwalk Highlights for 2/10: Winslow Park, Freeport.

"Too nice" was an adequate description of the day, given the date. Even at Winslow Park it was shockingly lovely out, with increasing sun, no wind at all, and temperatures rising into the 40's. Could we even visit Winslow on a day this nice?

Of course the glass-calm conditions helped us see waterfowl well, even at a distance, but the lack of ice kept them dispersed, as did the king tide. But overall, the birding was excellent today.

We began the walk with the local pair of BALD EAGLES busy working on their nest, watching multiple new sticks being carefully added to just the right place.

While we only had a pair of BARROW'S GOLDENEYES today, and they were not in delightful light, we did spot a rarer (these days anyway) female COMMON EIDER of the "NORTHERN" SUBSPECIES, borealis. She wasn't close, but the pale gray bird really stuck out, and she eventually surfaced close enough for us to make out the bill process (shield) to see the short, and pointed shield. It's been several years since I have seen this subspecies here.

Other waterbird numbers were pretty good, especially considering the lack of concentrating ice. Our tallies included 250 BUFFLEHEADS, 75 COMMON EIDER, 50 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 34 MALLARDS, 31 CANADA GEESE, only about 30 COMMON GOLDNEYES, 21 SURF SCOTERS, a goodly 17 COMMON LOONS, only 11 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, and 8 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

More unusual was the amount of landbirds today, with several mixed species foraging flocks, overwintering sparrows, and more. A sample of our totals today included 42 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, 30 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 9 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, 4 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 4 WHITE-BREASTED and 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 2 BROWN CREEPERS, 1 briefly-heard RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER,1 SONG SPARROW, and 1 cooperative perched RED-TAILED HAWK.

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