What a beautiful morning: cold, but sunny and calm, and warming quickly. Unfortunately, most of the area's duck hunters thought exactly the same thing! Although it would have been an absolutely divine morning to visit Winslow Park, I decided to take advantage of a large concentration of waterbirds that I found in Middle Bay yesterday. They were there, but often rather far, and often with duck hunters between us and them.
Nevertheless, the raft of 600-800 LESSER and GREATER SCAUP with 200-400 WHITE-WINGED and SURF SCOTERS off of the Mere Point Boat Launch was a sight to see! Most of the 20 or so LONG-TAILED DUCKS and 20 or so BUFFLEHEADS were much closer, however. 10 AMERICAN ROBINS, 6 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and 6 BLUE JAYS were among the passerines at the edges of the parking lot.
We hoped that raft of ducks would be visible from Simpson's Point, but unfortunately, it was not. However, scanning across the width of the bay yielded at least 300 more Buffleheads, 100 distant COMMON GOLDENEYES, about 20 more White-winged Scoters, and another group of about 50 scaup, with a closer group definitely being all Lesser. Much closer, and much more enjoyable, were the 6 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and a single BLACK SCOTER. 7 CANADA GEESE, 2 COMMON LOONS were also present. 50+ HERRING GULLS and about 4 RING-BILLED GULLS were tallied between the two sites, with pockets of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES flying overhead and/or heard calling. And last but not least, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER flew in for a brief but good look as we were about to depart.
To get the walk part of the birdwalk in, we strolled Pennell Way for a stretch, which added more Blue Jays and AMERICAN CROWS to the tally, along with a stunning adult BALD EAGLE that made some low passes in the clear blue sky overhead.