It was too warm to not go to Winslow Park! Actually, it was a large group today - no doubt thanks to the warmth- that dictated our destination.
Four EASTERN BLUEBIRDS feasting on hawthorn in perfect light with a snowy background more than made up for the relative low numbers of waterbirds today. In fact, passerines were more of our focus than usual here in winter, thanks to the bluebirds that were traveling with about 40 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. We encountered two mixed species foraging flocks in the woods and edge, with totals of about 14 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 6 TUFTED TITMICE, 2 each of RED-BREASTED and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and 1 DOWNY WOODPECKER. 4 BLUE JAYS and a couple of NORTHERN CARDINALS were somehow heard-only.
With the the exception of Barrow's Goldeneye, all of the expected waterfowl were noted. The complete lack of bay ice however, has reduced the concentrations at normal mid-winter hotspots, so our numbers were low. Really good, prolonged scope views (especially without eyelashes freezing to the eyepiece) made up for it though. Tallies included 150 BUFFLEHEADS, 75 COMMON EIDERS, 50 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 30 COMMON GOLDENEYES, 20 CANADA GEESE, 22 SURF SCOTERS, 12 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 10 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, and 4 MALLARDS.
Non-waterfowl waterbird numbers included about 40 HERRING GULLS, 10 RING-BILLED GULLS, 7 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 3 COMMON LOONS.
Did I mention how nice out it was!?