Sunday, 10 December 2017

Cackling Goose

Ever since I got to see a Greater White-fronted Goose a few winters ago, I keep scanning large flocks of Canada Geese hoping to see a Cackling Goose. I did a lot of reading and studied a lot of photos in hopes that I would eventually find one.
There is nothing quite like locating and properly identifying a bird on your own! I did just that yesterday afternoon when a Cackling Goose stood out among hundreds of Canada's. At first I saw a smaller Canada Goose, but then another small goose floated by and this one had the stubby bill. Ideally I try to get a photograph of every bird that I count as a lifer, especially when the sighting could be questioned. This picture clearly shows the differences between the two species so this was a nice consolation prize for not being able to find the Barnacle Goose the week before!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Purple Martins

There are only a handful of Purple Martin colonies left in New Brunswick. I went to go see one of them a few days ago in Queenstown. I observed ten of them for over thirty minutes.

Here is a short video clip of the Purple Martins;

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Carleton County Waterfowl

Common - most everywhere and numerous

1. Mallard - year round
2. American Black Duck - year round
3. Canada Goose - almost year round
4 Common Goldeneye - late March to mid-December (sometimes around for Christmas Bird Counts)
5. Hooded Merganser - mid-March to end of November
6. Ring-necked Duck - early April to late November
7. Wood Duck - early April to late October
8. Green-winged Teal - early April to early December (2 still around for Christmas Bird Count 2013)

Fairly Common - could be a little harder to find and not as numerous. Early Spring to late Fall

9. American Wigeon
10. Northern Shoveler
11. Northern Pintail
12. Blue-winged Teal

Migrants - pass through the area between April & November and don't stick around very long

13. Snow Goose - check large flocks of Canada Geese, at least one around each spring or fall
14. Surf Scoter
15. White-winged Scoter 
16. Black Scoter
17. Long-tailed Duck
18. Red-breasted Merganser
19. Common Eider
20. Greater Scaup
21. Lesser Scaup
22. Bufflehead
23. Gadwall - 1-4 can be found each year in the Woodstock lagoon
24. Barrow's Goldeneye - scan through flocks of Common Goldeneye's. Best place to look is in the Woodstock lagoon in April or November.

*Best spots to find the above species - Woodstock Marina, Beardsley Road sewage lagoon and behind NBCC, in the Meduxnekeag River. 

Rare - very few records for the area
25. Brant - one record, found by Cassandra Short behind NBCC Woodstock, early May 2015
26. Cackling Goose - a few found by Matt Wilson (Duck Call Champion)
27. Eurasian Wigeon - 3 records, all at Woodstock sewage lagoon. Spring 2014, 2016 and 2017
28. Canvasback - one record that I know of, I found on Nov.28th 2014 at Woodstock sewage lagoon
29. Redhead - one record from 2014
30. Ruddy Duck - one record that I know of, I found on Oct. 29th, 2016 at Woodstock sewage lagoon

Other Possibilities - no records for the area that I know of
Pink-footed Goose - found in Fredericton spring 2017 and fall 2016
Harlequin Duck - found in Fredericton area before and one recent sighting in Grand Falls
Barnacle Goose - a few found in Aroostock County, Maine in the last few years
Tufted Duck - typically found with Ring-necked Ducks, at least one spotted each year in Saint John or Moncton area

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Pink-footed Goose

There's been a Pink-footed Goose in the Fredericton area for just over a week. A friend had sent me a picture of it, but it was on private property and it sounded like they wouldn't necessarily want a lot of people around. I let a few birders know in Fredericton though and they've been keeping an eye on the large flocks of geese all week. Yesterday, one of them spotted it at a golf course on the north side. I went in around noon and it was behind the driving range in the Saint John River. Hopefully it stays around so more people can see it!
I'm now up to 212 species for NB and 176 for the year.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Ruddy Duck

There were a lot of ducks in the Woodstock sewage lagoon this afternoon and a great variety at that. I found 15 different species of waterfowl around town, but the highlight was this Ruddy Duck. Its just the second time I've seen one and a first for the county. It stood out from the many Green-winged Teal (similar size) that were around because it kept diving and I noticed the stripe below its eye.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Red-necked Grebe

This is a busy time of year for me, but I try to check my usual spots around Woodstock when I can because you just never know what might be passing through during fall migration. Two springs ago, I found eight Red-necked Grebes in Woodstock so I wasn't that surprised to find two a few weeks ago by the marina. I don't see this species very much so it was a great one to check off especially since I had yet to see one this year. Usually I have to travel down close to the Bay of Fundy to find them and the one time I was down that way back in March, I couldn't find any. I'm pleased to now be up to 174 for the year in NB (previous record, 164).


Last month I stopped in Waterville in hopes that I could find a Sora. I was fortunate that this elusive species was out in the open right when I stopped. Its the first time I photographed one so I stayed there taking as many photos as I could because I might not see another one for a while!