Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Barrow's Goldeneye at Lake Jo

Most of central and northern Aroostook county dodged the snow that blanketed the "south" last night. However temperatures dipped below freezing again and judging by the weather service reports, it looks like our long indian summer is coming to a quick end. Temperatures are predicted to be in the teens at night and barely reach above freezing for the next few days.

While the smaller wetlands have frozen and thawed several times in the past 6 weeks, most of the small lakes and reservoirs frequented by migrating waterfowl have remained open. Now it looks like those too, will be freezing up and liquid water will be restricted the quicker rivers and streams in the area.

This afternoon I took a quick run around the area to check the lakes one last time and see what remained this late in the season...

Lake Jo came through one last time this year.

Though the pond was about 1/2 frozen over, a sizeable flock of diving ducks lingered in the middle of the biggest patch of open water. My spotting scope revealed that most (51) were Common Goldeneyes but among them were a pair of Barrows Goldeneyes and the latest Ring-necked Duck I've ever found in the county. The Barrow's Goldeneyes were my first ever at this location and the 29th species of waterfowl I've had here!

The flock was quite fidgety and the ducks flushed several times in the fifteen minutes I watched them.

I checked Christina Reservoir and it too was partially frozen. Though I admit a biting wind and vicious snow squall didn't encourage me to linger, it appeared the pond was devoid of birdlife.

The Aroostook River in Fort Fairfield offered up a dozen Hooded and two Common Mergansers. Trafton Lake in Limestone was still mostly ice free but birdless.

Collins Pond in Caribou had a few dozen Canada Geese and Black Ducks and Mallards....not much to exclaim about waterfowl-wise. The gull show is still excellent with a rare Lesser Black-backed Gull and at least 3 Iceland Gulls in the 300 Herring and Great Black-backs.

Tomorrow I'll see what remains.


The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

The buffleheads and goldeneyes have just shown up in coastal Washington County, the open water up north throughout the late fall is a major preventive factor in harboring any puddle ducks down here. Excellent post.


Robin Robinson said...

Reading your profile leads me to remark that for some of us, and I suspect you are one, to say that we live AND we bird is redundant.