Date: 1/7/18 9:07 am
From: Harry LeGrand (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Lake Crabtree, NC, waterfowl
The mass of waterfowl in the center of Lake Crabtree west of Raleigh is now
larger than ever. The opening in the ice is larger than the last time I
was here a few days ago, thanks simply to more birds piling in and heating
up the water and stirring up the thin ice.. I estimated about 1500 birds
then, with at least 800 Hooded Mergansers. Here are my estimated totals,
today, which include all 5 winter Aythya duck species, plus all 3
mergansers. Roughly looking at numbers below, I would now estimate 2,000
waterfowl in the middle of the lake. Nothing rarer than Common Merganser
could be found by 4 of us in the tower from 9 - 1040 this morning. Still,
it is a great spectacle! This is copied from my eBird report:

Wood Duck 4
Gadwall 20
Mallard 175
American Black Duck 4
Canvasback 6
Redhead 1 male
Ring-necked Duck 250
Greater Scaup 2 undoubtedly more
Lesser Scaup 200
Greater/Lesser Scaup 150
Bufflehead 15
Hooded Merganser 1,200 most I have ever seen in the Triangle; more
present that a week ago
Common Merganser 3 females; bright rufous head; strong contrast with
white of breast and white of throat; essentially no crest
Red-breasted Merganser 2 females; seen in comparison with female
Ruddy Duck 40
Pied-billed Grebe 6
Horned Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 33 actual count of birds lined up along shore near
the causeway
Bonaparte's Gull 5 surprisingly few
Ring-billed Gull 150
Herring Gull 3 all first-winter birds

Interestingly, no cormorants seem to be at the lake now. Most of the time,
cormorants and RB Gulls dominate the waterbirds.

Harry LeGrand

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