Date: 1/7/18 3:27 pm
From: Betsy Kane (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Lake Crabtree, NC, waterfowl
Thanks, Harry, it was great!

I appreciate all the responses. Lots of birders out there today, good to
make new friends.

Had a nice long close encounter with a hermit thrush on shore only four
feet from me, hungrily foraging in the leaves. I could have taken a selfie
with it.

Nice multicolored sun pillar and sundog reflecting off the frozen lake, too.

On Sunday, January 7, 2018, Harry LeGrand <carolinabirds...> wrote:

> The waterfowl are best observed from the county park side. Turn right at
> the boat rental sign, which is where the observation tower is located. You
> can certainly check for waterfowl at many places, but as the birds are now
> in the center, where the open water is, you really need to get high off the
> water, and thus the tower is your best bet now. Of course, you will need a
> scope; binoculars are almost useless from there. As you are looking south,
> midday you will be looking directly toward the sun, if a sunny day.
> As it warms back up, the dam -- reached from Old Reedy Creek Road off
> Weston Parkway, is a great place to see waterfowl -- in the morning (You
> are looking west here.) There is a new parking area here, with restrooms.
> On Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 12:06 PM, Harry LeGrand <hlegrandjr...>
> wrote:
>> 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
>> Commons
>> 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
>> Raleigh

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