Unity and I did our annual Connecticut River "duck run" today, although it appears many of the ducks had already passed through given the warm weather. Nowhere did we have large numbers (even of geese), but diversity wasn't bad. The highlights were a pair of Lesser Scaup on Wilson Pond in Swanzey and the imm male Barrow's Goldeneye in Hinsdale. The latter was sitting on a log (?!?) in the middle of the river, and generally giving poor views, but with persistence we finally got a good profile view of the head to clinch the ID. Other Hinsdale notables included the Pied-billed Grebe, a SINGLE GWTE, four Fish Crows over the causeway, and Jack Swatt migrating north between CT and Lempster.
Some of our best birds were along Airport Road in Swanzey from 7-9. These included our first Tree Swallows of the year, a great look at a harrier, a calling snipe, and a SINGING Hermit Thrush. The latter was a fairly faint song although the bird seemed pretty close, so we wonder if it was a young bird that overwintered and is just getting geared up for spring.
Farther up the river, a most excellent highlight was lunch at the Hungry Diner in Walpole. Great food, a flight of craft beers, and a nice enough to site outside watching for Black Vultures over Fall Mountain. We actually brought a scope out to our picnic table but all we saw were Turkey Vultures.
We ended at the Charlestown WTP, where things were pretty quiet, although 3 Am Tree Sparrows at the edge of the parking lot were a nice bonus and the last new species for the day.
Tomorrow's rain will hopefully ground a few waterfowl, so get out early and get a little wet - who knows what you might find!
Pam Hunt and Unity Dienes
"The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world."