Monday, January 20, 2014

I spent a couple of hours late this morning looking for waterfowl on the St. Joseph River between Leeper Park and Darden Bridge. I had 3 target birds: White-winged Scoter, Greater White-fronted Goose and Red-necked Grebe. I found the scoter along Riverside Dr. near Brown School. I first noticed a large, black scoter while driving. I parked at Brown School and walked to the river walk where there was a large number of Canada Geese and other waterfowl. I found what I thought at first glance to be a Greater White-fronted Goose as I scanned the Canadas, but as the picture below shows, it turned out to be a Greylag Goose and a hybrid Greylag x Canada. Also present were approximately 12 Common Mergansers, 8 Hooded Mergansers, 15 Common Goldeneye, 10 Bufflehead, and 5 Redhead. I eventually tracked the White-winged Scoter down at the little park about 1/4 mile north. Below are a few pics:

White-winged Scoter; first winter female

White-winged Scoters digiscoped on St. Joseph River several years ago

Common Goldeneye

Greylag Goose and hybrid Greylag x Canada
While on the topic of domestic geese... these Swan Geese were present on our lake (North Chain / Bass Lake) last year.