Monday, November 19, 2012

Pretty in pink

Not that John saw any pink. After the pelagic out of Delaware, John had a day 'off' and had heard about a Pink-Footed Goose north of Philadelphia. He didn't get it in Maine, so try, try again. Sunday, November 18th, he drove up to Peace Valley Nature Center. There were about 6000 Canada Geese and no birders on the shore. John scanned from three vantage points and didn't find Pinkie. He finally went to the visitor's center. A lady with a telescope told John where to go, past a pond, across a dam to look back on the geese from the other side. Now there were other birders, good sign, and sure enough, paddling around, was the Pink-Footed Goose 675! The pink parts were under water. John took pictures anyway. Turns out, Robert, who is also doing a big year and was on the pelagic, got there a bit earlier than John and got the goose too! Good!

John had talked to a local birder on the pelagic, who volunteered to help John find the Rusty Blackbird. Davich met John Sunday evening at Quakertown Swamp. In the dusk, Davich spotted some male and female rusties amongst the red-wings, but John was not satisfied with his views and decided to return the next AM. Monday morning, John got there about 7 and Davich was nice enough to show up again on his way to work. There were no blackbirds of any kind at first. Then, Davich thought he heard a Rusty call and saw a bird fly towards them. This swamp is quite large with a road cutting through it. Large dense bushes fill the watery areas and trees grow on the edges. Lots of places for birds to hide. Davich played his tape. The bird flew nearer. He played his tape again. The bird perched up in clear view. It was a female Rusty Blackbird 676! Thank you, Davich.

It is always nice to get a little help from fellow birders. Happy, John drove to the airport in Philadephia to fly to San Jose, CA. He will be on a Debi Shearwater pelagic out of Half Moon Bay tomorrow.

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