Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Does It

I did pretty good today even though I took it easy.  I didn't even get out of bed until 7:30, did some laundry, made breakfast, shoveled the whole driveway (it snowed 2 inches last night), straightened up the house, packed the car, got my hockey gear together and got another Big Year bird while drinking a cup of tea - all before 9 AM.  There is one - exactly one - Pine Siskin visiting my bird feeder.  They are usually in gangs but not this one. He (or she) is mingling with a bunch of Goldfinches but I don't care. It counts as another bird for the Big Year contest.

I left the house and headed down to Pennypack on the Delaware. I blogged about this place awhile ago. It is a park next to the prison that is right on the Delaware river where the Pennypack creek ends.  There is a well known Bald Eagle's nest which is being attended again this year. It is also a great place to watch the river for all sorts of ducks, gulls and other birds.  Today, Roxy and I sauntered up to the river and were treated to a few male Common Goldeneyes courting a female. It was a real treat because these ducks are usually farther north. This is the first time that I can recall seeing them on the Delaware river, nevermind doing their courtship dance.

The photos aren't great again due to sun glare. The sun was directly behind the ducks.  Here is a photo showing the male Goldeneye (should be obvious - it's the duck with the golden eye) and Bufflehead

Goldeneye and Bufflehead
 Here is a really terrible photo showing the courtship behavior.  There are 3 males and 1 female (second from the left) in this photo.  All of the males are making a really cool noise and throwing their heads back and bobbing to impress the female.  It was fun to watch.

Common Goldeneye - courtship
Again, I took it easy.  Roxy and I walked the path at the park to the end and got to see a few more Big Year birds including American Pipit.

I dropped Roxy at Di and Barabara's house and played a hockey game (we won 5-4).  After the game, Barbara and I packed the car and headed to the shore.  We stopped at a new place called Mannington Marsh on the way. All of the standing water is iced over, so we didn't get to see alot of birds, but we did get 2 more Big Year birds - Tundra Swan and Snow Goose.  We also saw a few hundred Coots crammed into a pretty small hole in the ice trying to stay wet.  Those poor birds just need to hang in there until Monday when it is supposed to warm up.

Speaking of iced over, we had a bit of surprise when we showed up at the shore -  iced over toilet and frozen drain traps on all of the sinks.  Uh oh.  No big deal. Staying with the "take it easy" day, we turned on the heat and went out to Jake's for a beer and salad.
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