Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Froze-out Birds

[Red-necked Grebe at Nummy Island, NJ today.]
Arctic blasts of air tend to move things, when they're not freezing things, like my home's water line, for example, which necessitated a day off and visits to the hardware store and the dank innards of the crawl space to apply heat tape to pipes.  Ah, but the Arctic air also freezes water bodies, which forces birds wintering to the north to reconsider sometimes.  That, I presume, is what put the Red-necked Grebe at Nummy Island this afternoon, where I was delighted to find and photograph it. Red-necked Grebes aren't exactly rare but close to it, and this I believe is the first I've ever photographed in Cape May County. I'd be curious to know exactly where the grebe was before it up and moved to Cape May - could be as far as the Great Lakes, but probably it was a shorter hop, perhaps from some inland reservoir that froze over and forced the move.
Near the Grebe were two Common Goldeneye, a presumed immature male showing a trace of a white spot on the face, and a female, and near them were numerous more common things like Bufflehead and Red-breasted Mergansers, all concentrated near the toll bridge at the south end of Nummy Island.
 [Immature male and female Common Goldeneye with a Red-breasted Merganser at Nummy Island today.]

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