Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birds at South Amboy

Yesterday morning I birded two sites in South Amboy, the mudflats at Morgan Avenue and Waterworks Park. At the first site, there were a large number of the expected gull species loafing on the sandy spit or resting in the bay. As I was looking through those, a flock of Brant flew in and landed nearby. They proceeded to act as Brant normally do until the flock got spooked and took off. Some American Black Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers were present further out in the bay. Very few land birds were evident at either site.

The pond at Waterworks Park had more waterfowl, chiefly a flock of Canada Geese and about 35 American Coots. I had not seen that many coots in a while, so it was fun to watch them. They were particularly active and vocal yesterday. Out in the middle of the pond, there was one duck that took me a while to identify. Eventually I settled on female Redhead, but I was left with a little uncertainty. I find it much easier to identify Aythya ducks when there are in a group and individuals can be compared with each other.

Both photos show the same individual, but the color looks different in the second because the direction of light changed.

Finally, here is a view out into Raritan Bay at the end of Cliff Avenue.