Thursday, January 05, 2012

Eurasian Wigeon in Perth Amboy

Last week, during the Raritan Estuary CBC, one of the parties found a drake Eurasian Wigeon along the Perth Amboy waterfront. The bird was later refound by other birders, including my friend Patrick, at the Cornucopia Cruise Lines docks a little further upstream from Perth Amboy. Yesterday I finally had a chance to go see the bird. It was not immediately visible from the Cornucopia parking lot, but I was able to find it by following a paved pathway from the parking lot upstream towards the Rt. 35 bridge. There were quite a few ducks tucked close to shore. In addition to the unusual interloper, there were American Wigeons, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, and Red-breasted Mergansers.

Eurasian Wigeon is an unusual bird for New Jersey and is even rarer in Middlesex County. Most records in the state come from coastal hotspots like Cape May, such as the ones I saw there in January 2010 and again in November 2010. Given its rarity, it should not be a surprise that this was a new county bird for me, #199.