Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eurasian Wigeon at Perth Amboy

A few weeks ago I went to see a drake Eurasian Wigeon that was spending time with American Wigeons near the docks for the Cornucopia Princess cruise lines. It was originally found near the NJ Transit train railroad bridge between Perth Amboy and South Amboy during the Raritan Estuary CBC on December 26, and then it moved slightly upstream to the Cornucopia Princess docks. Since then, the bird has stuck around and recently moved again, this time to the Arthur Kill side of the Perth Amboy waterfront promenade.

It is associating with about a dozen American Wigeons in a small cove just south of the yacht club. This area is much favored by waterfowl as it provides a certain degree of protection from the elements. A short breakwater keeps the ducks from having to brave waves coming from the bay, and the houses along Water Street break up westerly winds. Even on a blustery day like yesterday, the area around the cove is relatively calm. I cannot speak to the foraging opportunities, but it seems that the dabbling ducks find plenty to eat at the location.

I liked the wigeon's change of scenery since it meant I could watch and photograph it at much closer range than I was able to back in January. Here are a few more photos of the bird. While I was photographing it, a sudden squall dropped snow flurries, visible in the image above.