Monday, November 13, 2006

Masked Duck in Melbourne!

It is one of those birds you just don't even keep on your radar for long. Cute little duck. Would be nice to see. But they stay in Mexico and south Texas. Oh, well.

So, the Florida birding community was all excited to read the report of a Masked Duck found at Viera Wetlands just west of Melbourne. Most interesting, it was reported the next day, and the next, and the next...

Maybe this little duck would actually stay put for the season. Probably not, though. Rare birds seem to head to new locales just as quickly as they arrive. You have to be pretty quick to go make a personal sighting.

I headed over as early as I could which was actually 5 days after the first sighting. A virtual lifetime in rare bird time! Certainly it would have flown on after 5 days.

I started looking at the Click Ponds at sunrise. Loads of ducks out in the center of the north pond but most were obscured by fog. I would have to come back around here once the fog burned off a bit.

Time for the real search. Met up with a photographer in the general location and there, bobbing under the water, was the Masked Duck!

Masked Duck

Bob and I sat and shot a lot of pictures as other birders started heading toward us as the morning sun rose higher. I was happy enough with all of my tries at the duck photos and made my escape from the growing crowd to hopefully find more birds on this beautiful day.

Masked Duck

I was happy with this new bird but more were waiting just around the corner.

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