Saturday, January 11, 2014

Surprise Gadwalls

I had a little bit of time to stop by Lake Davis and Weldona on the way to me next chores for the day. I wanted to scan Davis for anything that might be new so I walked the perimeter for a bit to get close to the resting duck flock. Not a bunch of new birds around but I was drawn to a feeding Snowy Egret down by the reeds.

Snowy Egret

I almost didn't even notice the Western Palm Warbler feeding nearly at my feet as I watched the distant birds. There was a strange call from the reeds but it turned out to be a Common Yellowthroat that eventually flew to the West.

Western Palm Warbler

I headed toward the store and as I rounded the turn of Lake Weldona I saw a bird out of the corner of my eye and immediately knew it was a Gadwall. My first ever Gadwalls were found last year so they are kind of burned into my memory for now.


I have been trying to get a shot of this odd Ring-necked Duck that is now here for at least the second Winter. It is very white around the head but usually stays way out in the water. Just need to get the clouds out of the way.

Ring-necked Duck

I got out of the car and tried to ease toward the birds and the Sun peeked out enough for me to get a good shot. Last year I had them in rainy conditions and was not happy with the shots except for being able to add them to my Life List.


Also along the shore, a Great Blue Heron seemed to be overseeing the ducks gathered below. If I would have arrived several seconds later I would not have seen any of the Gadwalls as they tucked themselves along the bank.

Great Blue Heron

Soon, the first Gadwall swam out and began to bathe and preen.


Then, two more Gadwalls drifted out from the shore to follow suit. Three Gadwalls here. I need to go back and see but I think that is how many I had on Lake Davis last year. Possibly the same group returning for the Winter.


I was trying to squeeze out a few more shots of the Gadwalls when the Ring-necked Duck came back out in the sunshine joined by an American Coot.

Gadwall, American Coot, and Ring-necked Duck

Not a bad score during a casual drive and the first new species of ducks for this entire season. Just wish we had more ducks around but migration has been slow all over the East Coast this year so I will take what I can get. The thing I don't get is why the city has trimmed the Cypress Trees along Lake Emerald just around the corner. Wood Ducks used to use them as resting spots. I don't get it.

Cypress Trees

I will have to keep paying attention to all of the local watering holes for a while. This finding was a nice addition to the Winter.

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