Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MA - Barrow's Goldeneye - a fine drake

Another winter storm, this time a really wet one with near torrential rain in the afternoon. In fact, the rain was so heavy it was pointless getting out of the car. But, the day produced two fine birds, the first being a Hermit Thrush in our yard in Northfield right outside the kitchen window! Not an expected bird in December but not totally out of sight either.

A short visit mid-afternoon visit to the Turner's Falls power canal produced a fine raft of about 60 Common Goldeneye and with them, a cracking male Barrow's. Although 1-2 Barrow's Goldeneyes can usually be found at the power canal each winter, they're almost always females and, as such. relatively easy to overlook. Males (in my experience) have been exceedingly scarce since I began regularly watching the area in 2005. In fact, this male is only the third that I've seen in the Pioneer Valley......all of them from the Turner's Falls/Barton Cove area and all of them in December.

 Barrow's Goldeneye - adult male with Common Goldeneyes, Turner's Falls power canal, Franklin Co., MA. December 9th, 2014. 
Despite the downpour, a nice look at the diagnostic features: white facial crescent, bulbous mane, 
white mantle spots, and obvious black spur (bisecting white flanks and chest).


Elizabeth A. said...

Fantastic shots, side by side birds. Very nice! Wish I'd been there.

Larry said...

Another great bird for the valley...very nice. Another example of why birding in rainy weather can be productive.