Friday, January 25, 2008

Quiet evening at Goshen Landing, Brig notes from Thursday

I made a visit to Goshen Landing this evening. G.L. is another great bayshore access point, located off Route 47, about 2 miles south of CMBO's Center for Research and Education. It begins as a paved road, and then turns into a dirt road at the edge of the marsh before ending after another 1/4 mile. In winter it is another good spot to search for Short-eared Owls, Rough-legged Hawks and other winter raptors. There have been at least a couple Short-ears here this winter, but the breeze was a bit much this evening and I struck out in that department. However, there were some other nice sights, including nearly 30 Hooded Mergansers and an adult Bald Eagle which flushed 5,000+ Snow Geese from the marshes on the south side of the road. The dirt portion of the road is currently in fairly good condition, but keep in mind that this road is often impassable, and that it floods often- so any sizable puddles are likely salt water.

Additionally, I visited Brig/Forsythe NWR again yesterday and found a cast of characters similar to what was present Tuesday. Of note was a total of 20 species of waterfowl, including the continuing rafts of scaup, which numbered about 1,800 yesterday, and were close enough to sort to species, with the vast majority being Greater Scaup. There were also at least 6 Canvasbacks mixed in. Other highlights included an immature Bald Eagle sitting on the ice in the NW Pool, ~125 Cedar Waxwings feeding in the cedars just past Jen's Trail (yes, I checked for Bohemian, don't fear), and a nice mammal sighting- a Red Fox along the road to Gull Pond Tower.

Thursday waterfowl counts/estimations from Brig included-
Snow Goose 3000
Brant 2500
Canada Goose 75
Mute Swan 35
Gadwall 12
American Wigeon 25
American Black Duck 2500
Mallard 200
Northern Shoveler 75
Northern Pintail 90
Green-winged Teal 15
Canvasback 6
Ring-necked Duck 3
Greater Scaup 1800
Lesser Scaup 6
Bufflehead 30
Hooded Merganser 50
Common Merganser 6
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Ruddy Duck 2

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