For the most part, I birded Orange County this weekend (the exception being a brief excursion to Dutchess County for a beautiful ICELAND GULL). I was optimistic about the possibility of some interesting waterfowl on Saturday morning after the Nor’easter came through on Friday. I was mostly disappointed, I ran around much of southern Orange County and my best birds were 5 Common Goldeneye at Glenmere Lake. But, then birding bud Bruce Nott saved the day; he had located three RED-NECKED GREBES at Orange Lake. I ran for the birds, joining Ken McDermott who had just arrived. We got on the birds relatively quickly in our scopes, first a single bird, then two, and finally three RNGR in a single scope view! Unfortunately, the birds were positively miles out. Technically, I was able to get photos of them, but they are horrible, barely identifiable. On that same note, you can probably tell from this post, it was a terrible weekend for photos (with the wonderful exception of the ICGU in Beacon).
On Sunday morning I checked Glenmere and Wickham Lakes but had nothing of note. I then decided to walk the Liberty Loop to try and relocate the Eurasian Wigeon that had been reported there. I had no luck with the wigeon, but the refuge is still loaded with waterfowl. Pintails stole the show; they were numerous and flying to and fro for the duration of my walk. Other waterfowl present included: Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Amer. Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, and my first Northern Shovelers of the year. It was a pleasant walk with plenty of birds around, but mostly the usuals. Winter raptors are still hanging in; I saw several Northern Harriers and a had single Rough-legged Hawk hover-hunting in the distance. The only other bird of note was a pair of Swamp Sparrows, my first of the year. I made one final stop at the Citgo Pond; it was relatively uneventful with approximately 30 Ring-necked Ducks being the highlight.