Kathy and Myles Conway
Five members turned out for the annual trip to the lakes. Although the waterfowl were not too numerous, we did end up with 41 total species. The weather was pleasant, but on the cool side. In addition to numerous geese and mallards, we saw quite a large number of both Common and Hooded Mergansers. Two species of grebes were spot-ted - a distant, hard-to-id Pied-billed at Cheshire and later, from the fishing pier on Ono-ta, a Horned. The pier also gave us our only Long-tailed Duck. A Wigeon and two Pin-tails were seen at Cheshire, Green-winged Teal at Pontoosuc, and a pair of Wood Duck at Onota causeway. Loons delighted us more than once - first a distant Red-throated from the Bull Hill stop on Pontoosuc and then from Narragansett, 3 more Red-throated and 3 Common. Richmond Pond did not disappoint. There we had two Less-er Scaup (which were close enough to study well), three Bufflehead, and 18 Ruddy Duck, in addition to two flyover Red-tailed Hawks, and two Ravens. A Bald Eagle was seen by some, and a Merlin gave a brief but good view to one attentive participant. Other land birds of note included a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, only one Cedar Waxwing, and a Pileated seen by the leaders after we departed our last stop at Bartlett’s Orchard. See complete species list below.