Hen Readhead 12/8/12

Hen Readhead 12/8/12

Juvenile REDHEAD drake in Wurtsboro 12/8/12

REDHEAD Hen in Wurtsboro 12/8/12

This morning the county was so fogged in that I was unable to see Yankee Lake. I decided if there was anywhere that I could see birds it would be the Bashakill. As I had expected, the Bashakill was under the level of the low clouds and fog. I stopped and checked out Scott Baldinger’s feeders where I found ten Common Redpolls and a Pine Siskin among the more common feeder birds. Hunters had most of the waterfowl moving already, so only a few Mallards and Canada Geese were seen. I moved on to the Deli Fields. The place was jumping as usual. The huge flocks of House Finches, Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos continued. Also seen were American Goldfinch, Song Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Chickadees, Cardinals and five Common Redpolls. A Red-tailed Hawk was the only raptor seen this morning. I moved on to a friends home in Wurtsboro. Checking out some ponds, I found the usual waterfowl. As I scanned through the birds, I found a duck that I couldn’t initially ID. It was floating with its head tucked, but I thought it was a possible REDHEAD. I got out my books, but the bird did not match the photos. It didn’t take long, as the bird became active that I had a positive ID of a REDHEAD Hen. That plumage was not in any of my books and I hadn’t personally ever had the bird at that stage. All the hens I have seen were in spring here in the county when they appear quite pale and cinnamon colored. When the bird became active, the bi-colored bill separated by a white line was clearly evident. The head color was nearly chocolate brown. Redhead is uncommon in Sullivan County, so it was a great find. I was able to reach Arlene Borko, Scott Baldinger and Lance Verderame, all of whom were able to get to see the bird. Great morning again.

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