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Greenway Goldeneye

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  • Rich712@aol.com
    Chirp, At dusk today a lone Goldeneye was on the pond north of the parking area for the Poppoff Trail in Union Gap. Using my Nat Geo guide, I was fairly sure
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2002
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      Chirp,

      At dusk today a lone Goldeneye was on the pond north of the parking area for
      the Poppoff Trail in Union Gap. Using my Nat Geo guide, I was fairly sure
      that it most resembled the 1st winter plumage of the male Common Goldeneye.
      The head was an overall brownish hue with the face patch beginning to become
      visible but was smaller and not nearly as white as in breeding plumage. The
      flanks were a mix of gray and white. The folded wing also lacked the
      distinct white & black patterns of a breeding bird. Looking at Sibley's 1st
      winter birds only confused me when I got home. The heads were too dark and
      the white ring at the base of the neck escaped me if it was there. The steep
      forehead he has on the Barrow's was more in tune with my observation than the
      ski slope of his Common. And just for weirdness sake, the bird's left flank
      was brighter than the right. Both eyes were golden though. Also on the pond
      at that late hour were a dozen Wood Ducks and a couple of Pied-billed Grebes.

      Earlier, on the second pond north of the parking lot, 28 Ring-necked Ducks
      were scattered in two groups amongst a half dozen Wood Ducks. On Monday, I
      had observed nine Ring-necked Ducks on Buchanan Lake.

      On the third pond to the North, nine American Wigeon were feeding with six
      Pied-billed Grebes. The water's surface appeared clear...last Friday it had
      been coated with floating vegetation that 59 American Wigeon seemed to be
      foraging on. I wonder if the single digit temperatures had anything to do
      with the complete clearing of such a dense appearing cloak of vegetation?

      Today I also had what I thought to be a weird plumaged Gadwall on the pond to
      the rear of the marshy area immediately north of Buchanan Lake. This duck
      had a very dark cap that completely enclosed the eye...extending from the
      bill to the nape. A two tone face several shades lighter contrasted with the
      breast and back. The silver tertials over the black rear end also jumped
      out. Perhaps it was the angle I had, viewing down on the backlit bird from
      the grassy knoll of Sarg Hubbard Park.

      Maybe now that Halloween is over, the waterfowl will dump these funky
      costumes and stick to some basic breeding plumages to enable us Andy wannabes
      to have a little more luck with our IDs...heck even our ids (ego permitting)
      would improve. It's bad enough being cold without having to be confused to
      boot.

      Later,
      Rich


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