Saturday, January 19, 2013

Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge • January 19

Long-tailed Duck. This morning Mary Flood and I went on the Rochester Birding Association bird trip to the Irondequoit Bay Outlet and places west along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Approaching midwinter, there should have been a lot of ice in the water, concentrating the overwintering ducks into the channel by the bridge. However, the recent warm snap had melted the ice and the ducks were relatively scarce. There were a few dozen Long-tailed Ducks, perhaps our most common migrating duck this time year.

Long-tailed Duck. This is the male's winter plumage. Come spring when it is nesting in the tundra of upper Canada its plumage will look quite different and consist more of blacks and tans.

Long-tailed Duck. This is a female. 

Trumpeter Swans. Our most common swans are the Mute Swan. Trumpeter swans have bills that are black and smooth whereas adult Mute Swans bills are orange and have a large knob at the base.