Typically as birds come through, they work or progress their way southward to get a start on the next night's flight unless they intend to stick around and eat aggressively ( in that case, good for the birders). Hence as they "bottom up" at the southern border of a park, they "stage" ** while getting the last snacks for fuel flight
As I went out for my duck pursuit with hopes THAT DUCK stuck around, I noted some nice warbler activity along the southern areas of the lake. Nothing rare but it's great to see warblers, regardless the species. A NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (NOWA ) targeted an elm tree's suckers offshoots for bug snacks and later , I found this same NOWA tailing a PALM WARBLER on the lawn, one of two I saw, both western race. Above , BLACKPOLL WARBLERS , CAPE MAY with REDSTARTS , while below, I am always glad to see YELLOW WARBLERS, these being 2 juveniles on the willow branches that touched the water at Three Sister Islands. You see the potential of the south lakeside, so a good checkup for fall birding and "to leave no stone unturned" .
Now the duck.Earlier,I thought likely a Blue-winged Teal was the bird based on a blackish bill. The drawback then was harsh light can distort plumage coloration,lousy power bins for a distant bird, and sleepiness ( by THAT DUCK) don't do you any good identifying a bird. So with a scope , I was ready. There was though no sign of THAT DUCK first found by Keir early this morning. A retreat after watching warblers in the tall Bald Cypresses by the lake drain , then another look at the lake while someone was smoking weed near me, the guy "well hidden " in the Octagonal woods area; Obviously the "weed" a.k.a Cannabis bothered me. But I just have to find THAT DUCK without getting "high".
And there it comes.. The bird a.k.a. "THAT DUCK" came from around the Peninsula tip, sailed in front of me 200 feet away towards Three Sisters, with excellent light upon it and great views.
After confirmation with the advance Waterfowl field guide (Steve Madge and Hilary Burn authors) , I settled on a juvenile LESSER SCAUP, based on very slightly peaked head, smaller body size and slimmer profile comparative to the hunkier Greater Scaup . The only thing that was out of whack was the bill color, too dark when it should be a bluish tint. I learned my lesson.
Oh, before I forget, other ducks, much much easier to identify today were 5 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and unexpected for me this evening, on the shore behind Three Sisters, two AMERICAN WIGEONs, hens that drifted away from me as I swung by. Thanks guys (and gals) for making life easier for me, being so close and quickly identifiable...
**Stage --congregate or gather, usually into treetops for eventual takeoff.
List below ( note Eve Lake watch, 615 pm to 740 pm)
date = 2013/09/18 site = Prospect Park observers = Peter D
Double-crested Cormorant Evewatch Lake Black-crowned Night-Heron Juv on Three Sisters islands,eve Green Heron south lake side cove,eve Northern Shoveler 5 resting on west shore Lake , AM Lesser Scaup Juvenile, based on slight peaked head, smaller size compared to Greater, evening confirmation scoped American Black Duck 2 Canada Goose 59 Lake American Wigeon 2 eveLakewatch, on shore behind Three Sisters Mute Swan Mallard Merlin AM Butterfly meadow, PM later near Tennis House, female Herring Gull Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Chimney Swift Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2 back Lily Pool, jewelweed Belted Kingfisher lake, then perched Three Sisters Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker 2 Butterfly Mead Eastern Wood-Pewee House Wren American Robin Gray Catbird European Starling Yellow Warbler 2 low willow branches back Three Sisters, eve American Redstart 5 Black-and-white Warbler 4 Blackpoll Warbler 3 eve south lakeside Ovenbird eve south lakeside, 3 sisters Black-throated Green Warbler eve south lakeside Common Yellowthroat 4 eve south lakeside Cape May Warbler eve south lakeside Palm Warbler 4 ground eve south lakeside Nashville Warbler Butterfly Mead, also obs Ed Crowne Northern Waterthrush eve south lakeside, near 3 sisters Yellow-rumped Warbler west shore Lake Northern Cardinal Indigo Bunting Butterfly Meadow juve Blue Grosbeak Butterfly Meadow, female, first spotter Keir Randall, then me. Red-winged Blackbird American Goldfinch