Spring birding on the Avalon has been particularly fruitful! There have been unexpected and early arrivals from the South and from the European front. This duck is a Garganey and is particularly unusual here. It breeds in Europe and Asia and winters in Africa. This male is not supposed to be in Newfoundland. Nevertheless, late last week it showed up at Mundy Pond.
Like many fresh arrivals this small dabbling duck was very skittish. It would just take flight for no apparent reason. It flitted all around the pond for about one day and then disappeared. Numerous birdwatchers and photographers showed up to get a glimpse and maybe capture a shot. He did not want to pose. I had to be fast on the trigger and hope for the best in order to get any shots of him.
The Southern Shore has been a very exciting place to be over the last week. There have been Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, a Scarlet Tanager, Plovers and many more special birds showing up there. It is a hit or miss experience, depending on the whims of the birds. The anticipation that a rarity may just show up, as they often do, is enough to keep birders at it for 16 hours a day.
I went on the bird watchers' walk at the Botanical Gardens. It was a nice experience. There were five on the trek but we didn't see any special birds. We did see and hear some familiar species. One of the nicest experiences for me was to clearly hear the drumming of the Ruffed Grouse. It sounded like a tympani. I would recommend the walk because as the Spring and Summer birds return, there should be a lot of activity in the Oxen Pond area. The guide is knowledgeable and will answer questions and offer information about the birds.Bonus bird! I found this Pine Grosbeak on the Southern Avalon tour. It was much bigger than I remembered from the winter shots.