[CT Birds] Redheads (of various kinds)
ctgregh at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 10 10:12:18 EST 2015
Below is my newspaper column for today. Somebody might relate to it, but you have to stick with it for the Redheads.
With the wind
howling outside and temperatures plunging toward zero, it seems an
incongruous time to write about warblers.
May might be the
peak time for warblers in Connecticut, but at least a few are present
in the state 365 days a year. Mid-winter definitely represents the
low ebb, but that makes January warblers all the more interesting.
On Wednesday I
visited the holly grove at Greenwich Point Park, a very birdy spot in
winter, and as dozens of robins gorged on holly berries, we found a
hermit thrush and two common yellowthroats, warblers that are at
best a marginal presence here at this time of year.
Last weekend I did
some birding with my 9-year-old grandson Luke, who tackles an outing
with the enthusiasm typical of an active fourth-grader.
This included a
stop at a place I'd never visited before, the Sikorsky Estuary Walk in Stratford. Across the Merritt Parkway from the massive Sikorsky
aircraft plant, the trail runs along a scrubby patch of habitat
shielded from the north wind by the highway embankment.
I knew birders had
seen two orange-crowned warblers there recently, and after a bit of a
search we found one. These aren't especially colorful as warblers go,
but in mid-winter their green plumage with a bit of yellow beneath
the tail seems almost exotic.
thought so, and his young eyes easily kept pace with the quick-moving
When we got home we
looked up some images on the Internet. We also checked other birds
we'd seen, such as a juvenile northern harrier and one of our more
uncommon diving ducks, the redhead.
When I searched for
the latter, the birder in me simply typed “redhead” into Google.
Instantly I realized my mistake as Luke sort of gasped, “Why would
anyone put pictures like that on the Internet?”
As fast as he
reacted, I switched my search to “redhead ducks” and we quickly
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