[CT Birds] White Memorial Cemetery Pond, Litchfield

Jack Swatt jswattbirds at snet.net
Wed Jun 29 14:38:21 EDT 2016

Stopped by Cemetery pond on my way to hike at Little Pond.  With the spotting scope I was able to find two Virginia rails foraging in the marsh on the far side, one with two little black puffballs following behind and the other had at least 3.  The second group was in taller vegetation and it was difficult to follow the little heads scurrying in and out of the grass.  I also counted 52 Wood Ducks there, estimating about 36 juvenile/first year birds.  It was difficult keeping track with the various size differences and several males were in eclipse plumage already. I'm assuming some wood ducks nest there, but not at those numbers. I'm not sure if it is common for Wood ducks to start aggregating in numbers like this at this time of year, or if the dry period has evaporated some of the vernal ponds where they breed and forcing them into more sustained wetlands.  Either way, nice to see such good numbers of them.  Also, at Little pond there were many juvenile birds about following their parents, begging for food.

Jack Swatt


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