Recent waterfowl surveys at Bantam Lake

Greater White-fronted Goose photo from via Google Images
Male Wood Duck photo by Bob Stanowski

Male Hooded Merganser photo by
Bob Stanowski
Waterfowl surveying at Bantam Lake's Outlet, which is on N. Shore Rd., has produced an increasing number and variety of birds this week. On Tuesday, 3/8, I focused on counting ducks and geese as they came in to roost between 5:15 p.m. and dark. Most of these birds had spent the day feeding in cornfields around Litchfield, Morris, Bethlehem, and Warren. Among the 1,650 Canada Geese that came in were a Greater White-fronted Goose, a Canada x Greater White-fronted Goose Hybrid, and a Cackling Goose. These are all quite rare in Connecticut. Also seen were 3 Wood Ducks, 45 American Black Ducks, 100 Mallards, 14 Ring-necked Ducks, 26 Hooded Mergansers, and 25 Common Mergansers. Things were a little different when I conducted the survey between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, 3/11. Most of the Canada Geese were probably still out feeding in area cornfields, as only 325 were counted at the Outlet. These were mostly feeding in the flooded bottomland downstream from the Outlet bridge. With them were 16 Wood Ducks, 185 Mallards, and 1 American Black Duck. The open water closer to Pt. Folly held our first Bufflehead and 2 Common Goldeneyes of 2011. Also there, were 34 Ring-necked Ducks, 5 Hooded Mergansers, and 17 Common Mergansers. Since the bulk of the northbound spring waterfowl migration occurs in March it will be interesting to see what surveys every few days turn up. These will be expanded as the month progresses (and as ice diminishes) to include all of Bantam Lake, plus Little and Cemetery Ponds. Any help with this effort from our readership would be much-appreciated.

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