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August 14, 2017 – Common Shelduck

Ok, I’ll be honest . . . before last night I had never heard of the Common Shelduck. Ingrid and I were sitting at our favorite watering hole, watching our beloved Boston Red Sox vanquish the Evil Empire (aka the New York Yankees), when I came across an ABA Rare Bird Alert. In Rye, New Hampshire, a juvenile Common Shelduck had been reported.

Quickly, Ingrid and I opened our phones and read everything we could about the Common Shelduck . . . a Eurasian bird that lives year-round in the United Kingdom. Sightings in the US are rare and controversial as many are attributed to escapes from breeders of rare birds.

Still, the Pink Footed Goose, Eurasian Wigeon and Tufted Duck are similar Old World birds that are now appearing regularly in the US . . . so I figured it was worth the drive.

The Common Shelduck had been sighted south of the main entrance to Odiorne Point State Park.
Located in a saltwater pond across from a beach parking area, the Shelduck used a sweeping motion to feed and was busy the entire half hour I watched him. He wasn’t the only hungry traveler….

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Peeps were all over the place, Pectoral, Semipalmated, Least and White-rumped Sandpipers and our first Semipalmated Plover since spring.

A nice surprise was a Fish Crow, that I recognized by sound and then photographed. I checked e-bird and two different observers had identified them this month at Odiorne.

An exciting day of birding . . . tempered only by 4 long hours in the car. But I’d do it again tomorrow.