I received a call from James Purcell late morning on Sunday to alert me to a Northern Pintail in the vicinity of his house at the Penfield Reef. Despite the extremely treacherous and icy road conditions, I couldn’t resist heading over to look for my first pintail in Fairfield this year.
When I arrived, I found that the pintail had left the area. James and I spent a while searching for it, to no avail. Consolation came in the form of the awesome male Barrow’s Goldeneye that continues at the reef for its third week now. Likely thanks to the foggy and rainy day we experienced, the bird was foraging rather close to shore, which allowed us to get some pretty decent scope views and even a few photos.
This is one of only two Barrow’s at the reef I can remember in the last five years. The other bird, a male found by James, only stuck around for an afternoon, and I arrived home from school just a little too late to chase it. This bird, however, has been showing some staying power, allowing me to enjoy it for the second time after my initial look for the year on January 2nd.