Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Midland Barrow's Goldeneye

I slept in 'till noon today (don't judge me) and woke to an email about a Barrow's Goldeneye found by the Midland area Christmas Bird Count on Sanford Lake. With nothing better to do, I figured I would go scope it out. There was no information on where to look for the bird other than "on Sanford Lake" so I figured access was probably an issue. And it was...

So, I started at the south end of the lake at Sanford Lake Park. Access was easy, but there were only a few Goldeneye, and no Barrow's. I moved north along the west side of the lake and could see a huge smattering a mostly Common Mergansers with Goldeneye mixed in, but they were super far and they looked closer to the east side. I moved there and could find no accessible place to scope the flock.

I rang the doorbell of a sleeping homeowner and asked about access. She let me scope from her backyard, but I still couldn't see enough of the flock and they were still far. So I moved north and found another homeowner who had the flock close to his yard. He graciously let me scope from his backyard and was very curious about the bird. Long story short, I finally found the beast floating with a raft of Common Goldeneye. It was FAR but obviously a Barrow's Goldeneye, and obviously not a hybrid.

I managed a few poor photographs of the bird with my iPhone through my scope. Given the distance, I was surprised I got anything.

I can't suggest going to look for this bird as access is obviously an issue. I got very lucky that the homeowners were willing to let me scope from their yard and I got the feeling they weren't hip on the idea of having a lot of birders in their yard. If you do go, the flock was west of the "Meridian High School" seen on google maps.


  1. It was soo kind of the land lord to let u in but you finally managed to get a snap of the bird you were looking for good story David really loved it.

  2. I love this blog always and finally thought of leave a reply since I have learned may things from this blog. I love water birds watching. It’s very interesting than ordinary birds watching.

  3. This is an amazing story and this blog is always interesting. I know wild life photography is very hard. Anyway Nice capture. ;)