Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8/27: Wachusett Reservoir - Red-necked Phalarope

I checked gate 8 before the rain started on Saturday. I've actually never hiked into this gate. You can see the sandy peninsula from gate 40, and it's always been tempting to make the hike. It seemed like a great spot to get views of the open water and birds are always landing on it. I was originally at gate 40 in Clinton, but had nothing. I could see a large number of Ring-billed Gulls floating on the water further south of wood island so I decided to make the hike out to the point. I was rewarded with possibly the best viewing spot of the entire reservoir. Scanning through the gulls I soon spotted a phalarope on the water. I walked along the shore to get a closer look and an ID. It was a juvenile Red-necked Phalarope. This makes my third Worcester County phalarope of the summer; a Red Phalarope showed up on July 30th, when the water level was still very low, and a Red-necked showed up at Bolton Flats on May 28th. I was there for about an hour and the bird never took off. I didn't bring my lens, but I attempted to PHONE-SCOPE some photos. They didn't come out very good.