Yesterday afternoon, a beautifully sunny and cold central Ohio day, I stopped at Blendon Woods Metroparks to see what had flown in to Thoreau Lake. There are two great unheated observation buildings at the edge of the lake, and they make bird photography really easy. The building to the right is great for feeder birds, and the left building provides the best opportunities for waterfowl. After scanning the ice free areas of the pond, I could only come up with black ducks, mallards, Canada geese, and two gadwals. But then something caught my eye- a bright white neck. Without binoculars, and without being able to view it with the gigantic metal spotting scope in the building because the bird had positioned itself where it was blocked by the corner support of the building, this bird remained a mystery.
In the field, the white belly, brown head, and white neck really stood out. Was it a northern pintail? But it didn't have the typical long pointed butt feathers (technical term please?). Sure enough, after looking at several northern pintail pictures online, I think that is what we have here. But why no long tail? That is the question. Is this a juvenile?
P.S. This is my 699 post here at the Ohio Nature Blog. Also- We now have 99 followers here. Help me push it over 100!