Cold Now with Some Visitors

Cold winds and rain seem to be the theme now. It is a bit early for this kind of thing but not unusual. Just north of the Lake, there has been snow and snow is forecast for the entire state on Friday. Some birds are stopping on their way south but won’t stay long.

Looking north, Mount Chocorua was covered with snow on the 12th and there was even snow on Gunstock that wasn’t made with snow making machines. This picture was taken with a long lens from the shore as the cold wind is NOT conducive to boating…..

Some standard visitors are around. The Common Goldeneye often stay on the lake in small groups. They are actually easy to identify because their wings make a whistle when they fly. They are a small stocky duck with a dark head and if you hear the wings, it is a Goldeneye.

Oh, yes, there are Mallards. These were seen in a swamp that a week before had been dry but with the water rising, it is now great for these “dabbling” ducks. The recent rains and the end of the draw down period has allowed the water level to rise at least 6 inches.

Below is a picture of a rather rare visitor. The identification may be in question but it is believed to be a Lesser Yellowlegs. If someone wants to say that it is a Greater Yellowlegs, it probably won’t be argued. However the bill seems to indicate the Lesser. These birds are in migration and stop by on the edges of shores and look for food. This was taken last weekend and the bird may now be hundreds of miles south because it has taken advantage of the northerly winds to help in its travel.

An now for a bird that is very rare on the lake if it is really a Snowy Plover. It, too, was along the shore by the swamp near Point of Pines. This bird is rare on the East Coast and winters along the Gulf Coast or the West Coast. It may not be a Snowy Plover but no other bird seems to look like it. It also is most likely a juvenile and may have not known where to go. These birds nest in the west from the foothills of the Rockies to the West Coast. If this is a Snowy Plover, he or she needs to head further south. NH winters are not like the Gulf Coast winters. And if he or she was trying to get to the Gulf Coast, it must have taken a wrong turn in Kansas.

And finally, many Lake Wentworth people head south to Florida and I couldn’t resist putting in this image. The colors around the lake are now just russet as the only trees holding their leaves are oaks and beech and their leaves are now brown. I guess even Florida gets to see colors in the Fall…….