I pulled out the binoculars and sure enough, there was a stranger with the flock! I took a few photos to use once I got home and could pull out my bird book. Bingo! A Eurasian Widgeon. A new bird for my life list and an uncommon visitor to Monmouth County.
The next time you are able to observe a flock of migrating birds, scan the flock. Look for an individual that is slightly larger or smaller, has different color feet, or just looks different than the others. You might get lucky and spot a new bird for your life list!
Story and Photos by Park System Naturalist Ruth Carll