It's been a long time since I got a life bird 10 minutes from home, but that's what happened today! I was dutifully entering the Boulder CBC data online this morning, aiming to wrap up the long task of compiling the count, when my phone rang. Seeing it was my birding buddy Larry Semo I of course picked up. He was letting me know that he and another friend, Steve Mlodinow, had what was probably a young male Tufted Duck at Golden Ponds in Longmont just a hop, skip & jump away from my casa. I checked with the boss and she graciously cut me free of family duties to make the short-distance twitch. Arriving a bit later, I was treated to a sleeping Aythya duck showing one heck of a crest- almost cardinal-like when its head was tucked back. Soon the bird woke up, giving looks at its tuft and other field marks like the bill pattern and wing markings when it stretched. All looked good for a first-winter male Tufted Duck- cha-ching! The great thing about a lifer so close to home is that it ticks almost all of the lists I care most about (ABA, State, County, Photo)- just missing my yard list.
Here are some shots of the bird- hope it sticks around for others to enjoy!