My girlfriend and I walked the around around Spofford Lake, about a 6 1/2 mile walk, in the town of Spofford just west of Keene, NH today. It wasn't really a birding trip, but one of those "power walks", where if I stop and bird I have to do a bit of running to to keep on pace! Laura was scheduled for work at 3PM, so our time limit was 2 hours. I had hoped to hear some winter finches as we walked, while that was not the case today I did manage to see some waterfowl and a Bald Eagle.
Shortly after starting an adult Bald Eagle passed directly overhead at low altitude showing very nicely, with an "optics optional" view! The first good scan of the lake I got, in the north east corner of the lake,I was able to see a lone Red-necked Grebe. We heard lots of Black-capped Chickadees and lesser numbers of Tufted Titmice, Golden-crowned Kinglets(in hemlocks) and other common woodland species, but no winter finches. Once we reached the western shore, along rte 63, I was able to spot a Common Loon, 3 Common Mergansers and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers that were close to shore. Well toward the middle of the lake was a small raft of Common Goldeneyes and a few other diving ducks that I was not able identify, do to lack of a scope and lots of "heat distortion" from the air to water temperature differential.
We finished the walk in under 2 hours and I managed to "get" a few decent birds, mainly the Red-breasted Mergs and Red-necked Grebe. Both are fairly uncommon migrants away from the coast, of coarse the close look at the eagle was exceptional.
Here is a complete list for our walk:
American Black Duck...3