On Saturday March 26, 2022 fourteen people gathered for my annual trip to the Rhode Island shoreline. The starting point was at Sachuest Point N W R. There to greet us was a cock Ring Necked Pheasant who casually walked across the parking lot affording great close up looks! I was informed by a veteran Rhode Island birder that pheasants are countable only on Block Island but it was still nice to see. As we began our walk we soon encountered various waterfowl including all three scoter species and numerous Harlequin Ducks, both loons, several Horned Grebes, Great Cormorants and many Purple Sandpipers. For reasons unknown we usually miss the species so it was a real treat to see so many!
Next we went to Trustom Pond N W R where we always pick up on passerines. However, with the bird feeders having been taken down over concerns about avian flu there was little action here. We then proceeded to the area where the waterfowl congregate only to see the water almost devoid of them! We did see several Common Mergansers that are uncommon here but as we walked further down the trail to the observation platform we encountered hundreds of ducks. So that is where they were out of sight. The raft included hundreds of Greater Scaups, Ring Necked Duck, Ruddy Ducks and best of all a drake Canvasback.
Upon returning to the parking lot everyone wanted to call it quits except myself and another birder who has a home near a birding spot called Deep Hole in Matunuck. Here we picked up several Hooded Mergansers, another Ring Necked Duck and best of all a Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull side by side! We ended with 53 species.
Paul Desjardins, guide