Rain, rain...go away. Well.....while I would like that for myself, I found that this latest 'bird find' is not dependent on rain or lack of rain. You see, this is a water bird hence, if water is not 'its thing'.... well, it has chosen the wrong occupation.
Today I decided to drive down to Cape May Courthouse and seek out the Tufted Duck which turned out to be not too 'tuft' to do. The bird is located in a pond about 3/4 of a mile from the Davies Sports Complex community center in Cape May Courthouse area. Easy find.....go to the community center and ask the nice ladies where the duck is. One nice lady politely escorted me to the back of the community center and told me to go down 'this path'.....past the 'football field' and find the 'power lines' .... Swing a left and walk a half mile or so down the 'powerlines' and over the 'railroad' track' (and up Spook Hill...ah!...just kidding). And just on the northwest side of the tracks shall be the spot.
As I moved over the tracks and turned my attention to the pond full of ducks, I noticed that they noticed me as well and were immediately high-tailing it, and swimming to the opposite shore. So, I just sat on the wet grass and started to scan the ducks. It didn't take more than a few minutes as while there were plenty of Ringed-necked Ducks, there were few other species. There appeared to be a Eurasion Widgeon or two, and surprisingly, not one mallard!
Over there, on the far side.......I noticed a duck with a pristine 'white' side as opposed to the Ring-necks which were considerable grayer on the sides. The backside was a sharp black making them appear Tuxedo-ish in nature. On top of that, these two ducks had no white ring on their beak and especially where the bill meets the face, making it pretty obvious who the two stand-outs were. They ID'd themselves. The Ring-necks were obvious with their white lined bill/face.
I sat around for awhile, giving the ducks time to forget a human was on the far bank. They came a bit closer and showed their wares to me. Yepper, no rings, grayish-blue beak with black tip, white sides...tuft.... ID complete.
Below....Tufted Duck on Left....notice coloration and lack of ring. Ring-neck on the right with white on beak, no tuft etc.