I started at Possum Point this morning, and got some decent dawn shots. There were very few birds about, so I headed to Sandy Point to look for the Snowy Owl that’s been reported. No luck with the owl, but I saw a very large number of Cardinals, more than I’ve ever seen in one place. There weren’t many ducks.
Thomas Point had plenty, but most were too far out to ID. The Wood Duck is still hanging out, and a few birds were close enough to capture.
Not a bad morning, but more variety would be nice.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Morning at Possum Point.
This Canvasback was at my friend’s house.
I’m finding more Long Tailed Ducks than in previous years.
Buffleheads are plentiful at this time of year.
This single Wood Duck seems to have been adopted by a flock of Mallards.
There were 10 or more Cardinals in the grass at Sandy Point.
I saw this White Breasted Nuthatch as I was leaving.
I made the usual stop at Sandy Point to check the sky, and left almost immediately when I saw all gray from horizon to sky. Possum Point is about 10 minutes away, and I’ve gotten some good sunrises there recently, so I made the trip.
I ran into the base cops once again, and they were not impressed with my permission slip from the base commander’s office, so we went ’round and ’round for a few minutes before they let me go with a promise to arrest me next time. I called the base commander’s office again, and the deputy assured me that won’t happen again. More as the situation develops. I like Possum Point, and it’s great for ducks and sunrises in the Winter, so it’s worth the hassle (Which hasn’t happened in the last 6 years).
I didn’t have any luck there, so I went to Thomas Point, which actually had a lot of ducks, but it was windy and cold, and the birds were too far out for good images.
I’m lucky to have a friend who lives nearby, and I got some good shots from her dock to save the morning.
I checked out the sunrise at Sandy Point and Possum Point this morning, and it was another gray dawn. I pondered for a few minutes, then decided to give Schoolhouse Pond a try. It’s often productive at this time of year.
Visibility was pretty poor, but I could see hundreds of Canada Geese, many Mallards and seagulls. but not much else. As the sun rose I was able to see a few Hooded Mergansers.
I walked around a while, and was thinking about leaving when I saw a disturbance in the water which turned out to be a River Otter.
I followed him around the pond for 45 minutes or so and managed to get a few close ups in the poor light, which made the trip worthwhile.
The weather is being very kind lately, so all I need is more variety from the birds. I’ve seen several interesting species, but only briefly and in small numbers. My guess is that things will pick up as December progresses.
Sunrise has gotten far more interesting lately. I’m trying to learn more about low light photography, because the early morning reflections provide some interesting colors, but it’s tricky to get a fast enough shutter speed to capture a moving bird.
Sunrise at Possum Point.
The Tundra Swan on the left appears to be very young.
The water is reflecting the sunrise colors.
Buffleheads are numerous everywhere I go.
This Bald Eagle was hunting at Thomas Point this morning.
I started at Sandy Point again, and found a nearly gray sky from horizon to overhead. I stopped at Possum Point, and ran into two military police who seem to think Possum Point is closed until sunrise, and that sunrise is always 8:00 AM (The time of morning colors). I’ll have to sort that out next week.
Quiet Waters was next, and it was basically a bust. I saw a few Buffleheads and that was all.
Thomas Point was much better: hundreds of ducks including Scaup, Goldeneyes, Ruddys, Buffleheads, Scoters, Tundra Swans and a few passerines. Many of the ducks were too far out for good images, but a few drifted in close enough for decent pictures.
A flock of Cedar Waxwings were feeding in a tree at the point.
Several Tundra Swans flew over the Point.
A small flock of Scaup flew in as I was leaving.
Many Bufflehead were in the area.
This is a female Long Tailed Duck.
Several Common Goldeneye hens were foraging at the point.
A single Yellow Rumped Warbler was feeding near the car park.
Many Ruddy Ducks were in big flocks near the point.
We’ve had another period of bad weather and scarce birds, but things are starting to look better.
I found a few birds at Blackwater yesterday, and did well at Thomas Point this morning. The better ducks are just starting to get here and I expect things to pick up soon. In the meantime, I’m paying more attention to the local birds, as I should be in any case.
Sunrise at Blackwater.
Very cool bird feeder at The Visitor Center.
Part of Wildlife Drive.
I’m starting to see Buffleheads everywhere I go.
This Eastern Bluebird was showing off at Thomas Point.
This Lesser Scaup was at Oakley Street.
There are many Song Sparrows at Thomas Point.
Mallard on the left, Northern Shoveler on the right.
I found this Mallard at Truxtun Park.
This Mallard was a flyby at Thomas Point.
I’m seeing only a few Great Blue Herons.
I was lucky to see this Northern Harrier at Blackwater.
It’s still easy to find Bald Eagles at Blackwater.