I got up early, determined to give Blackwater a try even though it’s early in the season. It wasn’t a waste, but the good birds just weren’t there.
A few Eagles put on a show, and there were plenty of Northern Shovellers, but not much else.
I stopped at Oakley Street for a while and got e few decent shots of the last of the season’s ducks.
Bald Eagles are active at this time of year.
A few Canvasbacks are still lingering.
Scaup were well represented in the crowd of ducks.
A few Redheads were feeding near shore.
Many Northern Shovellers were foraging in the marsh.
Dozens of Song Sparrows were in the area.
I see more American Wigeons at Oakley Street than any other place.
It was a sunny morning at Artemesia, and there was a large variety of waterfowl, probably more than I’ve seen before.
I started with Northern Shovelers at the North end, then Wigeons a hundred yards further on. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Wigeons at Artemesia before.
I made three or four circuits, and had a nice morning. I’m not showing images of everything, as some stayed too far away for good images. I suspect this was a little migratory spurt, and it was welcome.
This is my first good Eastern Bluebird of the year.
The Tree Swallows have arrived!
A few Double Crested Cormorants were fishing.
The Canvasback male was foraging near shore.
This Northern Shoveler pair flew right by me.
This Ring Necked female was swimming with her mate.
First Pied Billed Grebe of the season.
I wish this American Wigeon had been a little closer.
I flipped the coin and chose Artemesia this morning. It was kind of dreary and gray, but I figured it was worth a try.
The first hour was slow, not much light and a bit cold. The good part was that there was a large variety of birds, and about 200 Canada Geese.
I walked the loop 3 times, and almost had the place to myself. I did a little better than I had expected.
Yet another Common Goldeneye at Artemesia.
Several Double Crested Cormorants were fishing.
Only a few Canvasbacks were patrolling the lake.
A single pair of Wood Ducks was paddling about.
A few Northern Shovelers were foraging near shore.
Why do Buffleheads have pink feet?
The low light enhances this Canada Goose’s image.
Note how the male Ring Necked Duck is firmly holding the hen with his beak, as they mate.
This Ring Necked Duck has a firm grip on the hen’s head as they mate.
A few Ring Necked Ducks were foraging.
I got a late start at Quiet Waters this morning. I’ve been checking for Loons, Ospreys, or Grebes, which should be here by now, but no luck so far. One pair of Wood Ducks posed for a while.
There’s not much visible at the point; a few Scaup, too far out for photos.
The coves paid off. Many Mallards, a few Buffleheads and a flock of Tundra Swans salvaged the morning.
A few Scaup were in the area.
This is probably the same Wood Duck that’s been hanging out for months now.
The Tundra Swans were very active.
I did the usual this morning; Possum Point for sunrise, which was dreary, then Kent Narrows. There were plenty of Scaup, but it was windy and cold, so I moved on to Quiet Waters. I found a pair of Wood Ducks, but nothing else. It’s about time to start having more action. I left and went on to Thomas Point.
There wasn’t much to see at the point proper, but there was some action in the cove, which made up for the lack of birds elsewhere.
There’s always plenty of Mallards in the cove.
Only a few Buffleheads were in the area.
A small flock of Tundra Swans was hanging out in the cove.
There are always Song Sparrows at the point.
I went to Artemesia yesterday, as I like to do on weekends. I really don’t like the weekday traffic.
It wasn’t much of a day; windy, cold, and no cooperation from the birds. Most remained quite distant, laughing at me.
I did Bombay Hook today, and it was better, but not by much. We need some migrating birds.
This Muskrat is showing us his tail.
A Black Duck-Mallard hybrid. A first for me.
I saw only a few Gadwalls.
Three large flocks of Snow Geese flew overhead.
This Double Crested Cormorant was at Bombay Hook.
This Great Blue Heron was fishing at dawn.
A pair of Northern Pintails.
I found only a few Northern Shovelers.
I found this Cooper’s Hawk at Artemesia.
I got to Blackwater just in time for a couple of sunrise shots, and the resident birds got active right away. A Red Tailed Hawk initially eluded me, but I found him later and got a couple of good looks.
The water along WIldlife Drive was ice-free, unlike my last visit. There weren’t as as many ducks as I wanted, but there was plenty of variety. Swans and Geese were abundant, but difficult to photograph due to distance.
I made a brief stop at Oakley Street, where the water was spraying over the wall. A good day, with good light.
Sunrise at Blackwater NWR.
There were fewer Northern Shovelers than usual.
American Wigeon at Oakley Street.
There were many Canvasbacks.
Many Scaup were in the crowd.
Many Tundra Swans were foraging in the marsh.
I found about 5 Bald Eagles.
I found this Great Blue Heron as I entered the refuge.
I saw this Red Tailed Hawk on three different perches.
I was at Possum Point early, for the sunrise, but it didn’t look promising. Sandy Point wasn’t any better, so I got to Kent Narrows around dawn.
I saw only Scaup, suggesting the other ducks may be on the way out of here.
Thomas Point was kind of sparse, but the cove was chock full of Mallards and a Wood Duck. I also found an American Wigeon near the gate.
Many Tundra Swans are still foraging near the point.
American Wigeons are relatively rare at Thomas Point.
The Mallards in the cove were active.
I found only a few Buffleheads.
This Wood Duck seems to spending the Winter in the cove.
I’ve been having poor luck lately. If the weather isn’t poor, the birds don’t show up or the light is bad. I’ve been to Schooler’s Pond, Bombay Hook, Lake Artemesia, Quiet Waters and Thomas Point without much to show for it.
Graeme and I drove to Virginia yesterday in hopes of seeing some whales in Virginia Beach, but we got rained out. We made a stop at Ocean City on the way back, but it was a very long day. We did see a couple of good birds in Ocean City.
This long Tailed Duck was at Ocean City inlet.
Three Red Breasted Mergansers were feeding at the inlet.
I haven’t seen a Common Loon in a while.
This Hooded Merganser was at Bombay Hook.
A Bald Eagle enjoying the morning sun.
This Black Duck was stretching his wings.
This pair of Green Winged Teals was at Bombay Hook.
A Northern Shoveler at Lake Artemesia.
This Great Blue Heron was at Schooler’s Pond.
This pair of Northern Pintails was at Bombay Hook.
This Great Blue Heron was dining at Lake Artemesia.
A Double Crested Cormorant flies into Lake Artemesia.
There were over 200 Canada Geese at Schooler’s Pond.
Ponies from Assateague Island.
Graeme Simpson photographing the Assateague ponies.
I found a decent sunrise at Possum Point this morning. I had left home a little late (6:06) and may have missed the very best colors, but it was good enough.
I went right to Kent Narrows, which was only so-so, but some Pigeons performed well enough.
I ended at Thomas Point, which was slow. I found a few birds in the cove, but there wasn’t much to see at the point.
Sunrise at Possum Point.
Several Tundra Swans seemed to be goofing off.
This Canvasback hen was mixing with the Tundra Swans.
Many Scaup were in the area.
A flock of Rock Doves seemed to be practicing for an aerial routine.
I’m seeing a lot of Long Tailed Ducks this year.