Hooded Merganser at Blackwater NWR.

We were promised sunny weather, so I made the trek to Blackwater this morning after several days of crummy weather. The weather was certainly good enough, but there were fewer birds than I had hoped.

Eagles, Geese and Swans dominated, but other species, like ducks. were not as numerous as in the past. I ventured further afield than usual, but had no luck.

Still, it was good enough, and I expect to make more trips soon.

Northern Shoveler 2018-6

I only found one pair of Northern Shovelers.

Great Blue Heron 2018-9

Several Great Blue Herons were standing guard in the marsh.

Snow Goose 2018-15

There were three different flocks of Snow Geese.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-2

I found more Red Winged Blackbirds than usual.

Bald Eagle 2018-11

Bald Eagle 2018-12

This Bald Eagle flew off just as I approached.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 30

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 29

I haven’t seen a Delmarva Fox Squirrel in quite a while.

Hooded Merganser 2018-24 Hooded Merganser 2018-22 Hooded Merganser 2018-21 Hooded Merganser 2018-20

Hooded Merganser 2018-23

There were only a few Hooded Mergansers, and they spooked easily, as usual.


Cooper’s Hawk at Blackwater NWR.

The weather guessers called for sunny, today, and it was:for about an hour, after which it was quite cloudy.

There were plenty of decent birds at Blackwater, but the poor light meant marginal images in some cases.

I made another stop at Oakley Street in hopes of some better images, and did OK.

Blackwater Dawn 45

Blackwater Dawn.

Tundra Swan 2018-16

There were 50 or so Tundra Swans.

Bald Eagle 2018-9

Bald Eagle 2018-8

Bald Eagles seem to getting more active as nesting season approaches.

Northern Flicker 2018-2

Northern Flicker 2018-1

Another nice surprise. Northern Flickers don’t often cooperate as well as this one did.

Great Blue Heron 2018-8

Several Great Blue Herons were fishing in the marsh.

Northern Shoveler 2018-5

Northern Shoveler 2018-4

Only a few Northern Shovelers were feeding in the marsh.

Common Merganser 2018-2

Common Merganser 2018-1

A dozen or so Common Mergansers were feeding in the marsh.

Snow Goose 2018-14

A couple of thousand Snow Geese are still hanging around.

American Wigeon 2018-4

I found this American Wigeon at Oakley Street.

Great Blue Heron 2018-7

Canada Goose 2018-4

There were hundreds of Canada Geese in the fields and on the water.

Cooper's Hawk 2018-1

This juvenile Cooper’s Hawk was a nice surprise, as I haven’t seen many hawks recently.



Greater White-fronted Goose at Lake Artemesia.

I met Graeme at Lake Artemesia this morning, and we made several circuits of the lake. A rare goose has been reported here a couple of times, and we found it right away, mixed with a flock of Canadian Geese. It’s not uncommon for odd species to mix with these geese, and I have looked many times, but this is one of the few times I found anything.

There were several interesting birds on the lake, but there was a lot of ice, also, which limited the places to search.

We walked along Indian Creek on the way out, and found a few passerines as we left.

Brown Creeper 2018-1

This Brown Creeper was a nice surprise.

Canada Goose 2018-2 Canada Goose 2018-3

Canada Goose 2018-1

We saw about 200 Canada Geese.

Hooded Merganser 2018-19

Two Hooded Mergansers were hiding in the large flock of Geese.

Ring Necked Duck 2018-2

There were 20 or more Ring-necked Ducks.

Bufflehead 2018-18

A single Bufflehead male was foraging near shore.

Mallard 2018-6

Many Mallards were feeding in the lake.

Chickadee 2018-1

Several Chickadees were playing along the trail.

Greater While-fronted Goose 2018-2

Greater While-fronted Goose 2018-1

Cornell: “Breeding across the tundra from Nunavut to Siberia, across Russia, and in Greenland, the Greater White-fronted Goose has one of the largest ranges of any species of goose in the world. In North America, however, it is common only west of the Mississippi River, where it is found in large flocks in wetlands and croplands.”

Graeme Simpson 17

Graeme was dressed for the weather.


Hooded Mergansers At Blackwater NWR.

I was hoping to get some superĀ  moon shots at Blackwater this morning, but it was too cloudy.

There was a lot of ice in the marshes, so the ducks weren’t as abundant as usual, and I had to settle for Geese and Eagles.

I stopped by Oakley for some sitting ducks, so the trip wasn’t a total bust.

Blackwater Dawn 44

Blackwater Dawn.

American Wigeon 2018-2

American Wigeon 2018-3

This female American Wigeon was at Oakley Street.

Snow Goose 2018-13

There were hundreds of Snow Geese, but fewer than usual.

Lesser Scaup 2018-21

A Lesser Scaup.

Redhead 2018-5

There were only a few Redheads.

Canvasback 2018-16

This Canvasback hen was having a snooze.

Bald Eagle 2018-7

Bald Eagle 2018-6

You can usually find a Bald Eagle perched on Wildlife Drive.


Great Blue Heron 2018-6

Several Great Blue Herons were perched along the ice.

Hooded Merganser 2018-18

Hooded Mergansers don’t always stay long enough for a picture.


Hooded Merganser at Thomas Point.

Yesterday I tried Bombay Hook, and it was disappointing. The ice has mostly melted, but the water birds haven’t returned in numbers.

I found a few ducks, but they were scarce, and many were too distant.

I went to Quiet Waters this morning, but it has too much ice, so I headed to Thomas Point. There were plenty of birds, but too far out for images. I did find a few good birds at my friend’s house.

Canvasback 2018-15Ruddy Duck 2018-7

Canvasback 2018-14

This Canvasback is accompanied by two Ruddy Ducks.

Bufflehead 2018-15 Bufflehead 2018-14

Bufflehead 2018-16

I don’t always get this close to a Bufflehead.

Tundra Swan 2018-14

Tundra Swan 2018-15

Tundra Swans are still abundant.

Lesser Scaup 2018-20

Only a few Scaup were present.

Black Duck 2018-1

There were many Black Ducks at Bombay Hook.

Snow Goose 2018-10

Snow Goose 2018-11

Thousands of Snow Geese were at Bombay Hook.

Northern Shoveler 2018-2

Northern Shoveler 2018-3

Northern Shovelers were feeding rapidly.

Hooded Merganser 2018-12

It’s unusual to find a Hooded Merganser at my friend’s house.

Snow Goose at Blackwater NWR.

I went to Blackwater this morning, hoping the ice had melted. The marsh was ice free, but the ducks haven’t returned yet.

Still there were plenty of geese and a few eagles to make things interesting.

I made a stop at Oakley Street on the way home, and there was a decent crowd of ducks there.

Bald Eagle 2018-5

These two Bald Eagles greeted me this morning.

Lesser Scaup 2018-19

Lesser Scaup 2018-18

This Scaup was at Oakley Street.


Hooded Merganser 2018-11

Hooded Mergansers often spook as soon as they see you.

Tundra Swan 2018-11 Tundra Swan 2018-10

Tundra Swan 2018-12

Many Tundra Swans were feeding with the Snow Geese.

Great Blue Heron 2018-4

I saw only a few Great Blue Herons.

Snow Goose 2018-7 Snow Goose 2018-6 Snow Goose 2018-5

Snow Goose 2018-8

There were several thousand Snow Geese at the refuge.

American Wigeon at Thomas Point Road.

I started at Kent Narrows at dawn, and found nearly nothing. It’s odd how it can be so crowded one day and barren the next.

I made a quick stop at Possum Point, also, and there was nothing to see.

Thomas Point wasn’t as busy as yesterday, but there were a few birds, and a goods variety, including four Horned Grebes.

My friend’s house was very busy. with many Tundras, Canvasbacks and a few American Wigeons.

Thomas Point 19

Thomas Point Lighthouse.

Kent Narrows 1

Kent Narrows at dawn.


Horned Grebe 2018-3 Horned Grebe 2018-2

Horned Grebe 2018-1

Four Horned Grebes were feeding at the point.

Canvasback 2018-11 Canvasback 2018-10 Canvasback 2018-9 Canvasback 2018-8 Canvasback 2018-7

Canvasback 2018-12

Many Canvasbacks were cruising near shore.

Ruddy Duck 2018-6

There weren’t as many Ruddy Ducks as yesterday.

Tundra Swan 2018-8 Tundra Swan 2018-7

Tundra Swan 2018-9

There were more than 50 Tundra Swans.

Mallard 2018-5

Many Mallards were present also.

American Wigeon 2018-1

I saw at least two American Wigeons.


Short-eared Owl at Bombay Hook NWR.

I got up early to make the trek to Bombay Hook and got there shortly after sunrise. I immediately ran into a Short-eared Owl, who posed very nicely. A life bird and a rarity for me!

I hadn’t checked for closings before I left (I should know better) and quickly found that most of the refuge was closed. I decided to make a first visit to Prime Hook to check for the Snowy Owl who’s been seen there. He didn’t show, but I found a nice Sparrow.

I made a quick stop at Kent Narrows on the way back.

Lesser Scaup 2018-17

This Scaup was feeding at Kent Narrows.

Lesser Scaup 2018-17

This Scaup was feeding at Kent Narrows.

Double Crested Cormorant 2018-5 Double Crested Cormorant 2018-4 Double Crested Cormorant 2018-3 Double Crested Cormorant 2018-2 Double Crested Cormorant 2018-1

Double Crested Cormorant 2018-6

Only a few Double Crested Cormorants are around at this time of year.

Savannah Sparrow 2018-1

This Savannah Sparrow cooperated well.

Bufflehead 2018-12

I found a lone Bufflehead at Bombay Hook.

Short-eared Owl 2018-1 Short-eared Owl 2018-4 Short-eared Owl 2018-2

Redhead at Kent Narrows.

There hasn’t been much action lately, and the weather hasn’t cooperated, but I had a decent day today to make up for it.

I started at Kent Narrows, where birds were scarce, but there was a decent variety.

Sandy Point was almost completely iced in, and a complete bust.

Thomas Point was teeming with birds, and had even more variety. I’m still not finding great ducks, but it’s getting better.

Mallard 2018-4

Another unusual Mallard.

Mallard 2018-3

Mallard 2018-2

This Mallard hen has unusual colors.

Bufflehead 2018-9 Bufflehead 2018-10

Bufflehead 2018-8 Bufflehead 2018-11 Bufflehead 2018-5 Bufflehead 2018-4


Bufflehead 2018-7

This Bufflehead hen was quite close to shore.

Great Blue Heron 2018-3 Great Blue Heron 2018-2


Great Blue Heron 2018-1

You can almost always find a Great Blue Heron at Kent Narrows.

Hooded Merganser 2018-6

A few Hooded Mergansers were foraging near shore.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-7

I seldom see more than a few Red Breasted Mergansers at Thomas Point.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-12Red Breasted Merganser 2018-9Red Breasted Merganser 2018-7

Lesser Scaup 2018-11

Lesser Scaup 2018-6

Lesser Scaup 2018-14 Lesser Scaup 2018-13 Lesser Scaup 2018-12

Lesser Scaup 2018-8

Scaup are usually the dominant birds at Thomas Point.

Canvasback 2018-6

I only found a few Canvasbacks.

Redhead 2018-3Redhead 2018-2

Redhead 2018-1

The Redhead is a striking bird.


I found this young deer at Sandy Point.


Snow Geese at Blackwater NWR.

I went to Blackwater yesterday, and it was a disappointment because the marsh was mostly ice, and very few ducks were around. I found some Snow Geese in a nearby field, and a couple of Eagles, but it was otherwise barren.

Thomas Point was much better, this morning. There were plenty of birds, and a good variety of species. calm winds, bright sun and temps in the forties made for a nice morning.

Thomas Point 18

Looking East from Thomas Point.

Bald Eagle 2018-2 Bald Eagle 2018-4

Bald Eagle 2018-3

I only found two Bald Eagles.

Hooded Merganser 2018-6

These Hooded Mergansers took off as soon as I found them.

Lesser Scaup 2018-7

Lesser Scaup 2018-6

Lesser Scaup 2018-8

These Scaup were spooked by a Black-backed Seagull.

Bufflehead 2018-6 Bufflehead 2018-5 Bufflehead 2018-4

Bufflehead 2018-7

This Bufflehead hen was foraging quite near shore.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-8 Red Breasted Merganser 2018-7

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-9

A few Red Breasted Mergansers were around all morning.

Tundra Swan 2018-5

Occasionally, Tundra Swans wander out near the middle of the bay.


Red Winged Blackbird 2018-1

This huge flock of Red Winged Blackbirds was feeding in the same field as the Snow Geese.

Mallard 2018-1

Two Mallards and a Scaup.

Snow Goose 2018-2 Snow Goose 2018-1 Snow Goose 2018-3

Snow Goose 2018-4

There were several hundred Snow Geese on the ground, and many flying in and out.