Surf Scoters at Thomas Point.

It was a foggy morning, so I waited ’til it started to lift before I went to Thomas Point.

I checked the small cove, looking for the Wood Duck, who wasn’t present. I did see 3 American Wigeons, a bird I haven’t see much at Thomas Point. I didn’t find the Wood Duck.

The weather was better than yesterday, warmer and less windy, and many of the ducks were closer to shore than usual. I didn’t see anything cool, like a Loon or an Eider, but it’s always fun to watch the ducks feed on a nice day.

Lesser Scaup 2019-5

This Scaup is eating a mussel.

Lesser Scaup 2019-6

 

Redhead 2019-5

It’s hard to pass up a Redhead.

Bufflehead 2019-13 Bufflehead 2019-12 Bufflehead 2019-11

 

Bufflehead 2019-14

Many Buffleheads were moving around the area.

Mallard 2019-10

This Mallard flew in from the bay.

Bald Eagle 2019-4

Many of the birds took to the air when this Bald Eagle flew over the cove.

Black Duck 2019-5

 

Black Duck 2019-6

There were several Black Ducks near shore.

American Wigeon 2019-2

3 American Wigeons were in the cove.

Common Goldeneye 2019-9

 

Common Goldeneye 2019-10

Two Common Goldeneyes were feeding together.

Surf Scoter 2019-8 Surf Scoter 2019-7 Surf Scoter 2019-6 Surf Scoter 2019-5

 

Surf Scoter 2019-9

Surf Scoters were numerous.

Tundra Swan 2019-8

A small flock of Tundra Swans flew by, heading South.

Long Tailed Duck 2019-8

I saw only one Long Tailed Duck.

Song Sparrow 2019-3

If you wait long enough, you’ll see a Song Sparrow hiding in the rip-rap.

Lesser Scaup 2019-7

This Lesser Scaup was paddling slowly by.

 

Gadwalls and Wigeons at Thomas Point.

I tried Kent Point yesterday in hopes of finding a reported Snowy Owl, but had no luck. I found a few sparrows at Sandy Point, but not much else.

Today, I started at Sandy Point again, but it was quite uninspiring, so I went to Quiet Waters around 7:15.

All the water I could see was frozen, including South River, which was ice free yesterday.

Thomas Point was the savior, once again. There were plenty of distant birds, but a few were close enough for good images. There’s a small cove near the park entrance that’s been productive lately, holding many Mallards, a few Black Ducks and the resident Wood Duck drake who’s a little North of his Winter range.

I also made a brief stop at my friend’s house.

South River 14

South River from Quiet Waters.

Kent Point Marina 1

Kent Point Marina.

Common Goldeneye 2019-8

This Common Goldeneye was at my friend’s house. I don’t usually see them there.

Mallard 2019-5 Mallard 2019-6 Mallard 2019-8 Mallard 2019-7

Mallard 2019-9

Many Mallards were in the cove.

Tundra Swan 2019-7

This Tundra Swan flew over the cove.

Black Duck 2019-4

Thomas Point has always been a good spot for Black Ducks.

Wood Duck 2019-6 Wood Duck 2019-5 Wood Duck 2019-4

Wood Duck 2019-7

I’ve photographed this Wood Duck several times now.

Bufflehead 2019-10

This Bufflehead flew by as I was waiting.

Surf Scoter 2019-4

These Surf Scoters flew into the point to feed.

Lesser Scaup 2019-4

Many Scaup forage regularly at the point.

Ruddy Duck 2019-3

Ruddy Ducks seem to be numerous all Winter.

Song Sparrow 2019-2

I found this Song Sparrow at Sandy Point.

Dark Eyed Junco 2019-1

Many Dark Eyed Juncos were feeding near the beach.

Canada Goose 2019-8

Canada Geese can be found at Sandy Point most of the year.

American Wigeon 2019-1

This American Wigeon was just a little too far away.

Gadwall 2019-1

I don’t see Gadwalls at Thomas Point very often.

Bald Eagle at Quiet Waters Park.

We had 4-5″ of snow yesterday, so I didn’t get out at all. I was at Sandy Point at dawn today, but it didn’t look promising, so I went straight to Quiet Waters as I suspected Thomas Point would be closed for the snow, and  it was, as I found out later.

I looked in my favorite cove first, but didn’t find much, except a Common Goldeneye, the first I’ve seen there.

I did much better at the boat dock, where a Bald Eagle provided nice looks, and a few ducks were close enough for ID shots.

South River 10 South River 11 South River 12

South River 13

A view of South River.

Mallard 2019-4

A flock of Mallards flew out toward the river.

Canada Goose 2019-7

Canada Goose 2019-6

A small flock of Canada Geese flew upriver.

Common Goldeneye 2019-7

This is the first Common Goldeneye I’ve seen at Quiet Waters.

Bald Eagle 2019-2

Bald Eagle 2019-1

This Bald Eagle seemed to want to pose.

Red Throated Loon at Lake Artemesia.

I went straight to Artemesia this morning in hopes of finding good birds, and I got lucky. There was an unusually good variety and quantity , and mostly in good light.

The Loons were totally unexpected, as they are really bay/ocean birds and you wouldn’t expect to see them on a lake.

I took so many photos that I haven’t finished processing them yet, so I’ll be adding a few more later.

Canada Goose 2019-4

Canada Goose 2019-5

Canada Geese heading out to forage.

Great Blue Heron 2019-7

Great Blue Heron 2019-5

Great Blue Heron 2019-6

There were more Great Blue Herons than usual.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-10 Double Crested Cormorant 2019-11

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-8 Double Crested Cormorant 2019-7

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-9

25 or more Double Crested Cormorants were fishing in the lake.

Ring Necked Duck 2019-1

Ring Necked Ducks have returned to the lake after a short absence.

Great Egret 2019-4

 

Great Egret 2019-6

Great Egret 2019-5

This Great Egret should have migrated south several weeks ago.

Hooded Merganser 2019-18 Hooded Merganser 2019-17 Hooded Merganser 2019-16

Hooded Merganser 2019-15

Two flocks of Hooded Mergansers are hanging out at the lake.

Canvasback 2019-13

This female Canvasback is an unusual visitor also.

Mallard 2019-3

A Mallard pair was cruising the lake.

Common Goldeneye 2019-5

The errant Common Goldeneyes are still in residence.

Common Goldeneye 2019-6

Red Throated Loon 2019-5 Red Throated Loon 2019-4 Red Throated Loon 2019-2 Red Throated Loon 2019-1

Red Throated Loon 2019-6

Two Red Throated Loons were a real surprise.

 

Redhead at Thomas Point.

I had planned to try Possum Point this morning. but it was way cold and windy when I awoke, so I decided to try Thomas Point instead.

It really wasn’t particularly good today. Plenty of birds, but they were back to being distant again, so I didn’t get much.

My friend’s house was much better. There were many birds of many species, and they were very active.

Canada Goose 2019-3

There’s usually a few Canada Geese in the area.

Canvasback 2019-11 Canvasback 2019-10

Canvasback 2019-8 Canvasback 2019-7 Canvasback 2019-6

 

Canvasback 2019-12

Many of the Canvasbacks were moving around the area.

Tundra Swan 2019-5 Tundra Swan 2019-4

 

Tundra Swan 2019-6

20-30 Tundra Swans were hanging out near the dock.

Lesser Scaup 2019-2

 

Lesser Scaup 2019-3

A few Lesser Scaup were also in the area.

Ruddy Duck 2019-2

A few Ruddy Ducks were sleeping nearby.

Redhead 2019-4

Redheads can be hard to find in a big flock of Canvasbacks.

Long Tailed Duck at Thomas Point.

I inteneded to try Possum Point this morning, but it was very windy, so I waited until 8:00 and went to Thomas Point.

There were a few birds  close enough for decent pics, and the light was not bad, so I did OK.

I then stopped by my friend’s house on Thomas Point Road and found more nice birds in good light and fairly close. Yet another good winter’s day.

Thomas Point 23

A look at the Thomas Point lighthouse.

Mallard 2019-1 Canvasback 2019-3

Mallard 2019-2

Many Mallards stay near Thomas Point all year.

Canvasback 2019-4

Canvasback 2019-5

This female Canvasback looks as good as her mate.

Tundra Swan 2019-3

Two Flocks of Tundra Swans flew over the point.

Tundra Swan 2019-2

Tundra Swan 2019-1

Many Tundra Swans were on the move today.

Redhead 2019-1

Redhead 2019-2

If you look closely at the Canvasback flocks, you may find a Redhead or two.

Lesser Scaup 2019-1

I don’t often get this frontal view of a Lesser Scaup.

Wood Duck 2019-3

Wood Duck 2019-2

My Wood Duck friend is still hanging out with his Mallard buddies.

Black Duck 2019-3

Thomas Point is a good place to find Black Ducks.

Bufflehead 2019-8

Bufflehead 2019-9

Many Buffleheads stay near Thomas Point most of the Winter.

Ruddy Duck 2019-1

There seems to be a small flock of Ruddy Ducks just South of the Point on most days.

Long Tailed Duck 2019-6 Long Tailed Duck 2019-5 Long Tailed Duck 2019-4 Long Tailed Duck 2019-3 Long Tailed Duck 2019-1 Long Tailed Duck 2019-2

Long Tailed Duck 2019-7

These three Long Tailed Ducks were hanging out together.

Common Merganser at Lake Artemesia.

The weather gods promised sunshine, and we got it. I went to Lake Artemesia early to get some dawn photos, and it was just OK. I had been hearing about good birds all week, though, so it didn’t matter much.

Artemesia can be spotty, but it’s been prolific for the last few weeks. It’s nice to find good birds, and it’s even better to find several good birds.

There were lots of photographers today, many more than usual. Maybe we’re giving away too much on Facebook.

Lake Artemesia 119

Dawn at Lake Artemesia.

Common Merganser 2019-9

I’ve been going to Artemesia for 5 years, and this is the first Common Merganser I’vfe seen there.

Canada Goose 2019-2

There were fewer Canada Geese than usual.

Hooded Merganser 2019-14

8-10 Hooded Mergansers were feeding in the lake.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-5 Double Crested Cormorant 2019-4

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-5

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-6

I counted 25 Double Crested Cormorants.

 

Great Blue Heron 2019-4

I found three Great Blue Herons.

Belted Kingfisher 2019-1

I saw this Belted Kingfisher several times, but it was tough to get a photo.

Common Goldeneye 2019-4

Common Goldeneye 2019-2 Common Goldeneye 2019-1

Common Goldeneye 2019-3

The Common Goldeneyes are still hanging out.

Bufflehead 2019-7

I found only two Buffleheads.

Canvasback 2019-2

This female Canvasback has been around for more than a week.

Common Merganser 2019-4 Common Merganser 2019-8 Common Merganser 2019-3

Common Merganser 2019-1

These are the first Common Mergansers I’ve seen at Artemesia.

 

Northern Pintail at Thomas Point.

I checked out Possum Point early, and it didn’t look promising. I did manage a few decent images at Sandy Point, but not the colorful shots I’m looking for.

I skipped Quiet Waters because it was so barren yesterday.

Thomas Point is still the best spot, and it gave up a Pintail and a Black Duck this morning. I don’t recall seeing a Pintail there in the past.

The birds at the point were mostly too far out for good images, and there wasn’t much variety.

Sandy Point 534

Sandy Point 533

Dawn at Sandy Point.

Black Duck 2019-1

You can find Black Ducks at Thomas Point most winters.

Surf Scoter 2019-3

Surf Scoters are still numerous.

Bufflehead 2019-5

Many Buffleheads are feeding at the point.

Wood Duck 2019-1

This Wood Duck has been hanging out at Thomas Point for a month or more.

Northern Pintail 2019-1

Northern Pintail 2019-2

This Northern Pintail was a real surprise.

 

 

 

Red Tailed Hawk at Quiet Waters Park.

I started at Possum Point again, and the sky was too gloomy for good pics, so I headed to Quiet Waters.

As I walked the path toward the river, I saw a large bird take off in the dark early morning light and thought I’d missed an Owl.  I looked carefully when I returned about half an hour later and found a young Red Tailed Hawk who posed  very nicely. There wasn’t much else to see in the park.

Thomas Point was somewhat better, with plenty of birds, but not as much variety as in previous days. I did get enough images to justify the trip.

Surf Scoter 2019-1

Surf Scoter 2019-2

There were many Surf Scoters at the point.

Bufflehead 2019-3

Bufflehead 2019-4

These Buffleheads seemed to be chasing one another.

Red Tailed Hawk 2019-2

Red Tailed Hawk 2019-1

This young Red Tailed Hawk just stared right back at me.

 

Hooded Merganser at Lake Artemesia.

The forecast was cloudy and windy but it didn’t look too bad when I awoke, so I took a chance on Artemesia.

The sky was pretty cloudy, but it got better as the sun began to rise, and I got some decent shots at dawn.

I’m not crazy about windy days, and I got lucky, as the wind didn’t get started for a few hours after dawn. That was good, as there were many birds on the lake, and many were close enough for good images.

I never did get really good light, but it was a good day anyway.

Lake Artemesia 117

Lake Artemesia 116

Dawn at Lake Artemesia.

Canvasback 2019-1

It;s not much of a shot, but you can see the Canvasback female in front An unsusual bird for Artemesia.

Hooded Merganser 2019-5 Hooded Merganser 2019-4 Hooded Merganser 2019-3 Hooded Merganser 2019-2 Hooded Merganser 2019-1

Hooded Merganser 2019-6

4 Hooded Mergansers were very cooperative this morning.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-1

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-2

Many Double Crested Cormorants are spending time at the lake.

Bufflehead 2019-1

Bufflehead 2019-2

A few Buffleheads were feeding this morning.

C anada Goose 2019-1

There were well over a hundred Canada Geese.

Great Blue Heron 2019-1

This Great Blue Heron ignored my presence.

Great Egret 2019-2 Great Egret 2019-1

Great Egret 2019-3

It’s rare to see a Great Egret this late in the season.

Ring Billed Gull 2019-1

Many Ring Billed Gulls are staying at the lake.