American Wigeon at Oakley Street.

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 Eagle 2019-13

Bald Eagle 2019-12

Bald Eagles are active at this time of year.

Canvasback 2019-32

A few Canvasbacks are still lingering.

Lesser Scaup 2019-25

Scaup were well represented in the crowd of ducks.

Redhead 2019-13

Redhead 2019-14

A few Redheads were feeding near shore.

Northern Shoveler 23019-11

Northern Shoveler 23019-12

Many Northern Shovellers were foraging in the marsh.

Song Sparrow 2019-7

Dozens of Song Sparrows were in the area.

American Wigeon 2019-10 American Wigeon 2019-9

American Wigeon 2019-11

I see more American Wigeons at Oakley Street than any other place.

American Wigeon at Lake Artemesia.

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.

Eastern Bluebird 2019-1

This is my first good Eastern Bluebird of the year.

Tree Swallow 2019-2

The Tree Swallows have arrived!

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-19

A few Double Crested Cormorants were fishing.

Canvasback 2019-31

The Canvasback male was foraging near shore.

Northern Shoveler 23019-10

This Northern Shoveler pair flew right by me.

Ring Necked Duck 2019-10 Ring Necked Duck 2019-9

Ring Necked Duck 2019-11

This Ring Necked female was swimming with her mate.

Pied Billed Grebe 2019-1

First Pied Billed Grebe of the season.

American Wigeon 2019-

I wish this American Wigeon had been a little closer.

 

 

Ring Necked Ducks at Lake Artemesia.

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.

Common Goldeneye 2019-20

Yet another Common Goldeneye at Artemesia.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-17

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-18

Several Double Crested Cormorants were fishing.

Canvasback 2019-29

Canvasback 2019-30

Only a few Canvasbacks were patrolling the lake.

Wood Duck 2019-23

Wood Duck 2019-24

A single pair of Wood Ducks was paddling about.

Northern Shoveler 23019-9

A few Northern Shovelers were foraging near shore.

Bufflehead 2019-37

Bufflehead 2019-36

Why do Buffleheads have pink feet?

Ring Necked Duck 2019-7Canada Goose 2019-14

Canada Goose 2019-15

The low light enhances this Canada Goose’s image.

Common Goldeneye 2019-19

Ring Necked Duck 2019-6

Note how the male Ring Necked Duck is firmly holding the hen with his beak, as they mate.

Ring Necked Duck 2019-5

This Ring Necked Duck has a firm grip on the hen’s head as they mate.

 

Ring Necked Duck 2019-8

A few Ring Necked Ducks were foraging.

Tundra Swan at Thomas Point.

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.

Lesser Scaup 2019-23

A few Scaup were in the area.

Wood Duck 2019-22

This is probably the same Wood Duck that’s been hanging out for months now.

Tundra Swan 2019-34 Tundra Swan 2019-32 Tundra Swan 2019-31

Tundra Swan 2019-33

The Tundra Swans were very active.

Wood Duck at Quiet Waters Park.

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.

Mallard 2019-24

 

Mallard 2019-26

There’s always plenty of Mallards in the cove.

Bufflehead 2019-35

Only a few Buffleheads were in the area.

Tundra Swan 2019-29

Tundra Swan 2019-30

A small flock of Tundra Swans was hanging out in the cove.

Song Sparrow 2019-5

Song Sparrow 2019-6

There are always Song Sparrows at the point.

Wood Duck 2019-19

Wood Duck 2019-18

Cooper’s Hawk at Lake Artemesia.

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.

Muskrat 21

This Muskrat is showing us his tail.

Black Duck Mallard Hybrid 2019-1

A Black Duck-Mallard hybrid. A first for me.

Gadwall 2019-3

I saw only a few Gadwalls.

Snow Goose 2019-2

Three large flocks of Snow Geese flew overhead.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-16

This Double Crested Cormorant was at Bombay Hook.

Great Blue Heron 2019-20

This Great Blue Heron was fishing at dawn.

 

Northern Pintail 2019-4

A pair of Northern Pintails.

Northern Shoveler 23019-8

I found only a few Northern Shovelers.

Cooper's Hawk 2019-2

Cooper's Hawk 2019-1

I found this Cooper’s Hawk at Artemesia.

 

Red Tailed Hawk at Blackwater NWR.

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.

Blackwater Dawn 57

Sunrise at Blackwater NWR.

Northern Shoveler 23019-2

Northern Shoveler 23019-5

There were fewer Northern Shovelers than usual.

American Wigeon 2019-7

American Wigeon 2019-8

American Wigeon at Oakley Street.

Canvasback 2019-27

There were many Canvasbacks.

Lesser Scaup 2019-22

Many Scaup were in the crowd.

Tundra Swan 2019-28

Many Tundra Swans were foraging in the marsh.

Bald Eagle 2019-11

I found about 5 Bald Eagles.

Great Blue Heron 2019-17

I found this Great Blue Heron as I entered the refuge.

Red Tailed Hawk 2019-4

Red Tailed Hawk 2019-5

I saw this Red Tailed Hawk on three different perches.

American Wigeon at Thomas Point.

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.

Tundra Swan 2019-27

Many Tundra Swans are still foraging near the point.

Mallard 2019-22 Mallard 2019-21 Mallard 2019-20

Mallard 2019-19

American Wigeons are relatively rare at Thomas Point.

Mallard 2019-23

The Mallards in the cove were active.

Bufflehead 2019-34

I found only a few Buffleheads.

Wood Duck 2019-16

Wood Duck 2019-17

This Wood Duck seems to spending the Winter in the cove.

 

 

Canada Goose at Schooler’s Pond.

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.

Long Tailed Duck 2019-39 Long Tailed Duck 2019-38 Long Tailed Duck 2019-41

Long Tailed Duck 2019-40

This long Tailed Duck was at Ocean City inlet.

Red Breasted Merganser 2019-1

Three Red Breasted Mergansers were feeding at the inlet.

Common Loon 158

I haven’t seen a Common Loon in a while.

Hooded Merganser 2019-36

Hooded Merganser 2019-37

This Hooded Merganser was at Bombay Hook.

Bald Eagle 2019-10

A Bald Eagle enjoying the morning sun.

 

Black Duck 2019-11

This Black Duck was stretching his wings.

Northern Pintail 2019-3

This pair of Green Winged Teals was at Bombay Hook.

Northern Shoveler 2019-3

A Northern Shoveler at Lake Artemesia.

Great Blue Heron 2019-15

This Great Blue Heron was at Schooler’s Pond.

Green Winged Teal 2019-3

Northern Pintail 2019-3

This pair of Northern Pintails was at Bombay Hook.

Great Blue Heron 2019-13

Great Blue Heron 2019-14

This Great Blue Heron was dining at Lake Artemesia.

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-15

Double Crested Cormorant 2019-14

A Double Crested Cormorant flies into Lake Artemesia.

Canada Goose 2019-12

Canada Goose 2019-11

There were over 200 Canada Geese at Schooler’s Pond.

Pony 2019-1 Pony 2019-2 Pony 2019-3 Pony 2019-4

Pony 2019-5

Ponies from Assateague Island.

Graeme Simpson 28

Graeme Simpson 29

Graeme Simpson photographing the Assateague ponies.

Rock Dove at Kent Narrows.

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.

Possum Point 166 Possum Point 167 Possum Point 168 Possum Point 169

Possum Point 170

Sunrise at Possum Point.

Tundra Swan 2019-25 Tundra Swan 2019-24

Tundra Swan 2019-26

Several Tundra Swans seemed to be goofing off.

Canvasback 2019-25

This Canvasback hen was mixing with the Tundra Swans.

Lesser Scaup 2019-19

Many Scaup were in the area.

Rock Dove 2019-1

A flock of Rock Doves seemed to be practicing for an aerial routine.

Long Tailed Duck 2019-35 Long Tailed Duck 2019-34 Long Tailed Duck 2019-33

Long Tailed Duck 2019-36

I’m seeing a lot of Long Tailed Ducks this year.