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 Geese heading out to forage.
There were more Great Blue Herons than usual.
25 or more Double Crested Cormorants were fishing in the lake.
Ring Necked Ducks have returned to the lake after a short absence.
This Great Egret should have migrated south several weeks ago.
Two flocks of Hooded Mergansers are hanging out at the lake.
This female Canvasback is an unusual visitor also.
A Mallard pair was cruising the lake.
The errant Common Goldeneyes are still in residence.
Two Red Throated Loons were a real surprise.
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.
There’s usually a few Canada Geese in the area.
Many of the Canvasbacks were moving around the area.
20-30 Tundra Swans were hanging out near the dock.
A few Lesser Scaup were also in the area.
A few Ruddy Ducks were sleeping nearby.
Redheads can be hard to find in a big flock of Canvasbacks.
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.
A look at the Thomas Point lighthouse.
Many Mallards stay near Thomas Point all year.
This female Canvasback looks as good as her mate.
Two Flocks of Tundra Swans flew over the point.
Many Tundra Swans were on the move today.
If you look closely at the Canvasback flocks, you may find a Redhead or two.
I don’t often get this frontal view of a Lesser Scaup.
My Wood Duck friend is still hanging out with his Mallard buddies.
Thomas Point is a good place to find Black Ducks.
Many Buffleheads stay near Thomas Point most of the Winter.
There seems to be a small flock of Ruddy Ducks just South of the Point on most days.
These three Long Tailed Ducks were hanging out together.
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.
Dawn at Lake Artemesia.
I’ve been going to Artemesia for 5 years, and this is the first Common Merganser I’vfe seen there.
There were fewer Canada Geese than usual.
8-10 Hooded Mergansers were feeding in the lake.
I counted 25 Double Crested Cormorants.
I found three Great Blue Herons.
I saw this Belted Kingfisher several times, but it was tough to get a photo.
The Common Goldeneyes are still hanging out.
I found only two Buffleheads.
This female Canvasback has been around for more than a week.
These are the first Common Mergansers I’ve seen at Artemesia.
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.
Dawn at Sandy Point.
You can find Black Ducks at Thomas Point most winters.
Surf Scoters are still numerous.
Many Buffleheads are feeding at the point.
This Wood Duck has been hanging out at Thomas Point for a month or more.
This Northern Pintail was a real surprise.
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.
There were many Surf Scoters at the point.
These Buffleheads seemed to be chasing one another.
This young Red Tailed Hawk just stared right back at me.
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.
Dawn at Lake Artemesia.
It;s not much of a shot, but you can see the Canvasback female in front An unsusual bird for Artemesia.
4 Hooded Mergansers were very cooperative this morning.
Many Double Crested Cormorants are spending time at the lake.
A few Buffleheads were feeding this morning.
There were well over a hundred Canada Geese.
This Great Blue Heron ignored my presence.
It’s rare to see a Great Egret this late in the season.
Many Ring Billed Gulls are staying at the lake.
I tried Quiet Waters this morning just for a change of pace. I’ve had good luck there in years past, but today was a bust.
I went straight to Thomas Point, and it was about the same, but some birds were in much closer and I got some decent images.
I finished up at my friend’s house on Thomas Point Road, where many birds hang out in hopes of getting fed by the locals.
Happy New Year!
The lighthouse at Thomas Point.
Female Canvasbacks aren’t as showy, but they have their own beauty.
You need good light to get the most from a Scaup.
If you look carefully through the flocks of Canvasbacks, you may find a Redhead.
There’s always a few Tundra Swans at my friend’s house.
Several Long Tailed Ducks were near the point.
Many Surf Scoters were feeding at the point.
This Common Goldeneye was qiuite close to shore, and I got her as she scurried away.
It’s fun to watch Buffleheads search for a meal.
The weatherman promised a sunny day and he delivered. I left early for Artemesia in hopes of getting some dawn color, but it was kind of tepid.
Canada Geese are still the dominant waterfowl, but there were plenty of others, including the continuing Goldeneyes, Great Blue Herons and a Great Egret.
A few Cormorants, Mallards and Gulls contributed, as well as a Cardinal and very cooperative Woodpecker.
Dawn at Lake Artemesia.
This Downy Woodpecker was quite close.
I haven’t gotten close to a female Cardinal in a while.
I kind of like this odd Mallard pose.
I’m not sure why this Great Egret is still this far North.
There are more Double Crested Cormorants than usual.
I’m used to seeing Common Goldeneyes in the bay, not in an inland lake.
Several Great Blue Herons were feeding.
Only a few Ruddy Ducks were foraging.
Buffleheads will probably be around all Winter.
This Carolina Wren was very loud.
The Canada Geese usually leave right after sunrise.
I went to Kent Narrows this morning, looking for a reported Snowy Owl, but had no luck. There wasn’t much else to see, either,
Thomas Point was next. It was a warmish, calm day, and Thomas Point can be very productive in those conditions.
There were plenty of distant birds, as usual, but I did get a few decent images. I ended at my friend’s house, where I got some closer looks in good light.
It’s been a good year for Long Tailed Ducks.
A few Scaup were hanging out at my friend’s house.
I found only a few Redheads.
Tundra Swans will often have little spats.
Many Canvasbacks stay in the area all Winter.
Only a few Common Goldeneyes were present.