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.

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Bufflehead 2018-7

This Bufflehead hen was quite close to shore.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bufflehead 2018-7

This Bufflehead hen was foraging quite near shore.

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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.

Peregrine Falcon at Thomas Point.

It was very cold again  this morning, so I grabbed my ski pants and boots to take a look at Thomas Point. The hope was that more interesting species of ducks would have moved in, but it wasn’t to be.

There was an abundance of birds to make up for the lack of variety, including a first ever at Thomas Point Peregrine. The ice cover is increasing, but there’s a warming trend in play. so I expect big changes in a few days.

Common Goldeneye 2018-4 Common Goldeneye 2018-2 Common Goldeneye 2018-1

Common Goldeneye 2017-41

Common Goldeneye 2018-5

All the Common Goldeneyes were females.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-1

There were only a few Red Breasted Mergansers.

Canvasback 2018-1

Canvasback 2018-2

A large flock of Canvasbacks flew past the point.

Bufflehead 2018-1

Many Buffleheads were mixed in with the Scaup.

Hooded Merganser 2018-2

I haven’t seen many male Hooded Mergansers recently.

Tundra Swan 2018-1

A few Tundra Swans flew by when I arrived.

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Bufflehead 2018-1

Many Buffleheads were mixed in with the Scaup.

Peregrine Falcon 2018-2

Peregrine Falcon 2018-1

This Peregrine Falcon is carrying a Bufflehead.

Hooded Merganser at Thomas Point.

I spent an hour or so at Sandy Point yesterday, and about the same at Thomas Point this morning.

It’s really cold-in the twenties, and there’s enough wind to feel the effects. It’s amazing to watch these delicate-looking birds  blithely dabble and dive in the near freezing water.

There were lots and lots of birds, but mostly too far out for good images. Try as I might, I could only find the usual suspects, but I’ll keep looking.

Cupcake 1

And a picture of Cupcake, because it’s my blog and I can put up whatever I want.

Ruddy Duck 2017-16

I found this Ruddy Duck at Sandy Point.

Common Goldeneye 2017-41

Several Common Goldeneye hens were at Thomas Point.

Lesser Scaup 2017-36

Lesser Scaup 2017-35

There were more Scaup than any other species.

Song Sparrow 2017-12

Song Sparrow 2017-13

This Song Sparrow was on the beach at Sandy Point.

Lesser Scaup 2017-34

Many Scaup were feeding at the point.

Bufflehead 2017-70

Bufflehead 2017-71

There were many more Bufflehead hens than drakes.

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-37

I found only a few Hooded mergansers.

 

Hooded Merganser at Thomas Point.

It’s been cold for several days, so when I saw temps above freezing today, I decided to give Thomas Point a try. Luckily, I ran into the charming Dotty Doherty, and we spent a couple of hours checking out the bird bonanza.

The creeks have frozen, so many ducks have moved further out into the bay, and we saw well over a thousand ducks of various breeds.

We also stopped at my friend’s house on Thomas Point Road, and found many swans, along with a few Mallards.

Hooded Merganser 2017-819 Hooded Merganser 2017-818 Red Breasted Merganser 2017-36

Hooded Merganser 2017-817

I saw more Hooded Mergansers than usual today.

Bald Eagle 2017-228

Two Bald Eagles flew over as we were observing the swans.

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Tundra Swan 2017-92

There were fewer Tundra Swans than usual.

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Lesser Scaup 2017-33

Many Lesser Scaup were foraging at the point.

Canvasback 2017-24

Some of the thousand or more ducks at the point.

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-35

Several Red Breasted Mergansers flew by as we watched.

 

Common Goldeneye at Thomas Point.

It’s been very cold here-low 2 digits, and freezing near shore, which cuts down on the numbers of water birds.

I’ve been to Thomas Point a few times, as it’s some distance out in the bay, and won’t freeze until it’s been very cold for a while.

In truth, there hasn’t been much to see, but it’s improving as it gets colder up North and those birds head South.

Today’s selection is the best it’s been in a while, and it may improve as the weather gets worse.

Crow 2017-8

Crow 2017-7

This Crow was near the entrance gate.

 

 

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Tundra Swan 2017-89

Tundra Swans can be seen near the shore.

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Lesser Scaup 2017-28

There are many Scaup at the point, now.

Blue Jay 2017-8

My friend has a nice feeding station in her back yard, and this Blue Jay was taking advantage.

 

Common Goldeneye 2017-40

This is a Common Goldeneye hen.

Bufflehead 2017-69

There’s almost always a few Buffleheads.

Ring Billed Gull 2017-6

There were many more Ring Billed Gulls than usual.

 

Redhead at Thomas Point.

It was a blah day, weatherwise, and I didn’t get out until 9:00. The Sun was just coming out, and the wind was just a little too much, but I went to Thomas point to see what I could see.

There were plenty of birds-Scaup, Buffleheads, Mergansers, but mostly too far out for good pics. I did get an acceptable look at the Mergansers.

I them stopped at my friend’s house on Thomas Point Road, and there was plenty of action. Many Swans, many ducks and a couple of Eagles who may have been hunting.

I hung around for an hour and got several decent shots before heading home.

Tundra Swan 2017-80 Tundra Swan 2017-79 Tundra Swan 2017-83

Tundra Swan 2017-82

There were many Tundra Swans hanging out near shore.

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Tundra Swan 2017-81

This Tundra Swan has a banding collar, and I have sent off for the banding info. The locals have named this bird “Julia” and say she’s been seen for seven consecutive years.

 

Canvasback 2017-23

A medium sized flock of Canvasbacks was also near shore.

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-33 Red Breasted Merganser 2017-32

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-34

I found this Red Breasted Merganser out at the point.

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Lesser Scaup 2017-28

Only a few Scaup were present.

Redhead 2017-8

Redhead 2017-9

Redheads look good in the right light.

American Coot at Blackwater NWR.

I got out late yesterday, and spent a little time at Sandy Point. It was cool to find a Snow Goose mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese, a most unusual find for this area. There were lots of distant ducks and a few passerines also.

I went to Blackwater this morning, and found all the usual suspects, as well as a few nice ducks at Oakley Street.

Blackwater Dawn 43

Blackwater Dawn 42

Blackwater Dawn.

Lesser Scaup 2017-23

This Scaup was feeding at Sandy Point.

Bald Eagle 2017-227

Bald Eagle 2017-226

There were fewer Bald Eagles than usual.

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Great Blue Heron 2017-135

Great Blue Herons were abundant this morning.

Snow Goose 2017-33

a huge flock of Snow Geese left the refuge early.

Snow Goose 2017-32

This Snow Goose was by himself, in a flock of Canada Geese.

Red Bellied Woodpecker 2017-6

I found this Red Bellied Woodpecker at Sandy Point.

Northern Pintail 2017-68

There were only a few Northern Pintails.

Lesser Scaup 2017-25

This Scaup is another Oakley Street denizen.

American Wigeon 2017-12

This American Wigeon was at Oakley Street.

Canvasback 2017-20

I only found two Canvasbacks.

Northern Shoveler 2017-54

There weren’t many Northern Shovelers.

Belted Kingfisher at Bombay Hook NWR.

I went to Lake Artemesia yesterday, and it was pretty slow. I also stopped at Buddy Attick, and didn’t do any better. I got a few good enough images, but nothing great.

Today I made the trek to Bombay Hook, which wasn’t nearly as productive as in the past. There was a fair amount of ice, which meant the dabbling ducks had to go elsewhere. There were thousands of Snow Geese, though, which was a spectacular sight. Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, Black Ducks and Mallards were plentiful.

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Dawn at Bombay Hook.

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Lake Artemesia.

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These Hooded Mergansers were at Lake Artemesia.

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Great Blue Heron 2017-132

Several Great Blue Herons were fishing in an ice-free pond.

Turn up the volume to hear the geese.Snow Goose 2017-28

Snow Goose 2017-27

There may have been 20,000 Snow Geese in residence.

American Wigeon 2017-11

This American Wigeon was at Buddy Attick.

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-17

This pair of Pied Billed Grebes was at Lake Artemesia.

Canada Goose 2017-59

This Canada Goose was leaving Lake Artemesia.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-23Belted Kingfisher 2017-38

Belted Kingfisher 2017-37

I saw this Belted Kingfisher from a distance, and was lucky to get so close.