Hooded Mergansers At Blackwater NWR.

I was hoping to get some super  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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Horned Grebe 2018-1

Four Horned Grebes were feeding at the point.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Bufflehead 2017-71 Bufflehead 2017-70

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.