Sunday, January 31, 2010

An icy morning

Currituck Sound ice
The storm brought winds, snow and freezing rain and left us with temperatures in the 20s and icy conditions. This gull was among many feeding in the icy sound water. It is bejeweled with ice crystals created from dipping into the water for a bite.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A walk in a snowy wood

Currituck snow
A winter storm is upon us with snow, not very common here. Snow is expected to continue so I'm out for another walk followed by some hot chocolate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A walk in a maritime wood

Great Blue Heron Currituck
A well camoflauged Great Blue Heron walks along a path in a maritime wood. The Great Blue is seen here year round. The sound and causeway waters have been too high for the herons to feed. The swampy woods are also high with water, but perfect for a hungry heron.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fly away

Bufflehead duck Currituck Sound
A female Bufflehead was getting pretty close and then she spooked. The Buffleheads are very wary, the Ruddys seem to be less so. A Buffy will fly far when spooked. The Ruddys will paddle or fly/paddle along the water top a bit. It makes a neat sound and throws out bits of glittering water. Some hunters use a light-reflecting mechanical decoy that micmics this action.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Buffy and Jody

Bufflehead ducks Currituck Sound
Male and female Bufflehead ducks. The male is a striking black and white from a distance. A closer look and a little sunshine show his brightly colored head.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A cheeky little duck

Bufflehead Currituck Sound
Easily identified by the white cheek spot is the female bufflehead.

Monday, January 25, 2010

To the Point

Currituck Sound Churches Island
A Great Blue Heron glides toward an old point of land, probably a good fishing spot.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


A swan flaps it's great angelic wings after landing near a flock of ruddy docks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Young Eagle

Spotted the young eagle when I was out on a walk. The young eagle and a pair of adults are regulars this winter, hunting waterfowl.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One cute duck

Can you imagine how cute the Ruddy ducklings must be?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The warblers and finches were busy in the morning sun. The chatter was almost like spring. I spotted this little one on the edge of a wood. Today is grey and cold.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Still Chilly

From a bit earlier this month, these Canada Geese are tucked in against the wind. The sun is warming us a bit, but the chill comes through with the slightest blow. Long johns still welcome!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ruddy Asana

For my yoga friends, doesn't this look like a good stretch!


This warbler is looking for bugs, not this acorn, hidden by a woodpecker or bluejay.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Another busy winter visitor, the Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Warbler

The island is full of yellow-rumped warblers this winter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Morning of Thaw

I spent some morning time on the pier. It was sunny, super calm, waterfowl mostly moved on. An eagle rested in an osprey nest. A thin sheet of ice surrounded the pier to the bulkhead. When a distant boat passed the waves caused the ice to sing. The sound was electrified soft rain on a tin roof. By the afternoon the ice was gone.


Tiny, busy and vocal ... a regular visitor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

♫California Dreamin' ♫

♫ ♫"On.such.a.winter'"♫ ♫

That's the feeling I get from this photo of a lone Warbler on a icy cold day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Even more ice

Monday the ice spread across the whole of the Sound as far as I could see. A couple duck hunting parties plowed their way about 7 a.m. but didn't last long. It was truly a dangerous situation. And the few waterfowl that were around clung to small "islands" of water in the ice. Here a few local Mallards and some wild cousins fill up one of the few liquid spots.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ice on the Currituck Sound

The Sunday morning paper featured an article warning newcomers to the County about getting onto ice over water. That was a good warning for newcomers but also for locals. The water does not have be iced to create a deadly situation in the winter, as the records will attest. It is bitterly cold, you can see the rough water beyind the ice due to the north wind. I ventured onto my pier for a look and a few photos. Nary a living wild soul to be found save one seagull flying near the bank. Did I say bitter? Time to go back inside and watch all the finches, wrens, cardinals, doves, sparrows, etc. and Yes! our winter hummingbird come to the feed we provide. We have a heated water source for 'bigger than hummer' birds too and it is a hit.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Post for Sunday

From a Richard Purdy Wilbur poem: "Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels."

When you watch these fine birds you cannot help but assign an angelic quality to them: the grace, the feathery wings, the beautiful white color.

Here a couple of my Angel Birds land amongst my Buddy Ruddys.

January Snow Geese

A flock of snow geese pass overhead. The black tipped wings are an identifying feature but the raucous honking is the alert to look up. These geese were headed north to feed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our winter hummingbird out and about

Coming back in from a walk on Wednesday I saw our hummingbird on the road edge. She was flitting about some sunny weeds low to the ground (looking for bugs?) and then landing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Duck, duck, goose .... DUCK!

The waterfowl are here now that the water level is down and the cold has set in. And that brings in (for a few years now) the eagles. The wounded are easy prey and maybe they bring in the expert eagles, but Wednesday I watched eagles (three total) fly repeatedly over the mixed fowl trying to get a start, a chase ... you can see one flying over the group here. These eagles were at quite a distance but I watched them perch and fly, taking turns, swooping very low over the fowl.

When an eagle flies overhead the small ducks 'dive, dive, dive!' ... it's just like watching an old black and white submarine movie.

Just keep paddling!

ducks Currituck Sound
Heads tucked into their wings, and briskly moving on into a head wind. They were aiming for a larger group of mixed waterfowl; I suspect they find warmth and protection in the larger groups.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Baby, it's Cold Outside"

Waterfowl Currituck Sound
You can hear Ella Fitzgerald singing the Frank Loesser classic while looking at this morning scene. Ice is forming along the banks and will continue to form with the sub-freezing temps this week. The swans sang all night, the ruddys are sleeping this morning. Luckily the wind is mild and I can head back out this afternoon to try some more shots. I like just sitting out there and taking it all in, even in the cold outside.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Swan Circle

Swans Currituck Sound
If you spend some time observing these fine birds, you will see them spontaneously, it seems, form small circles where alot of calling and flapping goes on. It's quite a burst of noise and activity. Young males? Family leaders? It starts with one or two stretching out their long necks and calling in a taunting manner and then others join in, it builds to it's highest level with the beating of the wings and then they all settle again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

House Party

Finches Currituck
House Finches gather in a sunny spot protected from the bitter cold wind.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Another Buffy Trio

Bufflehead Currituck Sound
Three buffleheads on a recent sunny day.