Sunday, January 31, 2010
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
Friday, January 29, 2010
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
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
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
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.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
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
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
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.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
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.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
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
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.