Canada Geese In Flight Over Colorful Reflections

Cambridge Creek is becoming a frequent haven for a small flock of Canada Geese.  They come in for a landing here and there, swim around the creek and marinas for a while, nibbling on pilings, then take back off.

Keeping an eye on one of their visits for a certain reason (explained later), I could see their forming of an anticipated take-off as they always do, down the creek.  Their honking filled the air.  The final clue it’s about to happen.

And, sure enough, they took off.

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Canada Geese taking off on Cambridge Creek

 

See those colorful building reflections beyond them?  That’s what I was also eyeing.

Up, geese, up out of the water!

And they all made it.

 

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Canada Geese in flight over Cambridge Creek building reflections

 

It’s nice when the hopes of a photo op comes together.  😊

 

 

Series: Take A Moment and Enjoy a Sunset

Well, I’ve fallen behind on sharing my dramatic sunsets with you.  Tsk Tsk.

If you have a moment, let’s sit back and enjoy five sunsets together from the past couple weeks.  I bet you will find at least one you will love.

Tonight’s sunset was a clear sky, no clouds, no wind.  Just a glow.  Nothing dramatic or stunning, but it did offer a beautiful, peaceful calmness.

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Sunset over Cambridge Creek – December 11, 2018

 

When there are clouds and they are just right, sunsets can burst into a magical work of art.

Sometimes one night’s sunset has numerous phases of beauty that beg to be seen as in this next sunset.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Same Sunset over Cambridge Creek – November 25, 2018 @ 6 & 9 minute intervals

 

 

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Sunset over Cambridge Creek – November 26, 2018

 

 

Same Sunset over Cambridge Creek – December 7, 2018 @ 30 minutes apart

 

 

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Sunset over Cambridge Creek – December 3, 2018

 

I hope you found at least one you loved and it’s beauty filled your heart with love, hope and peace.

 

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

— Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

Snow at Blackwater NWR

Yesterday’s Winter Storm Diego that plummeted the southeast was forecast to miss us entirely but took a bit further north path and caught us for a dusting of our first snow of the season, receiving about two inches.

This morning I had just enough time to do one loop on the wildlife drive through Blackwater NWR to enjoy the results of the snow’s beauty.

Blackwater NWR

 

Birds were definitely out and about foraging through the snow and icy waters.

 

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Great Blue Heron

 

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Great Blue Heron

 

 

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Northern Shoveler (male)

 

Northern Shovelers

 

I noticed something darting across a snowy field and was surprised with two Killdeer.

Killdeer

 

The increasing winter Bald Eagle population is already noticeable.  I saw many flying high in the sky, too far to photograph.  But I luckily captured photos of two juveniles flying low enough.

Note the slight difference in coloring with these two  juvenile Bald Eagles, both are approx. 2-years old

 

Becoming the usual more times than not at this time of year, there were a pair of Bald Eagles perched on the refuge’s Osprey cam platform.

I noticed one of Eagles was drenched and was lucky to capture a “shaking off”.  Click on the first photo to watch the action in a slideshow.

Bald Eagles

 

And to top off my visit, another awaited migrant, the Tundra Swans, were in abundance.  Some were rafting out on the waters, but most were foraging in a large marshy field.

 

 

 

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Tundra Swans

 

It was great to see the new migratory arrivals for our winter season.

 

 

Autumn Turtles at Blackwater NWR

I came across the last of my turtle photos taken during two visits at Blackwater NWR from the end of October to the first week of November.

With our delay in Autumn, temperatures were still high enough, allowing the turtles to delay winter hibernation and continue to do what they do best……basking.

 

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Eastern Painted Turtles

 

Our temperatures haven’t surpassed 50°F degrees much the past several weeks, so the turtles are now hibernating.  They bury themselves in mud up to three feet deep, in water no more than seven feet deep.

 

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Eastern Painted Turtle

 

For the first time in all the years I’ve been going to Blackwater NWR, I spotted a new-to-me turtle species, a pair of Red-bellied Cooters.  They are the largest recorded basking turtle in the Chesapeake Bay region.

 

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Red-bellied Cooters

 

Red-bellied Cooters are extremely shy and easily scared, so they are rare to sight up close.  I felt lucky to see this pair on both visits on the same log perch.

 

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Red-bellied Cooters

 

Both Eastern Painted Turtles and Red-bellied Cooters can live up to 40-50 years.

 

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Eastern Painted Turtle

 

 

Canada Geese and Great Blue Heron Reflections

My last post featured a single Snow Goose that had arrived, mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese.

The Snow Goose rested on a mud flat the entire time I was there, but many of the Canada Geese were in the water, providing ample reflections.

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Canada Geese reflections

 

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Canada Geese reflections

 

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Canada Geese reflections

 

To my surprise as I started to leave, a Great Blue Heron, who had been hiding in the tall grasses at the shoreline, began to head out to the geese.

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Great Blue Heron slowly strutting into the scene

 

He finally settled into the middle to ensure he was included in the photo session.  The Great Blue Heron couldn’t have settled more perfect for his reflection profile.

 

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Great Blue Heron reflection

 

I left after that last photo and was back to my errands, feeling pretty good as you always do, stumbling upon wildlife when you least expect it.

And it’s a “plus” when you have your camera equipment with you….just in case.   🙂

 

 

Just One Snow Goose

While running an errand, I sighted a lone Snow Goose flying and land with a flock of Canada Geese on Papermill Pond off the Tred Avon River.  Hmmmm…..

I got the errand out of the way and returned to find the Snow Goose and Canada Geese had settled in for some preening and rest.

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Snow Goose and Canada Geese

 

It’s a bit early for us to start seeing Snow Geese around the Chesapeake Bay area; but when you start seeing the ‘firsts’, that usually means the rest aren’t too far behind.

 

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Snow Goose and Canada Geese

 

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Snow Goose “Yoga Stretch”

 

I am definitely looking forward to their winter visit and noise.

 

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Snow Geese Take-Off  –  December 13, 2017
Once you experience this, you will never forget the noise you heard!

 

 

Female Bufflehead

I’ve recently had the pleasure of watching a visiting female Bufflehead from my balcony in the marina below.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy; but I lucked out that she came closer towards me.

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Female Bufflehead

 

She was quite busy, diving and feeding on aquatic invertebrates.  (click on first image to start slideshow)

 

You can see how she spreads her tail and uses it to propel herself into the dive.  Buffleheads are the smallest diving duck in North America.

(click on first image to start slideshow)

 

With her little blue beak, the female Bufflehead is an adorable beauty.

 

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Female Bufflehead wing stretch

 

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“Ahhhhh, that felt good!”

I was fortunate on obtaining many interesting captures with her reflections and water wakes.

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Female Bufflehead

 

It is always a delight to have surprise visitors.  I’ve seen her twice since, so I’m hoping I see her again on a day when the sun is shining.