Happy New Year to All!

Welcome back, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s!  Although the holidays were busy, I still had a few opportunities to get some great shots of the visiting waterfowl to our osprey nest area.  Because of the continuing unusual warm temperatures we’re experiencing this season, the migrating waterfowl are taking their time moving south down the East Coast, thereby making sightings and quantities for us so far less than normal.  But don’t worry, when the cold arrives…..they will come!

Blake, our visiting Great Blue Heron now for 18 weeks, continues to delight us with his excursions along our berm searching for some of those scrumptious fish.  I took time the morning of Christmas Eve to capture some photos of him before he took flight.

We have mallards by the hundred, they continue to arrive most every afternoon to bask in the warm sun rays, pruning their feathers while they wait for their feeding by a loyal neighbor.

The males are also in constant competition for the females and chase each other when one attempts to take another’s mate.

One recent afternoon the mallards were at the berm as usual, waiting for their feeding in the water, on the rocks, and along the berm…..

when along came a bald eagle crossing in the sky, his eyes on them….

He didn’t make any moves to attack them, he just cruised on past me and them.

I quickly took a shot of the mallards to see how they responded, since I didn’t hear them take flight as I’ve seen them do before.  Here’s the shot.  Once they sighted the eagle, the mallards quickly left the berm and got in to a tight circle in the water.  There’s always more safety in numbers they’ve learned!

The Canadian geese are appearing in larger numbers for overnight stays along CBEC’s and Kent Islands shores.  When the sky begins to lighten each morning, the quietness turns into the distant sound of their honking as they awaken and begin to chatter with each other, eventually making their way to open waters to take flight for the day’s hunt for food.

I posted a couple weeks ago the arrival of a few buffleheads, but hadn’t seen them since until three days ago when another group arrived and have been feeding each morning close to our osprey nest.  Today they were closer and I got my best shots to share.  At least the females (mostly black with white spot alongside their eye) tried to feed, the males (mostly white with a white head) were more interested in trying to get a female’s attention by flying over to them and chasing them or the competition.  Buffleheads are no larger than 13 1/2″, making them the smallest duck in North America, and migrate to us from Canada.  Chunky, cute, and energetic, they are a favorite.

In the last two weeks, we had more awesome sunrises…..

and sunsets.

There’s nothing so splendid than a sunrise or sunset blazing across the sky!

My daily drive to and from work along farmlands is an enjoyment with frequent sightings of local and migrating birds.  The past two weeks I’ve spotted snow geese and finally stopped to photograph them from my car as hundreds and hundreds were landing on a field alongside the highway.

Now that the New Year has arrived, it brings the excited anticipation of the return of our osprey parents, Oliver & Olivia, in March!  I received a funny photo from a devoted osprey-lover in the Tampa Bay, Florida area where they are fortunate that most of their osprey do not migrate.  This osprey was enjoying a recent perch this past week on the local 2012 ball-drop that was erected for their New Year’s Eve festivities.  Hopefully, he wasn’t there when that ball dropped at midnight! LOL

 

I miss our osprey and can’t wait for their return!  🙂

Until my next post, enjoy the migrations occurring everywhere!

8 thoughts on “Happy New Year to All!

  1. Happy New Year to You too Donna! I feel like I am back at Osprey Cove when I see your wonderful pictures! Wishing you and your family the very best in 2012! Love & Hugs, Shirley

  2. Hello Donna:

    Many thanks for keeping us so entertained with your marvelous nature photos this past year. We eagerly look forward to more “Donna Posts” in 2012. Happy New Year.

  3. Donna, these are so wonderful! John and I had never seen Buffleheads or Coots until we bought our place in Oyster Cove. And we’d never seen Buffleheads in flight like this. Your pictures are marvelous. I would love to have a print of one of those shots where their reflections on the water are so interesting.

    John and I were down there during that sunset and I took some amazing photos myself. It was almost hard not to get a great shot.

    Have you seen any Coots? We were sorry not to see any. Maybe too warm?
    Keep snapping!

    Mary

    PS I finally figured out where you are in OC by your heart covered Xmas tree! Loved that too 🙂

    • Thanks Mary for your sweet comments. Haven’t seen any coots here at OC yet either but I did at Blackwater Refuge New Year’s day. So they are close by! I’ll have to check over CBEC, see if they’ve seen any in Marshy Creek. They are also cuties, with their red eyes and dark charcoal coats. And what fantastic divers, it’s fun trying to figure out where they will pop back up, sometimes at really great distances! Yea, the warm winter is keeping a lot of our ‘normal’ migrating visitors further north, they don’t as yet have the need to come our way south. LOL it’s a toss up, get cold weather (BRRRRR!!!!) to see more birds or enjoy the mild temps and no snow to deal with! 😉

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