Sunday at the Beach!

First, Happy Heart Day!  Hope everyone has a wonderful day.  To commemorate, here’s a repeat Great Egret photo I took at Chincoteague NWR during my day trip mid-January, now a favorite of mine!  The ‘heart’ that appears at his neck is untouched….

And now onto Sunday at the ‘beach’!  As most of the northeast United States experienced, a frigid mass of cold air dropped in from Canada and some even a pile of snow swept through this past Saturday.  Our area received snow flurries but it melted quickly; however, the winds and cold temps got most of us.  Sunday was a beautiful, partly cloudy day; but if you stepped outside, the temps with the windchill factor were in the teens.  I opted to stay home and do the household thing.  Of course, with an eye out the windows for any visiting feathered-friends.

The north/northwest winds effected our tides, blowing out and away a substantial amount of water.  Usually at low tide, the water depth is low to mid-way at our rock berm, usually no more than 1.5 feet lower than high tide.  At 9:00 a.m., I took a photo of the cove that I refer to often that is to the right of our osprey nest and me, thinking that’s one low tide! The white lines were ice that had formed as the tide receded.

I glanced at our tide clock and it said it had just come off  HIGH tide less than an hour prior.  Whoa, I thought!  The next photo was taken at low tide around 3:30 p.m.

The sun had melted most of the ice by that time.  And so this became Sunday at the beach!  Now back to the morning as the high tide was receding, the gulls were having a hey-day with all the sand to pick at.

The mallards were soon flying in and joining.  Got this nice shot of a male mallard.  Catch them just right and they look as if they are smiling for the camera. 🙂

Okay, I was really trying to clean/do laundry but I took another break few hours later to see what the gulls and mallards were up to and glancing up I saw two eagles soaring over the cove.  Grabbed the camera and took the next shot through my picture window, had no time to make it outside to my balcony!

I thought, darn it, if I had just ‘breaked’ sooner, I might have gotten some nice shots of them.  Flying further away from me, I watched them with binoculars as they headed over to Kent Island.

By now I was more intrigued with outside than inside, as it was obviously more fun!  LOL  I grabbed my coat & headed out onto the balcony to set up my camera & tripod and almost tripped from excitement as a flock of Canadian geese flew directly in front of me, dropping down into our cove.

On the edge of their flock, closer to me, a Great Blue Heron passed on by as well.  Unfortunately, the sun’s position was behind him….  😦

The blue heron then dropped down over the sunlit water.  Most may not like the next shot, but I thought it was kinda neat.  It is untouched except for cropping.

Passing over the Canadian geese that had just landed, he gave them a bit of a fright.

The blue heron continued over to the point and landed to his own private beach.  With the shots not being so great, I can’t confirm it was Blake our blue heron who had been visiting us for 22 weeks, but this one landed right where Blake always did.  So maybe!

As the blue heron fished along the water, the Canadian geese settled with the mallards not to far from him.

Ten minutes later, our dedicated neighbor tossed out feed for all who dared to come get it on the beach.

Immediately, two geese made their way to the feed.  The first one slowly went on the beach while the second ‘looker’ kept his eye out.

The rest held back for a good five minutes before deciding it was safe.  And then it became chow time!

You know the saying about getting ‘goosed’?  A couple fellas were doing just that to the others who were trying to get out of their way, they had me laughing.

Once their bellies were content, the geese spent the rest of the afternoon resting and napping on the beach….

Including those that didn’t take any chances coming in.  It’s hard to see, but the blue heron is still on the beach in the top left corner.

Meanwhile, out just past our osprey nest, a raft of canvasbacks, ruddy ducks, and scaup were feeding along the water’s bottom.

As the sun began to set, the geese swam their way back past me and into Marshy Creek to spend their night.

I started photographing the sun setting and was fully expecting the clouds to light up with colors…..but it fizzled out.  But this shot of the last of the peaking sun still ended a great day of my birdwatching!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed!

24 thoughts on “Sunday at the Beach!

  1. I kind of like the heron flying over the sunlit water because the water looks golden, like it was made of gold leaf. Herons are funny when they fly. It’s like they fold up their neck.

    • Thanks cavepainter for your cool comment of the great blue heron golden shot. GHB’s can really fold that neck up, I’ve seen one standing erect with it’s neck completely folded within & invisible, just a body & head, which made him look so short, LOL. And another standing but his neck twisted and folded, giving me one awesome photo op, to this day it’s one of my favorites.

  2. you explained everything so well that I feel like everything watching through my eyes happening in front of me.These photos are very real and fantastic as every other of your’s.I am a very big admirer of your photography. 🙂

    • Thanks Joleen! You know, I didn’t see the heart until I returned home and ran through them. I just loved his stature & ended up taking 28 shots of him as he slowly moved around, and the shot before and the shot after the ‘heart’ shot didn’t clearly show it. Sometimes you just get lucky! When I sometimes scold myself for taking too many photos of one bird because of the time involved in reviewing/editing all THOSE photos at the end of the day, I remind myself of this one and others that I wouldn’t have captured had I not taken many for that one. 🙂

  3. Holy Cow, great photos and a great story. I love all of the photos, and especially the Great Egret. I know how hard it is to get the right exposure so the whites aren’t blown out. You nailed it, Donna. 🙂

    • Thanks MDphoto! I know mallards are a ‘dime-a-dozen’ for most, but when the sun popped out from the cloud and he ‘lit’ up, I took a few shots. When they’re just right, they do flash a ‘smile’ at you, LOL. 🙂

  4. So nice, Donna! And what a variety – I did like the “black & gold” heron. Thanks for taking time to give us the info along with the photos. Think I could spend some time on your balcony, too! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Beth! I’ve had neighbors comment that because I have the best advantage viewing the nest, I should have an ‘osprey binocular party’ when the nest is active, especially after the baby chicks are born, to watch the adventures they have within the nest before they fledge. I do take a lot of photos, but I also can just sit and watch the osprey or the off-season with my binoculars for hours. Pure enjoyment. You will just have to make an east coast mid-atlantic trip! 😉

    • Thanks Ed! I will admit that blue heron gave me a startle when I glanced his way & saw him coming at me, LOL. And then to camera-regroup & focus-lock on him, I could have easily missed him. Always makes a great day when it all comes together. 🙂

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