Winged Delights!

This past week we continued to enjoy a variety of interesting birds from our backyard balcony, some returning and some new for me!  Our temperatures have been in the 20’s-30’s with a few snow dustings.  For those new or unfamiliar with my backyard, here’s a photo.

My "Backyard"

My “Backyard” from my balcony at sunrise

I’ll begin with my new birds.  They were each a curious “what’s that?” sighting, followed by photo-taking, and then reviewing on the computer to identify.  It always feels cool to photograph a new bird for your list!  🙂

The male and female Gadwell were a treat!  They were mixed in with several male and female mallards at the base of the osprey nest platform.

Gadwell - Male and Female

Gadwell – Male and Female

Another day and another new visitor!  I surely didn’t do her justice with such a terrible photo!

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye – Female

The next shot is a hawk that I don’t know if it’s identifiable, he literally flew right in front and past me while I was watching something else.

Hawk TBD

Hawk (to be announced!)

Although the Dark-eyed Juncos have been around, I finally got a clear-enough shot to confirm his identity.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Our regulars still continue to delight!

Bufflehead - Male

Male Bufflehead

Bufflehead - diving to feed

Male Bufflehead – diving to feed

Female Bufflehead

Female Bufflehead

Female Buffleheads

Female Buffleheads

Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Cormorant - diving to feed

Double-crested Cormorant – diving to feed

Cormorant - drying off

Another Double-crested Cormorant – drying off

Foreground - Duclair MallardBackground - Male & Female Mallard

Foreground – Duclair Mallard (also called White-Bibbed Mallard)
Background – Male & Female Mallard

We were fortunate to have a small flock of Canada Geese stop and rest along the berm at our osprey nest platform, joining a group of Mallards.  Everyone was quiet and peaceful, until one Mallard seemed to be too interested in another’s mate and Mallard fighting ensued right in the middle of the geese.

Fighting Male Mallards amongst Canada Geese

Fighting Male Mallards amongst Canada Geese

xx

He’s outta here!

This male Mallard presumes he is the winner!

This male Mallard presumes he is the winner!

Still struttin' his feathers!

Still struttin’ his feathers!

It quieted back down after the skirmish.  I enjoyed watching the Canada Geese as they preened and stretched their wings, they usually stay at a distance in the water.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Canada Geese and Mallards

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Have I been spotted??

Have I been spotted??

Large numbers of Canvasbacks raft up in Marshy Creek daily in the mornings and evenings.

Canvasbacks

Long raft of Canvasbacks

Canvasbacks taking flight

Canvasbacks comin’ in for a landing!

Even the Belted Kingfisher continues to visit.  I captured him down on Lipincott’s Channel Marker 3 in Marshy Creek.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

I had mentioned before that the eagles in the area were very active now.  This eagle prepared to attack a raft of ducks but wasn’t successful.  He continued to fly around and eventually caught a fish.

American Bald Eagle attacking raft of ducks

American Bald Eagle attacking raft of ducks

The male Eagle took the fish to the ice where his partner was waiting and handed it over to her.  So sweet!  All was happy.

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles

But then along came the other two pairs of Eagles I mentioned; and as the male took flight to scare them off, one of the intruding Eagles attacked the female Eagle on the ice, trying to snatch the fish.

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles

The mate to the intruder came in to help while the lone female Eagle on the ice fought to keep her fish.  Her partner was still in the air chasing the other pair.

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles

Somehow she was successful, and the intruders flew over to the close-by osprey nest platform in Marshy Creek and perched for a brief time, before eventually leaving the area.

American Bald Eagles on osprey nest platform in Marshy Creek at CBEC

American Bald Eagles on osprey nest platform in Marshy Creek at CBEC

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles

Finally, how can I not end my post without sharing more captures of our regular, the Great Blue Heron?!!  I have SO many photos of him but the GBH is so photogenic.  I love it when I happen to see him coming and can get a decent shot of him in flight showing his massive wings.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – coming in for a landing!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – another arrival

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – struttin’ his stuff!

Great Blue Heron - all fluffed up!

Great Blue Heron – you can tell this day was cold!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – wearing an overcoat of feathers

Finally, a couple scenes of our sunrises over Marshy Creek.  Sometimes they are nice…..

Sunrise over icy Marshy Creek

Sunrise over icy Marshy Creek

And sometimes they are brilliant!

Sunrise over Marshy Creek

Sunrise over Marshy Creek

I’ll post this last shot that was a spur-of-the-moment and I liked it.  I snapped this over our community’s fence overlooking Lipincott Marina’s sailboat yard at sunrise another day.

Sailboats at Sunrise

Sailboat masts at sunrise

I hope the migratory birds continue to hang around a little while longer for our enjoyment but very soon they will be on their way north.  Which means in turn, the Osprey are feeling the migration tug to head back north to our area from their tropical winter grounds.  So although we will be losing some beautiful feathered-friends, we will soon be sighting our missed ones for another season of delight of the wings!

As always, thank you for the visit, I appreciate it and you!  🙂

22 thoughts on “Winged Delights!

  1. Excellent photos of a large variety of birds! One thing that I like about following other people’s blogs is seeing the regional variations in the colors of birds. Even the Canada goose in one photo has a lighter stripe under its wing, I’ve never seen that before.

  2. Great photos once again! I believe that the hawk you captured is a Cooper Hawk based on the spots on its breast.

  3. Wonderful variety and lots of action. One thing is for sure – do not mess with the mallards! It has always amazed me how birds keep warm in such cold; seeing the fluffed out feathers up close was a treat! Thanks for beautiful birds and brilliant sun rises. hugs

    • Thank you Beth! The birds all fluffed up for warmth is cute/pretty, just doesn’t seem enough does it? I’m all bundled up and still cold trying to snap their portrait, lol!

    • I am always fascinated by what we see so close to us. The park out in front of me is a ‘common grounds’ for our community with a walking path that follows around our whole community peninsula. It is a lovely walk along the water in the early morning and late evenings. Great exercise with a view!

  4. Great series of photos. I especially liked the cormorant with outstretched wings. I also really liked the heron on the shoreline with his neck all tucked in.

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