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.



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

Note the slight difference in coloring with these twoΒ  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”.Β  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.Β  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.



60 thoughts on “Snow at Blackwater NWR

  1. Pretty to see snow in that area. You can enjoy it because it won’t stay so long maybe. You have more on the ground than we have here at the moment, but our mountains now have over 30 inches.

    • I do love snow, just hate the melt mess it creates each time. No it won’t last here, most is already melted except what the sunshine couldn’t reach yesterday. 30″? Wow, I love your snowy photo landscapes of all that snow. πŸ™‚

  2. First snow is always a beautiful time to behold when you can, and your photos give some great examples. I love your Tundra Swans. Your Northern Shovelers look a lot like our Australasian Shoveler. The change in plumage pattern in juvenile eagles usually assists in working out the age of the bird. They change their plumage yearly as it can take five years to reach maturity and a juvenile Bald can be mistaken for a Golden Eagle. Our Eagles show a similar process allowing me to work out the age of the bird, particularly with our White-bellied Sea Eagle.

    • Thank you Ashley! I love the beauty of falling snow and how it blankets everything. I’d have been happy with a few more inches. πŸ™‚ I noticed the similarities with our NShoveler and you AShoveler. On the young Eagles I posted, I calculate them both to be 2-yr juveniles, based on their coloring patterns. Oh, I would so love to see a Golden Eagle, I keep looking for one!

  3. Such a pretty scene -Thanks for taking the drive and sharing it with us! I especially loved the colorful Northern Shovelers as I never see them in our area.

    • You know, Susan, I’ve never seen NShovelers around the Kent Narrows area, not even at CBEC. I’m guessing it’s not marshy enough as BlackwaterNWR and BHookNWR, both that get this duck every winter. Count last week at Blackwater on NShovelers were over a 100. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Jane! I enjoy watching the falling of snow, it is so pretty. I had to move my car over to let someone pass by and saw the gumballs (monkey balls) hanging and took a couple quick shots. I wish I had more time to spend on the scenery with simple shots like that, but the birds and my clock were both beckoning! πŸ˜‰

  4. The snow is always more beautiful in some one else’s images than my own, and yours are no exception! I loved seeing the variety of birds that you chose to include in they post as well, especially the tundra swans, as they were few and far between around here this fall.

    • Thank you Jerry! I like seeing others’ snow scenes also, including yours. I was glad I went, I was hoping the birds would be out and about to grab some of their profiles with snow included, since we don’t get too much too often. Snow is a nice touch to a bird scene! 😊

    • Thank you, SUE!!!!! And, most times, yes, ducks manage well on ice with those little toenails they have….but when it’s a wet ice, I’ve watched ducks and geese slip-slide and fall many times. I can’t help but laugh, and I know they probably don’t hurt themselves. They usually rise back back up, and continue on as gingerly as they can until the next slip. 😊

  5. Great captures Donna! We didn’t get snow, it got too cold but this morning there was a 2 hour delay for almost everyone…due to frozen roads in many areas. Then at 3 pm it was 53ΒΊ F! and sunny. Who knows what’s going to be tomorrow! The Blackwater NWR looks beautiful with snow and sunny sky! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you HJ! You would love BlackwaterNWR. πŸ™‚ Yes, the melted snow is now freezing here with black ice. We had school delays this morning also. By this weekend, we will reach 50ΒΊ F but that will come with rain. Darn it.

  6. Isn’t it amazing how well the birds deal with a range of weather, Donna? They don’t get to add or take off layers like we do, but brave the entire spectrum with what they wear on their backs.

  7. What fun to catch these migrates after a dusting of snow. We so very rarely get snow on the coast, so it can be a treat for a rare occasion… as long as I don’t have to shovel it!!!

    • We’re on the ‘border’ of ours not migrating until the extreme cold (Jan/Feb), when the waters ice up too much around us. I loved I captured the Killdeer in the snow! Pretty neat-o! πŸ˜‰

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