A Great Day Birding On Cambridge Creek
When the Bald Eagle landed on our community’s Osprey nest platform a few days ago (post here), it was just the beginning of a surprising great day of birding on Cambridge Creek right from my balcony. It was mostly a cloudy day, but I lucked out with some peeks of sun here and there.
Eleven species total! I don’t think I’ve seen this many species on just one day here on the creek. With lots of mingling, sleeping, preening, diving, and following each other around, it was a delight to just watch the action. Eventually, each specie (except the Ring-billed Gull) ventured close for some nice shots to share. I twiddled my images down to no more than a couple close-ups for each specie and a few ‘crowd mingling’ extras.
We’ve been recently hosting about 10-20 Lesser Scaup on the creek daily. That morning after the Bald Eagle departed, we had two flocks totaling over 100 Lesser Scaup fly in joining our daily group. Two shots here showing most of them.
Lesser Scaup on Cambridge Creek
Lesser Scaup (4 males, 1 female) Lesser Scaup (male & female)
I noticed two different ducks mixed in with the flocks. One was a male Canvasback. He was very skittish with the surroundings and stayed close to the Lesser Scaup most of the time.
Canvasback (male) Canvasback & Lesser Scaup (both males)
The other was this lovely surprise, a male Long-tailed Duck. He seemed shy to the others but tried a few times to be included in the group, following along.
Long-tailed Duck (male)
I was pretty excited with the Long-tailed Duck. I had only captured them once prior in flight, so he was a awesome treat.
All this duck ruckus got the curiosity of our creek’s winter water residents who ventured to the party to hang out as well.
Ruddy Duck (male) Ruddy Ducks
Mallard (male) Herring Gull
The Common Goldeneye wanted to be left alone and kept trying to get away from the crowds.
Common Goldeneye (male)
Even Cassie, the injured Canvasback, showed up. But she, too, kept away and to herself. I was hoping the male Canvasback would take notice of Cassie, but I never saw them two mingled. Oh wait…come to think of it, both of them did disappear a little later. Hmmmm….. 😉
“Cassie” Canvasback (female)
A flock of seven Canada Geese appeared to be making an effort to fly into the creek but aborted, I’m guessing because it was too crowded and no open space. They continued on to find another location to land.
As mentioned, there was a lot of mingling. Everyone got along, and we all know there is safety in numbers!
As is usually the case with flocks, when a few get the itch to leave, the rest will follow. Most of the ducks were gone by the afternoon.
Lesser Scaup taking flight
Lesser Scaup heading down the creek
Only a couple dozen Lesser Scaup and seven Ruddy Ducks remained late that day, as well as our other winter residents who went back into hiding within the marina piers and bulkheads.
It was quiet the next few days, basically back to normal. And then during the last several days of rain, sleet, and wind, a large number of Lesser Scaup have returned, to take refuge from the weather. Hopefully they will stick around for a while, even if just to watch them.