Birding By Boat in November


We’ve taken our last boat rides out on the Chesapeake Bay the past couple weeks as our cooler autumn temps arrive.  Too cold to go fast, so let’s go putter around and look for arriving migrating water birds!  🙂

The Common Loons have arrived; those I’m seeing hail from eastern Canada as they filter down the Atlantic Coast.


Common Loons


I was excited to see the Scoters are here too by the hundreds!  There are three species:  Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, and White-winged Scoter (we don’t see many of these).  I saw two but there’s reports all three are here.


Surf Scoters (males)


Black Scoters


And then there’s the cute Ruddy Ducks who always arrive early.


Ruddy Ducks


We boated past a Great Blue Heron who was soaking up the sun’s warmth to beat the chill I was feeling….


Great Blue Heron


And finally, two lone birds, both a little behind on their migration south that I spotted on some riprap rocks.


Least Sandpiper


Ruddy Turnstone

Other waterfowl have begun to arrive as well, including Canada Geese (thousands!), Tundra Swans, Buffleheads, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Ring-necked Ducks, Teals, and Northern Pintails, with more species to come.  It’ll have to be searching by foot to find them now!  🙂



31 thoughts on “Birding By Boat in November

  1. Cool sightings! How exciting to see 2 of 3 of the surf scooters. I’ve only seen one. I read a report yesterday that one Surf Scooter was up in the Reno Area, and the Buffleheads are starting to arrive down here where I live. Winter migration is here! 😀

  2. You have never ending changes in the bird scenery up there, Donna! The sandpiper looks like he could slip right off that rock. The ruddy ducks are so adorable. And that’s a very nice shot of the loon.

    • I have not seen my first Snow Goose yet this fall but reports of single ones are being seen in large flocks of Canada Geese around me. The Tundra Swans are also showing up here and there (I saw three from a distance). It’s only a matter of time!

  3. Fall has definitely fell!
    We even had a cool couple of mornings last week. The migrants are arriving and it’s fun being outside.

    Great series of photographs!

  4. So jealous you get so many Scoters, we only get a few here in there – not really supposed to be here, but one or two of each variety seem to show up every year here – stay for a few days and then never seen again.

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