Lesser Scaup on Cambridge Creek

Another small group of ducks spending their daily life near me on Cambridge Creek are Lesser Scaup.

For a few weeks, it was just a single male Lesser Scaup swimming & diving, checking out the creek, marinas, and other inhabitants.

Here he is with his beautiful blue bill marked with a skinny black tip on the end.

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Lesser Scaup (male)

 

Last week, he was joined by six more Lesser Scaup, two females and four males.

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Lesser Scaup

 

As of today, all seven are still here.  Photo ops have been awesome.

 

 

The best part is they love diving and feeding right off the boat pier below my balcony.  Lucky me!

This three-photo series is of three Lesser Scaup diving.  In the first photo bottom left, you can see the first duck already submerged.  Then just as quickly number two and three were gone.  They are quick!

Lesser Scaup diving

 

Some more of my favorite shots to date….

 

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Lesser Scaup (female)

 

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Lesser Scaup (male & female)

 

It has been a delightful treat getting to watch all the winter visitors up close and personal while they live here temporarily on populated Cambridge Creek.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe and Buffleheads

Two more wintering birds spending their daily life on Cambridge Creek and close to my balcony is a Pied-bald Grebe and two female Buffleheads.  Both of these tiny birds dive for food.

The Pied-billed Grebe has been very shy and stays mostly hidden under the marina piers.  It has been here on the creek since before Christmas.

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Pied-billed Grebe

 

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Pied-billed Grebe

 

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Pied-billed Grebe – “Silhouette Abstract”

 

I previously posted late last November that a female Bufflehead had been delighting me with its presence, and I shared several diving shots.

We now have two female Buffleheads that hang around, diving for food and resting.

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Buffleheads (females)

 

They are a bit skittish and stick close together.  It sure is nice to have a friend!

 

 

An Eye of Gold

In my last post I shared some shots of the winter ducks that have arrived at Cambridge’s Choptank River waterfront.  Some of these winter ducks are venturing up Cambridge Creek.  To my delight, some are coming up close enough to my balcony for me to watch and get some nice close-ups.

Because I’ve never had such an opportunity to photograph this duck, the first one I’m sharing is a male Common Goldeneye who has been hanging around the creek and below my balcony since the end of December.  I can’t get enough of him.

Some of my favorite shots so far of this beautiful duck….

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

When the sun hits just right, the Common Goldeneye’s head casts an iridescent green coloring.

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

This fella was always providing some pretty water circles and wakes, enticing me to take a lot of photos.

 

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

The male’s crisp black and white contrasting feathers on his back is quite striking.

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

 

An eye of gold…..

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Common Goldeneye (male)

 

There hasn’t been any sighting on the creek of a female Common Goldeneye, but this male has been friendly and hanging with some other visiting ducks.

 

 

Winter Ducks Are Here

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  Ours was awesome up until our daughter had a medical emergency the wee hours of New Year’s Eve Day, followed by surgery, that was prolonged with slight complications.  She is now home resting well, and I am now back home too catching up.

A quick post to get me back on my blogging track, I took some time before the end of December to capture of some of the winter ducks that have arrived on schedule along Cambridge’s Choptank River waterfront near Great Marsh Point.

It’s always a good photo-op day when there’s an awesome mix of ducks!  This photo captured the five species there that day.

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There are five duck species here!  Can you find each one?
(Mallard, American Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, and Lesser Scaup)

 

A few close-ups…..

American Wigeon

 

Lesser Scaup

 

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Lesser Scaup (male)

 

Another local place for me to visit often to see who shows up!

 

 

Merry Christmas!

In downtown historical Cambridge, it has become tradition each year to erect a 20-foot tall Christmas tree to celebrate Dorchester County’s waterman culture.

This is not just an ordinary Christmas tree.

This Christmas tree is made from approximately 200 crab baskets that were used the past summer by local seafood companies, and is adorned with repurposed buoys, red ribbons, and lights.

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Cambridge Crab Basket Christmas Tree – December 2018

 

I wanted to take a night photo to also share, but with too much going on, I put it off and have run out of time, so I’ll opt for a photo courtesy Dorchester County Office of Tourism, just to show you how pretty it is at night.

 

(photo courtesy of Dorchester County Office of Tourism)

Once the holiday season is over, the tree will be disassembled and the baskets will go back in storage for next summer’s use when they’ll be brimming with Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Eastern Shore Maryland-style!

 

Wildlife In Passing

Just in passing, here are some recent wildlife photo ops in my errand travels.

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White-throated Sparrow

 

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Bald Eagle shot luckily through a fairly clean windshield

 

 

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Red-tailed Hawk

 

Bald Eagle on an Osprey nest platform (near Old Salty’s Restaurant on Hoopers Island where we were headed for dinner)

 

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Blue Jay

 

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White-tailed Deer (doe)

 

It is fun capturing nature, even on the run!

 

 

Series: Take a Moment and Enjoy a Sunset

During the holiday rush, have you had any time to stop and enjoy any of your sunsets?  I’m guilty myself.  So tonight I did take a pause, to watch a mostly cloudy sky unexpectedly transpire into a beautiful sunset.

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Sunset over Cambridge Creek – December 23, 2018

 

“When the sun is setting, leave whatever you are doing and watch it.”
  — Mehmet Murat Ildan