Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter Birding?

     This past Monday, marked the winter solstice, with the shortest day of the year. I took today off for a day to bake, relax, and get together some last minute things for Christmas. I birded in between chores, and despite the incredible fog, managed to get in some good views, and at times very beautiful views as well.
     Although it is officially winter, I woke up at 2am, battling a mosquito, buzzing irritably in my ear, burying myself in my blankets to avoid bites that I still received. I was sweating in a light jacket this morning with temps in the upper 50's, reaching into the 60's today. Tomorrow we are looking to hit 70! This weather is insane, while I love it, it also irks me. By midday a sweatshirt sufficed to go outside in...

A lovely treat to have this female American Wigeon so close to shore to photograph.
The male is super flashy, but the female is such a natural beauty, with the different shades of brown, mottled together, and a little periwinkle blue bill to remind you that she is a wigeon.
I love capturing the red eyes of the American Coot.These birds are very common in winter, but very beautiful and easy to overlook if you don't take a closer look at their little features.

I was able to spot all 4 woodpecker species in my walk today: This Hairy woodpecker, a downy woodpecker, 2 yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and a red-bellied woodpecker.
This Hairy was busy chiseling away at this branch, insects were probably active in the warm temperatures.
A touch of autumn in December.
Foggy lake scenes with Canada Geese.

Flowers still blooming, when this time last year we already have had snowfall.
I paid a visit to a bird who now seems like a washed up celebirdy (see what I did there?). I found him myself, with only myself observing as he fed. Perhaps he was appreciative of some privacy?
I was appreciative of the quiet myself too.

Definitely a little ray of brightness on such a grey, wet day.

Got some shopping done at Caesar's Bay... thought I'd find purple sandpipers, but only found Brant on the rocks.
I did have fun photographing the ring-billed gulls though.
Endless gulls!