Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dune Road Day Trip

     My friend, Jeffrey and I headed out to Dune Road in Suffolk County today to see the good sights. Last year was a bummer, it was windy, cold, we saw barely any birds, and my car needed a tow because who knew- Honda Civics were not made to drive down sandy roads. So we had a far better day with some much appreciated tips from friends that got us some good sights. Lots of pictures, will just get to them:
Walking the beach to circle back to my car had us shuffle quickly past this harbor seal, as to not disturb him. Then when we got a longer distance away grabbed some photos of him as he made sure to get the best angle to the sun.
This is a young harbor seal, we saw another one who was quite a bit larger than this one.
Banana Position.
I make the same face after I eat a delicious huge meal...
On the water, the seal could see a good show of scoters- like this white-winged scoter.
Here you can see the white on the wing that is just enough to all this bird a white-winged scoter.
On a small wetland trail we had a good showing of black-capped chickadees, our only woodpecker (downy), and yellow-rumped warblers.
Also on the trail, at least two Northern Harriers.
Dune Road is a bit like safari, you drive and look. Near this heron we saw-- well, nearly stepped on, our one and only American Bittern. To be honest it spooked us just as much as we spooked him- so well camouflaged we didn't see it hiding in the reeds in front of us.
A nice surprise of a glaucous gull on the beach off Dolphin Lane.
 




We met up with a coworker's brother. He was super cool to show us the harlequin ducks he takes (really great) photos of. They were, for me the best part of the day-- life bird for myself.

The male leads this pair.
They were very hard to photo. These little ducks ride the surf like pros, diving into on-coming waves, sailing over the tops of others, with their little feet paddling like crazy behind them-- but above water maintain their cool.
 


A nice look at the male harlequin duck.
What half my pictures look like...
 

Little duck taking on the ocean.
Another good portion of my photos look like this...
A nice look at the female harlequin duck.
A comedic looking surf scoter- we got all 3 species of scoter today - black, white-winged, and surf.
And a gorgeous male long-tailed duck before heading home.