Photos From Waterbird Count

Hello all,

If you read Jason’s most recent post, then you know that I filled in for him yesterday so that he could have a well-earned rest.  He already summarized much of what happened, but I thought I would share a few photos that I got from the count yesterday.  You will notice that despite the fact we were conducting a waterbird count, many, if not most, of these photos will be of raptors and songbirds.  There is a good reason for that.  Most of the waterbirds that we count are probably a mile or more off of shore, which means they are well out of camera range.  The raptors are often times flying directly overhead, which makes them much easier to photograph.

Red-tailed Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Red-tailed Hawk – sometimes the birds watch you too!
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Young Red-tailed Hawk
White-winged Scoters
White-winged Scoters – notice the heat distortion in the background.
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breated Mergansers
Distant Northern Pintail – look closely and you can see the “pin” tail.
Pied-billed Grebe
Somewhat unusual for the location , a Pied-billed Grebe.
Common Merganser
Common Merganser – swimming just offshore.
Northern Harrier
One of a few Northern Harriers that flew to the Upper Peninsula on Sunday.
Belted Kingfisher
This Belted Kingfisher flew down the beach. Two others flew directly across to the Upper Peninsula.
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

And for fun, here is a video of a female Red-breasted Merganser being chased by four males.  Notice the funny head movements of the males.  This is courtship behavior.

After the count was over, Jason and I headed up to the Hawk Watch for a few minutes, where we found this rather cooperative Savannah Sparrow.

Savannah Sparrow
First Savannah Sparrow of the year.

Jason and I then made a trip to nearby Dingman Marsh to look for Ring-necked Ducks.  There were many there and we also found this Singing Pine Warbler.

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