Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Birds Again, On a Tuesday, Yet!

I'm on an email mailing list where people send their bird sightings, and at the end of every day a "newsletter" is sent out with all the sightings. Yesterday someone spotted some Common Mergansers on Green End Pond (also called North Pond) on the Newport-Middletown border behind Easton's Beach. I didn't see any Commons, but I did see quite a few Hooded Mergansers there. No luck on photos, though; Hoodies are notoriously people-shy, and although I managed to get some shots, they were too blurry to use, either because they were too far away or because the birds were moving away from me fast.

There were also lots of Ruddy Ducks on the pond, and I did manage to get some shots that looked okay. The photo below captures Ruddies doing what they do best: sleeping and swimming at the same time. They seem to have no problems bopping right along with their bills tucked firmly under their wings!

From there I headed off for the library where a CD I'd put in a request for from another library in the system had come in. On the way I took the Cliff Walk for a short stretch, and I noticed some ducks feeding on a bunch of Irish Moss seaweed floating by some offshore rocks. There were some American Black ducks as well as some female Common Eiders, as well as this immature male Common Eider.

While I was concentrating on the juvenile Eider, this odd-looking black something-or-other swam up, and when it got close enough I saw that it was a Black Scoter, a bird who usually hangs out in large rafts of birds way out offshore. The other ducks seemed to object to his presence; several looked like they were trying to drive him off, but he held his ground and they eventually backed off and everybody went back to pigging out on all that nutritious seaweed.

© 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. I think water birds are the only ones I can successfully photograph because they stay relatively still. Although lorikeets are usually so busy feeding that if they're lower in the branches, they're pretty subject. Don't your ducks fly south for the winter?

  2. Baino, these ducks live farther north, usually in the waters around Labrador, Newfoundland, and Greenland.We're the "south" they migrate to for the Winter, odd as that might sound!