My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lots of Wings Over Water for the Encore

Friday, December 4, 2015

This area traditionally has had a fall festival called Wings Over Water.  It took place in early November. However I think it had some conflicts with another local event, so was moved back into October, but also added  another weekend of field trips, called WOW Encore, this past weekend.  The trips took place on three of our refuges  Volunteers get to go on trips for free, as long as they haven't filled. I got to go on one last Friday - at Pea Island, at exactly where I've been birding and working.  But I found more places to look for birds and we are also getting new arrivals every day. My leader, a local volunteer, told me some other places to look for different species.  So lots was new to me and  I was happy.  Here are a few birds  I managed to capture with my sickly camera.

I stopped at the photo blind on the way.  Most of my pictures were worthless, due to having to shoot through the grasses.  (I'm working on getting that fixed.) But I loved my first of fall view of green-wing teal flying in over the sleeping tundra swans. And the blog header picture is of a few of the fifty avocets that were sleeping and then just waking up with a quick flight that ended where it began.

Green wing teal over tundra swans

I stopped back at the blind on Saturday and caught these in early sunlight

We saw about 60 dunlin, but most too far away to photograph

There were several at the blind Saturday

I loved this because I was able to capture so many species. Gulls are greater black-backed

We probably saw 60 American white pelicans

And probably even more Canada geese, the local trash birds

More bufflehead showed up - almost close enough for a picture

Two of the gobs of gadwall we saw - think the female has the sweetest bird face

Seven hundred or more snow geese flew in  - a first of season view for most of us

This western willet was on the beach

And didn't let the sea foam stop him from capturing a morsel

I capture one black-bellied plover also on land close to our trail

We saw several pie-billed greens

And seventeen greater yellow-legs - this one is hanging out on land. You can really see that
 the bill is about 1.5 X the head depth in this picture. Lesser yellow-legs have bills that are about the same - a 1:1 ratio with the head. Good to know if you can't ascertain the size. 

We saw two flocks of black scoters, totaling 100 birds, a few northern gannet at HUGE distances and a couple of royal terns, also far out over the Atlantic, which is just across the road from North Pond at Pea Island NWR. We also had a few pintails, and maybe 3000 redheads.

In the afternoon it was back to work at the Gateway Visitor Center n Manteo.