Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's So Cold Down Here, We Were Even Graced with a Visit from Tundra Swans!

Well, it is certainly unusual to hear me complaining about the cold, but it has been downright chilly here the past couple of days.  I actually had to wear my coat while heading out to see what birds were down at Ft. Fisher.  You can see here a group of four Horned Grebes.  With the new lens, I can get some pretty good closeups even in terrible light and pretty far away!  There were about eight of these diving near the boat ramp.

You can see his bright red eye here!

I liked this pose of the two birds looking over at me.

The sun had already set pretty much when I took this picture of the Oystercatcher where you can see his bright red beak.  Another birder locally posted some awesome pictures she took of a flock of all sorts of birds down at the rocks at Ft. Fisher.

On my way to the path at Ft. Fisher, this young buck crossed the road in front of me.  I very often see deer and an occasional fox on my way back home.

I can't believe that the Yellow Rumped Warblers are still hanging out and in large numbers with the Savannah Sparrows.

I spotted this Red Throated Loon offshore very late in the afternoon.  Too bad they don't have their pretty colors and markings in the winter.

I finally also saw a very small flock of Black Scoters off the coast.  You could not see these without binoculars and I wasn't sure what they were until I got home.  I almost always see these down by the rocks.  The male is on the left and the female on the right.

Last but not least, as I was taking the above two pictures, I spotted these two very large birds.  At first I thought they were Mute Swans as we have so many of those up in Rochester.  However, they have black bills and on the one in back you can see a small yellow dot as well which identifies them as Tundra Swans.  My birding friend Bruce told me that they usually stay a bit further north both on the Outer Banks and at a lake about two hours north of here but there is one flock south of Charleston.  So maybe they brought all this cold air from the Arctic along with their friends the Snowy Owls which have been spotted so far south this year.

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