Saturday, March 16, 2019

On The Water with Migrating Waterfowl

With winter loosening its grip and a warm day in store for Thursday, I invited my wife for a daytrip to check out some likely spots to find migrating waterfowl.  My goal was to find migratory waterfowl in a setting where I could photograph them from my boat, something I haven't been able to do seriously since the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission drained our nearby Meadow Grounds Lake.  When we stopped at a state park containing a nice sized lake I knew we had hit paydirt.  Various flocks of waterfowl were scattered about in the open water while half or more of the lake remained ice covered.  Also of interest were at least four bald eagles soaring about causing eruptions of ducks and geese whenever they approached a flock too closely.

The sight of hundreds of waterfowl certainly had my interest so upon returning home I hauled the boat from winter storage, checked it over, and prepped it for a trip to the lake on Friday morning.

Friday morning was exceptionally warm, windy, and spitting rain.  Not to be deterred I arrived at the lake at dawn.  I was surprised to find that nearly all of the ice that had covered the lake the day before had now melted and while the waterfowl wasn't out in the open windy areas vast flocks were taking advantage of the sheltered coves.  The following are some of the better photos I was able to capture during my morning outing.  

Common Merganser


American Coot

Ring-necked Ducks

Wood Ducks 

Bald Eagle with Ring-necked Ducks along the reeds


Canada Goose

Hooded Merganser

Greater Scaup

Tundra Swans

American Wigeon

In addition to the species pictured here I also had sightings of the following; Mallard, Horned Grebe,  and a lone Common Loon.  All in all it was a fabulous morning on the water, something that I want to repeat soon!


Ruth Hiebert said...

WOW! Lovely shots.

Woody Meristem said...

Haven't seen a gadwall in several years, thanks for reminding me they still pass through Pennsylvania.