Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Long-tailed Duck and More!

Well, it seems like I've been too busy watching birds to blog about them! It was a busy time for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Chatham County so far has logged 163 species which is quite an accomplishment, thanks to the hard work by many including Stan Gray, Larry Carlile, Dot Bambach, Beth Roth, James Fleullan, Steve Calver, Steve Wagner, Tim Miller, Mary Sweeney-Reeves, Charra Sweeney-Reeves, Russ Wigh, Shannon Fair, Andre Coquerel, John Mark Simmons, and many more.

I planned to have a bit of a rest this morning but got a call from a friend informing me  that he had been seeing a male Long-tailed Duck at the Crab Shack over the past week. So off to the chase. I went to the Shack, found only a black scoter and many rock pigeons, and headed for the beach.
After helping a couple from Buffalo find their life Purple Sandpiper, and admiring them taking baths,
I went to the YMCA for some time on the treadmill.

Purple Sandpiper bathes
After the Y, I did one more check of the Crab Shack. No duck. Then, 4/10 of a mile from my house, I crossed a small bridge over Chimney Creek. Glancing to the left, I spied something white in the water. Expecting a male bufflehead, I was thrilled to find the Long-tailed Duck. A neighbor let me walk out on her dock so I could get photos as the duck was actively feeding in the creek. Nothing like being lucky!

Long-tailed Duck in Chimney Creek, Tybee Island

Long-tailed Duck shows off his tail

Great reflections of a Long-tailed Duck
I saw this handome duck in full breeding plumage in Alaska in the summer of 2012.

Long-tailed Duck - Barrow, Alaska, 2012

Another highlight from the count was watching a Bald Eagle at Grove Point Plantation in Georgetown. It had a nest nearby and was not happy about us being there to count ducks.

Bald Eagle expresses itself.