Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tufted Duck in Maryland
True to his word Andrew arrived via his wife at the house at 6:am to begin our journey to Kent Island in Maryland. I decided to go up the Eastern Shore of Virginia although the difference between going that way and via I64 was not great. Once I entered the location in the gps, Amy (my gps voice) told me the ETA was 11:15am. I knew that she always overestimates how long it takes to drive, so I made a quick calculation of my own and figured it would be more likely a bit after 10am, which is about when we did arrive. Upon arrival there were three people looking through scopes so I hoped it was the duck they were viewing. Sure enough it was although the angle we all had was directly into the sun. In fact with the ducks in frantic diving mode, it was difficult to tell whether they were the Tufted Duck or just scaup. So Andrew and I hiked around to the south side to get a better angle. That was a good move, because the light was soooo much better. I got a few pics, one of which shows the field mark which gives the bird its name. Following the celebratory high fives, we adjourned to...you guessed it...a coffee and bakery shop where I had a great blueberry turnover and a fine cup of bold coffee. On our way back south, we decided to go to Chincoteague NWR to see if anything was around. Once there we drove the beach road and saw some shorebirds including Dunlin, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Willets, Marbled Godwits, and several hundred ducks which were mostly Northern Shovelers. At 3:00pm we took a spin around the wildlife drive, but didn't find anything very exciting. So we headed home. A brief stop on the CBBT yielded little except a balled-up Horned Grebe which gave us a bit of excitement for a time. After I dropped Andrew off at his house, I headed home to fix supper to be ready when Joyce came home from her graduate class she teaches on Thursday. After supper, I plan to fall asleep "watching" some of the NCAA basketball tonight. Wonder how long I'll last? Year list is now at 428.