First Day out of the New Year

American Black duck in the golden light

I had stated in my last blog, that New Year’s day I was going to go to the beach ramble. However, I ended up developing a cold and ended up staying at home until Thursday morning. Doug and I spent the morning surveying, birding and photographing the waterways around Fall River, Berkeley, Dighton, and Somerset. It was a bright sunny day with the temperatures hovering around freezing. There was intermittently a brisk wind, and despite protecting my hands with gloves, a number of my fingers would getting numb. That did not stop me from photographing.

Gadwall with its feathers ruffled from the wind
Hooded Mergansers
Canada goose, looking back at you with water dripping from its beak

We started off on the Quequechan River Trail in Fall River, where there was numerous waterfowl, including, Canada Geese, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, Gadwalls. Also, there was the usual assortment of gulls and one American Coot.

Our next stop was the causeway on Wilson Street where we struck out on waterfowl and Eagles. Then we traveled to Berkeley to the confluence of the Assonet and Taunton River’s, where we again struck out.

Traveling over the Berkeley-Dighton bridge. We swung down and followed the Taunton River from Dighton into Somerset. We had much better luck on this stretch. Besides the Gulls, Canada Geese, Mallards in the river, we also found Red-breasted Mergansers, Buffleheads, and CommonGoldeneyes. On the Somerset side of the river near Pierce’s beach mixed in with the Common Goldeneyes was a Barrow’s Goldeneye. Although I have observed the Barrow’s Goldeneye in the past, this was the first instance that I had of attaining a picture.

Drake Barrow’s Goldeneye swimming with a flock of Common Goldeneyes in the Taunton River, Dighton, Massachusetts. You can compare the difference in the two species of goldeneyes
Common goldeneye making a splash landing

Later in the afternoon, the kids and I went back to the Cumberland fields in Halifax and photographed the short-eared owls flying over the field and diving down trying to capture prey.

Short-eared owl, diving into the grass looking for prey
Short-eared owl flying over the field
Short-eared Owl – Asio flammeus flying in the late afternoon against the setting sun during the golden hour at Cumberlands field

It was an enjoyable day finally to get out for the first time this new year. Right now, at home, it is snowing, and the forecast for Saturday is for heavier snow. Well, we will see what we can photograph and enjoy the weather.