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Posts tagged ‘Bufflehead Ducks’

The Bufflehead Ducks That Visited Last Winter

Bufflehead Ducks were here almost all Winter.  As far as I know, these small diving ducks have left for their Northern home waters.   I enjoyed seeing them while they were here.  I took these pictures in February and March, 2011, from my yard and from other spots here on the lake.  The Bufflehead Ducks dive for their food.  They are expert swimmers under the water.  They eat aquatic insects, and aquatic plants.  The male or drake Bufflehead Duck is white with very dark green, and black accents.  The bill is dark and quite short.  The female or hen is a dark brown that almost appears black with white accents.  The Bufflehead Ducks were migratory Winter visitors here in Cumberland County, TN.  I liked having them here as they were beautiful but shy visitors.  I’ll look forward to seeing them again late in November or early in December.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!  I am going to be taking another week-long blog break so I will be right back here with more new pictures and information a week from tomorrow!  See ya then!   :  )

Flying Ducks

Mallard Ducks

Our weather has been breezy and cool on the lake shore.  I have not been seeing much wildlife at all in the last couple of days.  I am going to show a few unpublished pictures that I took way back in the early Spring here on the lake this year.

I like to try to take pictures of ducks in flight whenever I happen to be able to do so.  Ducks are quite quick!  I try to track the duck with the camera and snap as many pictures as I can.  The easiest time to get good pictures is when the duck is close to shore and is either taking off, or is slowing to land.  The hardest times to get the pictures are those when the ducks are just flying low and as fast as possible.  It does not help either, that many ducks are quite wary of people.  No wonder some  photographers will sit in camouflaged duck blinds in order to take photographs of ducks and other waterfowl.  I took the picture of the female or hen Bufflehead Duck as I was standing on a dock at the marina taking pictures of the American White Pelicans the other day.  So without further comment, here are the newest pictures of ducks in flight here on the lake.

Drake Mallard Duck

Hen Mallard Duck

Hen Mallard Duck

Hen Wood Duc

Ruddy Duck

Drake Wood Duck

Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead Ducks

Bufflehead Ducks have been here on the lake all winter.  The lovely little white and black diving ducks are active in the water.  The amazing thing about the Bufflehead Duck’s diving, is that the ducks can swim under water quite a long distance.  This is both for food-gathering and for protection.  The Bufflehead Ducks hide from predators such as the Bald Eagles by swimming underwater where it is harder for the predator to find the ducks.  The Bufflehead Ducks here are in a small flock at the moment.  Earlier there were likely about thirty or so individual Bufflehead Ducks here on the lake.  The female or hen Bufflehead Duck is dark brown and black with white accents.  The male or drake Bufflehead is the opposite with white being the dominant color and black and a very dark green being the accent colors.  The Bufflehead Ducks are very shy.  I was happy to be able to see these cute little ducks!  The Bufflehead Ducks will soon be on their migratory journey home.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Waterfowl Here This Winter, Part 1

Drake and Hen Ruddy Ducks

The private community lake here in Cumberland County, Tennessee where I live has seen Bufflehead Ducks, Greater Scaup Ducks, Lesser Scaup Ducks,  Mallard Ducks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Red-Head Ducks, Ring-Neck Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, as well as Canada Geese, a Greylag Goose, American Coots, Pied-Billed Grebes, Western Grebes, and  a few Northern Loons visiting this winter.  Our 101 acre private community lake is very quiet during the winter months so the waterfowl are safe here.  There seems to be plenty to eat with lawns, water plants, insects, fish, and small aquatic animals here in the lake and along the shore.  We do not allow hunting within our community so that adds to the security the waterfowl feel.  The lake is a man-made fishing lake with many homes and a hardwood forest ringing the shore.  These ducks are all wonderful and I have been happy to have had the chance to see them!  Part two of this series will be posted here in coming days and will show photographs of different duck species.  I took the pictures of the Bufflehead Ducks yesterday afternoon.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Drake Bufflehead Ducks

Hen Bufflehead Ducks

Drake Ring-Neck Duck

Hen Ring-Neck Duck

A Dandy Group of Different Ducks

Drake Wood Duck

I have been seeing a small number of Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, and Wood Ducks this week just off my dock or in the water just a few doors down.  These all have been just beautiful to see!  The Ruddy Ducks or stiff-tailed ducks, are brown with buff coloring and that stiff up-swept tail feather look.  The Bufflehead male is a stark white with black accents.  The female Bufflehead is the opposite with dark charcoal brown and white.  The Wood Duck male is a kaleidoscope of color with green, brown, beige, yellow, purple, black, white and blue!  The female Wood Duck is brown, and tan with accents of black, blue and white.  These are diving ducks.  The Buffleheads and Ruddy Ducks are migratory visitors here during the winter.  The Wood Ducks are year around residents here.  I recently learned that the Bufflehead Ducks are the smallest of the ducks to visit here in Tennessee!  All of these ducks are extremely shy and dislike being around people.  I took these pictures on several days this past week.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture!  Enjoy!

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks at Rest

Ruddy Duck

Drake Ruddy Duck

Hen Wood Duck

Bufflehead Ducks

Another Duck Extravaganza!

Ring-Necked Ducks with Drake Bufflehead Duck (front)

Yesterday the lake had partially thawed to the point where the various Ducks here were happily paddling and diving quite close to my shoreline.  The Ring-Necked Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, Mallard Ducks, and the Wood Ducks all came by in the early afternoon.  The Bufflehead and Ring Necked Ducks are both diving ducks.  They paddled right up to the icy areas and then dove under the ice coming up just at the shoreline.  There must have been some tasty fish, small aquatic animals or favorite aquatic plants in that area as the Ducks just went under the water over and over.

After a bit, I saw a great commotion where the big group of Ducks all flew off.  The mystery was solved when I noticed the Bald Eagle flying across the lake. The Ducks did not want to be the Eagle’s next meal!  As far as I saw, none of the Ducks were harmed.  After a bit, many of the group of Ring-Necked Ducks and Mallards returned to the shoreline near my dock.  I noticed that a pair of the Mallards came up into my yard to graze on bird seed/squirrel chow on the ground.  It was getting darker so I decided to quit taking pictures and let the Ducks eat in peace.  For about an hour yesterday, there were just little clusters of 10-15 Ducks in several places near my dock.  I took these pictures from my windows and my deck on 1-21-11.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Pair of Bufflehead Ducks

Hen Ring-Necked Duck

Drake Ring-Necked Duck

Drake Wood Duck and Hen Mallard Duck

Drake Buffleheads and Drake Ring-Necked Ducks

A Pair of Mallard Ducks

Recent Duck Sightings

Two Hen Mallards and a Drake Mallard

Ring Neck Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, Wood Ducks, American Widgeon Ducks, Red-Head Ducks  and Mallard Ducks plus a few Lesser Scaup Ducks have all been here on the lake in the past two weeks.  Our 101 acre private community lake here in Cumberland County, TN, is a stop-over for migratory Ducks as well as a year around home for the Mallard Ducks, Wood Ducks and various Geese.  The lake is currently frozen over with just a very small couple of spots of open water.  I took these pictures on 1-12-11 and 1-13-11 from my window and deck when there was considerably more open water areas on the lake.    I enjoy watching all of the ducks in their daily paddles, flight, and rest.  It is very interesting to me.  I am fortunate to have a shoreline vista of all of the action.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Drake (male) Ring Neck Duck

Drake Red Head Duck and Ring Neck Ducks with one hen Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead Ducks

Drake Ring Neck Duck

The Ever-So-Shy Bufflehead Ducks

Bufflehead Ducks are here on the lake in small numbers now.  The Bufflehead Ducks are migrant visitors from way up North, that usually arrive in December and leave in late February.  They are extremely shy and wary of humans.  Usually the Buffleheads are paddling way out on the middle of the lake or are to be found in the more remote and quiet coves here near vacant lot shoreline areas.  Recently, the Bufflehead Ducks paddled by my own dock area, in a rare close-by visit.  I was thrilled!  I always have a tough time getting pictures of the Bufflehead Ducks.  Usually it is hard to take pictures of these ducks because they are so far from shore.

It is also hard to get good pictures of the ducks because of the start white coloring that contrasts so vividly with the reflected blue in the lake.  I try hard and this year, I think that my pictures are improving.  I still have a ways to go, but maybe this is a photographic goal for me this year.  I am excited to see these beautiful ducks whenever they appear.  The male or drake has a black and white body, and a white and black head.  The hen or female Bufflehead Duck has a dark brown and lighter buff colored body with a dark brown and white head.  They are small diving ducks.  They have a habit of diving when threatened.  They eat aquatic plants, small aquatic animals and fish.  The Bufflehead Ducks often are in small flocks.  I have never seen more than about ten Buffleheads here at any time.  It is a joy to see these little beauties!  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Bufflehead Ducks (center) with Mallard Ducks and Lesser Scaup Ducks

Bufflehead Ducks with Lesser Scaup Ducks

A Happy Bunch of Ducks, Part 2 of 2

Lesser Scaup Ducks, Red Head Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Northern Pintail Ducks, and the gorgeous Bufflehead Ducks were all in abundance on the 101 acre private community lake here on December 30, 2010, and December 31, 2010.  I also took pictures of the Red Head Ducks on Jan. 1, 2011.  The Lesser Scaup Ducks were in a large flock with many Mallard Ducks.  There were also a few Canada Geese, Western Grebes, Pied-Billed Grebes and lots of American Coots out on the lake, too.  The Scaups, Red Heads and Buffleheads are diving ducks and all seemed a bit smaller than the Mallards.  The Ducks looked like they were in prime condition with brilliant feather colors.  I so enjoyed seeing the huge numbers here!  The Bufflehead Duck males are mostly white with black accents.  The Bufflehead females, or hens,  are dark brown with white accents, and look like almost an opposite of the male or drake.  The Northern Pintail Duck has that upright stiff tail that is fairly long.  The Mallard male has a green head, grey and buff body with charcoal accents.  The female Mallard is mostly a medium tan with streaks of dark brown and white.  The Lesser Scaup Ducks, Pintail Ducks, Red Heads and Buffleheads are migrant visitors.  So are the Coots.  We do have the Mallards here year around as we also have Wood Ducks off and on for most of the year.  All are lovely!  By the way, no hunting is allowed on or around the lake here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Happy Bunch of Ducks, Part 1 of 2

Pair of Bufflehead Ducks and Female Lesser Scaup Duck (top)

The Lesser Scaup Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, and Mallard Ducks were all happily paddling in mass along the shoreline near my dock.  Our 101 acre private community lake where I live had been frozen for the past week and just thawed out during the evening of 12/30/10.  I took these pictures yesterday from my living room window, my back deck and from a window in my basement.  I have never seen so many ducks in the same place at the same time here.  There must have been about two hundred ducks in all.  We also had the American Coots and the Canada Geese here.  This is the first of two posts with these pictures of the Ducks.  I’ll post the other here soon.

I will keep this post short and very sweet.  Happy New Year to all!  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture!

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