My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Woodducks Today

female Common Merganser
Common Merganser

I took the day off from work today for an eye appointment that was scheduled and it was such a beautiful day with temperatures reaching around 40°F. Along the Allegheny River, I located a few Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Canada Goose, and Woodducks (CHECK – my first for 2008). I also found a very cooperative Pileated Woodpecker but I will save those pictures (and video) for tomorrow’s post.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose

While driving the extra long way towards my Dr.’s office . . . . I happen to find the female Woodduck along the waters edge (fairly close). Her white eye teardrop was very distinctive and I could see that perfect photo opportunity in my head. Well, I probably spiked my breaks a little harder than needed and the Woodduck pair took off in flight. I just love hearing their kip kip kip sound when taking flight and hearing their call put a big smile on my face. The sound was probably worth more to me than the photo anyways!

Deer and Crows
White-tailed Deer & Crows

Once I returned from my 2 minute eye checkup . . . I did a little grocery shopping and purchased some sunflower seeds from Walmart. I quickly got home and went for an hour hike looking for more birdies. My walk was exceptionally relaxing and quite. But I was starting to think that the White-tailed Deer and American Crows would be the only wildlife that I would see.

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet (underside)

Then I located a chickadee flock and some other smaller birds flittering around. I had not seen any Ruby-crowned Kinglets this year and thought the flash of red I saw could have been a good chance that they were back in the area!! But with a closer inspection of the little birds . . . the kinglet had bold eye strips and yellow mixed in with that red/orange on its head. This high pitched zee-zee-zee . . . . was from a Golden-crowned Kinglet and I have seen them many times already this year (darn). I tried pishing the kinglet in closer and only got a few quick photos before he disappeared into the pines! Overall, it was the best way to waste the day for an eye appointment!!

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Male – Golden-crowned Kinglet (upper side)


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26 responses

  1. I need an eye appointment like that!!!

    6 March 2008 at 8:39 pm

  2. Great photos I look forward to seeing the woodduck. 🙂 I went to a place last summer near here that had a blond woodduck ( I had never heard of them before) Beautiful birds..
    Thanks for sharing

    6 March 2008 at 8:40 pm

  3. Tom

    Wow, the golden crowned kinglet really looks like it has a mohawk!

    6 March 2008 at 9:35 pm

  4. Lisa at Greenbow

    Nice wildlife pictures Mon@rch. Just getting a kinglet in focus is quite the feat. I usually see them from the angle of the first picture. Always looking up at their acrobatics.

    6 March 2008 at 9:48 pm

  5. Great pictures! It is good that you are knocking a lot of the year birds off the list!

    6 March 2008 at 10:23 pm

  6. @ Rondi – LOL was a good one and the reason it took only 2 minutes!
    @ Stacey – thanks and very cool about the blond woodduck! Thanks for your kind words!
    @ Tom – they are cute and wish I had gotten a few better pictures! It was really flashing its Mohawk around!
    @ Lisa- thanks and getting them in focus was rough! They never stopped moving!
    @ J – thanks and was great seeing the woodducks!

    6 March 2008 at 10:23 pm

  7. Grace

    Those Canada Geese know how to keep one foot warm:-)

    6 March 2008 at 11:34 pm

  8. I love the look on the deers face. It cracked me up. The crows and deer picture had to be my favorite, but they were all good.
    ~nita~

    7 March 2008 at 1:49 am

  9. wow! you had a great day. I love your woolly deer how cool are they? and your Canadian geese shot is just amazing. Very cool. I also really love the kinglet how neat is that little guy and what a glorious shot of him! (never seen one!) Brilliant work monarch – once again.

    7 March 2008 at 2:15 am

  10. What great pictures of the golden crowned kinglet–very nice–you don’t see pictures of them very often.
    Sounds like a great day off–I’m glad the weather cooperated.

    7 March 2008 at 4:01 am

  11. I often take the long way to places in hopes of spotting more birds. Next time I have an eye exame I hope I can make a day of it too!

    7 March 2008 at 5:37 am

  12. You always seem to find the birds that are so hard to photograph. I’ve only seen a r-c kinglet once but was lucky enough to get a lousy photograph.

    7 March 2008 at 6:00 am

  13. I’ve never seen a Kinglet (that I know of…lol) and so appreciate your views. Does seem that the universe brings the birds to you Tom, no matter what you are doing at the time! Lucky you!

    7 March 2008 at 6:46 am

  14. A two-minute eye appointment. That’s what you call express. So much to look forward to with all the birds returning and the animals coming back into view. I can’t wait. Gorgeous kinglet! I have never spotted any kind of Kinglet before. I’m hoping they stick around up there for the summer? We plan on making it up to your park several times this summer and fall.

    7 March 2008 at 9:11 am

  15. Love that golden-crowned kinglet photo, tom. We missed the kinglet flocks this year, as they are here in the winters and we were not. We did get to see a few golden-crowned sparrows yesterday. What a delight to see them. Looking forward to your pileated woodpeckers. They’re my favorites!

    7 March 2008 at 11:24 am

  16. @ Grace – they sure do! LOL
    @ Nita – the deer were very cute and I liked that the Crows were hanging out with them! Thanks
    @ aullori – thanks and should be putting there summer coat on soon! Thanks and will be trying for better shots of the kinglet!
    @ Beth – thanks and wasn’t as happy with it as everyone else was! But will keep on trying! Thanks and was!
    @ Vern – you should and I figured . . . I have all day to get there!
    @ Mary – some days I get luckier than others! I am just happy it came down to eye level!
    @ Jayne – bird are everywhere and once you start looking for them they will appear!
    @ Linda – ya but cost me the same co-pay! They are normally way up high in the trees! I know they are in your area . . . if I played you their song you would say . . . “I have heard that before”!
    @ Robin – thanks A golden-crowned sparrow would be a lifer for me! I can see why they are! Thanks!

    7 March 2008 at 12:16 pm

  17. Great post, now bring on the Pileated! 🙂

    Good birding to you!

    7 March 2008 at 3:11 pm

  18. How nice that you had such a nice day for your appointment! I just love your stories, and these pictures are lovely. I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s post! 🙂

    7 March 2008 at 3:32 pm

  19. @ Birdfreak – thanks and it was my next post! Go check it out!
    @ Lisa – thanks and my stories are fun to live! Do check it out – its a good one!

    8 March 2008 at 9:41 am

  20. wow. Great eye exam! I wish my eye exams took me by such nature scenes! I obviously need a new eye doctor -LOL!

    8 March 2008 at 6:03 pm

  21. Very odd stripe for that golden-crowned. Maybe a hybrid?

    8 March 2008 at 6:25 pm

  22. The Kinglet is too cool Tom, great shots 🙂

    8 March 2008 at 11:18 pm

  23. @ Sherry-zoo – That’s the only way I know how to visit the Dr! LOL Just need to be creative on your adventure . . . keep your say dr!
    @ Marty – thanks and very normal for this species! Only the males have the red/orange in the crest! But we don’t normally get to see it . . . well unless your are a bander and push the yellow feathers away! Watch them and you will find them!
    @ Thanks Bernie!

    8 March 2008 at 11:40 pm

  24. Marg

    Where are my Wood Ducks? sniff, sniff

    I love that Kinglet shot-the only way I get them is in the hand!

    9 March 2008 at 6:09 pm

  25. Marg – thanks and they are on their way! You should see them soon!

    9 March 2008 at 8:39 pm

  26. Incredible shots, as always! I’m glad you had the day off so you could share with us. I just love the male Kinglet, so unique. GREAT WORK!

    16 March 2008 at 9:48 am

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