Winter Woods Birds

carmel terrace downy
Even the Sudbury River near Carmel Terrace was frozen on Saturday! We did manage to get some pretty active Downy woodpecker action in the woods on the steep river bank, though.

carmel terrace downy 2
Not quite sure why he's going into the black hole. (Black hole! Pretty funny, huh?)

carmel terrace downy flying
You don't see them like this everyday! He's flying straight up from one branch to another!

carmel terrace downy 3
He is peeking at something through the branches. I love the black and white eye ring - it gives him such a sweet looking expression.

carmel terrace nuthatch
Tom managed to capture this White-breasted Nuthatch. He also snapped a shot of a Red-breasted Nuthatch, but it was too blurry to post. I never even saw the guy!


Last duck show for the year?

pintail grist mill II
Yesterday all my favorite sites were frozen over and barren of bird life. I hope the rain brings everything back to normal. but just in case here's another look at last weeks duck species bonanza. This is the perfect Northern Pintail.

male female hoodies
Male and Female Hooded Mergansers - don't you love 'em?

wigeon 3
Male American Wigeon in first winter plumage.

grist mill mallards
Mallard mates.

common hooded merganser
Last weekend's winter wonderland of ducks and geese; now a frozen wasteland.


Pintails, Wigeons, and Mergansers

male pintail female merganser
Two of my favorite ducks together in one shot. The elegant and gorgeous Northern Pintail, and the always adorable female Hooded Merganser.

pintail grist mill sudbury
I saw my first Pintail this year, but the pictures I took then were deplorable. But isn't he a stunning fellow in this shot?

female hooded merganser
How can anyone not love a hoodie? Female Hooded Mergansers always make me smile. They are amusing and adorable, and I can't help thinking of the 'I Love Lucy' show whenever I see one.

I saw my first wigeon about a month ago, and I'm thrilled to finally get a few half decent shots of this species. An adult male and an adult female are in ront, a first winter male in the back.

The green crescent sported by male wigeons remind me of a tonsured monk for some reason.


A brand new bird species in Massachusetts!

possible canada goose hybrid
I thought, at first, that I had finally caught sight of one of the rare geese in the area. This bird wasn't in any of my field guides, though, so I knew it was either a strangely mutated Canada Goose (which seemed unlikely considering the shape and size of the bill, which looked like a whole different species of goose), or a Canada Goose hybrid. It turns out to be a hybrid of a Canada Goose and some other goose.

white headed canada goose 3
The pictures are horrible, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say it looks very much like the head of a Snow Goose attached to a Canada Goose's body. A little bit disturbing, actually! I found out that geese do hybridize quite a bit, and I even found a picture of one like this one: Bill Schmoker's possible Canada x Snow Goose

whiteheaded canada goose
Jim Berry, from the massbird email list, said that "the size of this goose (same as the Canadas) implies that it's a hybrid with a white domestic goose". He could very well be right.

whiteheaded canada goose 2
The black bill and small head has me thinking Snow Goose X Canada Goose hybrid still, but you know me - I always go straight for the exotic if at all possible!