An Energetic Shoveler

Tuesday, January 22, 2019,

This is a series of photos I took of a male Northern Shoveler stretching his wings or maybe just shedding some excess water. Or both, I don’t really know.

What I can tell you is that these are one of the most specialized ducks that visit Long Island. I’m not sure that you can see it in these pics, but Norther Shovelers have a very unique bill that they use as a sieve to filter out seeds and aquatic invertebrates from the water. They usually go around with half of their head submerged as they sweep that extra wide bill from side to side in search of dinner. It really is an amazing adaptation.

JK

Meet the Wigeons

Friday, April 20, 2018,

These are Mr. and Mrs. Wigeon out for a tour of the pond. I was lucky enough to catch them on a fairly windless day so I was able to get some decent reflections. I took these pics at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. As I have no doubt said in other posts, this is a terrific place to view wildlife.

I had been under the impression that these guys would be leaving soon for more northerly climes. When I mentioned this during a recent walk with the Four Harbors Audubon Society, my friend Luci told me that more and more of our ‘winter ducks’, including Gadwalls and Wigeons, have been staying and nesting right here on Long Island.The term ‘winter ducks’ refers to the several species of ducks that fly south to our shores for our comparatively milder winters. I like the idea of having a greater variety of ducks here year round. Maybe I’ll have more opportunities to get shots like these. JK

JK

Male Wigeon

Sunday, April 15, 2018,

Here’s a pair of shots of a male Wigeon. He was cruising the pond that is just south of Setauket Mill Pond. Maybe he was admiring his reflection before coming near the shore for some salad. I also managed to get a few more shots of a mated pair of Wigeons on this same pond. Hopefully, I will get around to posting those shots later this week. JK

JK

Gadwall At Frank Melville Park

Sunday, November 26, 2017,

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These are a pair of shots of a male Gadwall at Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket. Gadwall are one species of many ‘winter ducks’ that come to Long Island to enjoy our balmy weather. While we might think our winters are cold, these birds find the conditions here less harsh than the northern climes where they generally spend the rest of the year. Gadwalls may not be as fancily colored as other ducks but they do have a certain understated beauty about them. Click on the pics for a larger view. They’re really kind of cool looking. JK

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JK