Fort Morgan

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The nonchalant cormorant.

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Looking north toward Mobile Bay from Fort Morgan, Alabama.

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We drove from Gulf Shores out to Fort Morgan because we do love a nice peninsula. Breezy and chilly, but sunny.

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Oil rigs in the bay.

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Shrimp boats too.

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Which way to the beach? More Double-crested Cormorants.

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There is a dog beach at Fort Morgan. Radar was happy about that. He loves the beach. We went on the beach across from our rental too, because it’s off season and nobody was around.

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Nothing like a good stick.

Sometimes it’s hard to get good bird photos when traveling with a dog, especially one shaped like a bit like a wolf. At least he (mostly) doesn’t chase birds. He prefers squirrels and balls.

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Just offshore were 7 or 8 Bufflehead ducks, disappearing now and then under water. This is a male.

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This is a female.

A buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek.

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Bufflehead chase.

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On land at Fort Morgan, an Amy-attracting sign.

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The migrants included my old friends the Killdeer, bobbing, running, calling and flying…

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Killdeer flies off.

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And my other old friends the Yellow-rumped Warblers.

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Show us your butt!

North America’s smallest diving duck

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A tiny, tiny duck.

Bufflehead female on Eel Pond a few days ago.

Bufflehead are North America’s smallest diving duck; they benefit by using old flicker nests that larger ducks such as goldeneyes and mergansers cannot fit into. In winter they occur mainly near the coast (although they can be found in smaller numbers inland). They use shallow, sheltered coves, harbors, estuaries, or beaches, avoiding open coastlines.

Cute little winter ducks

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A pair of Bufflehead spotted from a viewing platform in Awcomin Marsh, Rye this morning.

A buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.