[va-bird] Waiting for the ducks, Suffolk

Well, we have had FLOTILLAS of cormorants here for about a month now...from 
40-150 at a time...we have not seen these numbers in our backyard lake before.  
They seemed to be working together to herd the fish into the shallow sections 
and then feasting.

For the past week we have (finally!) had some winter ducks...1 pair of mallards 
and 4 pairs of hooded mergansers, feeding voraciously and exhibiting some 
courtship behaviors.  We still await our usual: ring-necked ducks, pied-billed 
grebes, wood ducks, gadwalls, and coots.  Usually the coots are the first to 
arrive, so we are left wondering and waiting.

We have 4 Great blue herons vying for territory and 2 kingfishers who get upset 
 very time we go out the back door.  Last week we had a very vocal osprey 
hanging around for a few days.

AT the feeders, the woodpeckers all look spectacular (well, the pileateds don't 
come to the feeders but they come close).  Besides the usual titmice, Carolina 
chickadees, Carolina wrens, mockingbird, juncos, etc, we have one secretive 
Red-winged blackbird and one pine warbler (he eats suet and sunflower chips).

Elisabeth Wilkins
Suffolk, VA
(Southeastern Virginia; 1 hr due west of Va Beach)
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