A few of these guys will stick around as long as there is open water.
Very little open water left on the Potomac River as the arctic air has settled in hard in northern Virginia. But this little strip of water had three common mergansers on it, two females and a male. Here is one of the females shaking off her wings after a session of preening.
The bluebird is always pictured with scenes from Spring and Summer, but they are remarkably tolerant of cold. It was below freezing out when I took this photo in northern Virginia.
I have come to believe that it is impossible to photograph a brown creeper that does not look blurry. Between the bird being a very twitchy sort to start with and the odd nature of the back and wing feathers they just never look sharp.
It has been darn cold around here lately, and this Carolina wren shows it with all its feathers puffed out and huddling near a tree trunk.
One of the New Years birds we saw on a walk today along the Potomac River at River Bend in Virginia. Brisk but nice out.
Every winter a few snowy owls come down out of the north and find places to settle in for the winter in the eastern US. One of the most famous sites to see this magnificent bird is Dulles Airport near Washington, DC, but it is not the only place.
This year a snowy owl has taken up residence near the towns of Bridgewater and Mt. Crawford in Virginia. And unlike at Dulles where the owl can be extremely far away, the Mt. Crawford owl can be seen relatively close without disturbing it.
It is known to roost in several places, mostly centered on the 7-11 and McDonald's at exit 240 off interstate I-81. We found it sitting on a giant light post in the Walmart terminal complex on December 22, 2017. Pretty good viewing but note that public access stops at the Walmart property so please do not trespass if you try and go to see the owl (and no parking on the public access road so you may have to walk a bit. I estimate we were no more than 200 yards from the bird and it gave us a very nice look as it was awake and just looking around while we were there (late afternoon).
Yes, I will get back to the bat coins, but I took this photo today over at Greenfield, a little park and lake just north of Roanoke, VA and kinda liked it. Hope you do to.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist