|Buffleheads - female and male|
Wednesday evening as I returned to the cabin, I found a pair of buffleheads on the old snowmaking pond at Roundtop. These small, diving ducks are common in winter on the bigger lakes and rivers in my area, but finding them on a small snowmaking pond is not. Once, last fall, I had a single male bird on one of the ponds, but this marked the first time I’d ever seen a female of the species here.
No more than an hour before I saw the birds, my area had a brief, intense, rain/snow/sleet/hail event (take your pick). I suspect these birds were migrating north when the storm hit, and the poor weather forced them down out of the sky.
I raced back to the cabin, grabbed the camera’s not-very-long lens and drove back to the pond to try for a photo. The photos aren’t the best as, compounding the lens issue, the buffleheads kept swimming to the opposite side of the pond to put some distance between us. That said, a car still makes a good blind from which to photograph birds or animals. If I hadn’t been in a car, the birds likely would have flown the moment I appeared at the bottom of the lane.
I took a few photos and then left the birds alone. They were gone this morning, as I suspected they would be. The weather had cleared, and they are likely on their way north again.