Friday, January 11, 2013

Sunrise at Hopkinton State Park

The sky was a deep red this morning.  I noticed it as soon as my son left for school and immediately raced to dress, grab my camera and get to the park as quickly as possible.  It was not where I had planned to go this morning, but spectacular sunrises require spontaneity!

Not only was the sky beautiful, but there were a couple interesting water birds as well!

Common Loon (juvenile) - my first sighting in Massachusetts!

Greater Scaup (female) - Life Bird!

The second interesting duck was swimming on the far side of the reservoir, so I patiently waited while she swam closer (but not nearly close enough!).  Per Alan M. of The Forbush Bird Club, this female Greater Scaup is transitioning from her non-breeding to breeding plumage.  The white smudge behind her eye will soon be gone.  Scaups were nicknamed "bluebills" by hunters.  The blue of the bill is more pronounced in the drakes (males).  Thanks to Alan for help in identifying both of these birds!

[Click on any photo to see an enlargement.]

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