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Happy new year! Last updated: 1/6/2008.

Above and below four: Adult male and immature male Harlequin Ducks near the Ocean City Inlet, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/6/2008). Stunning.

Below: A Common Loon enjoys a seafood brunch near Assateague Island, Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below: Red-breasted Mergansers fishing near Assateague Island, Maryland (1/6/2008) - drake and hen, respectively.

Below: A drake Hooded Merganser at Ocean Pines, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below two: Surf Scoters fishing for breakfast near Assateague Island, Maryland (1/6/2008).

We see only part of the lives of our diving birds from the surface. These Surf Scoters propel themselves underwater using their wings as well as their feet. The way a waterbird dives can be a good "field mark," even at a great distance.

Below: This Horned Grebe dives quite differently, using foot propulsion alone.

Below: This Peregrine Falcon was a surprise perched in a tree near the former Eagle's Nest Campground, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below: My friend Matt still gets a little carried away with throwing bread to the ducks... We've lost so many Gadwall...

Kidding, of course. The splash behind this female Gadwall is an American Coot diving for its lunch.

Below: An American Coot feeding in a pond near Ocean City, Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below: A Common Loon feeding in a marina near Ocean City, Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below: Purple Sandpipers foraging near the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (1/6/2008).

Below: An American Crow in Frederick Co., Maryland (1/5/2008).

Below: An adult female Rufous Hummingbird visits a hospitable yard in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (12/30/2007). There remains some contention whether this bird might be a hybrid such as Rufous x Calliope. A real beauty. My thanks to the very hospitable homeowners!

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