These are some redheads bathing and splashing against the sunset at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, TX. I took this particular photo through my spotting scope. The redheads were not at the best sun angle, but with the splashing, I thought it was an arty shot.
It was a huge flock of birds. At first glance I would have guessed 1500, but in the scope, the redheads just kept going. We estimated that there were close to 4000 redheads were in this raft. I half wondered if any of these birds had been counted on our aerial waterfowl surveys on the Upper Mississippi River.
Suddenly, the flock of redheads took off.
Something must have spooked them. There are warning signs about alligators around the boardwalk, so my guess is that an alligator went for a duck.
One of the benefits of being one for 4000 is that you are less likely to be the one nailed by a gator.
Once the flock what in the air, you could really get a sense of the size and agree that yeah, there must be close to 4000 birds there.
I couldn't help but notice other species mixed in with the flock and making mental notes. In the above photo there are a couple of scaup mixed in--can you pick them out? I still crack up that even though I was on vacation from my waterfowl surveys, I'm still attracted to ducks in large numbers.