Overall the 2009 SCDNR mid-winter waterfowl survey showed an increase in dabbling ducks, diving ducks and geese. The last aerial survey was completed in 2007 and compared to those numbers total waterfowl sighted was up 105 percent, and this banner year also put total numbers of waterfowl 36-percent above the long-term average. S.C. dabbling duck numbers increased, but specifically blue-winged and green-winged teal made a big showing, along with American wigeon. Diving duck numbers fluctuate survey to survey due to weather, but an increased presence of scaup in S.C. helped diver numbers increase 32.5-percent over 2007. Goose numbers were stable in 2009 but an increase in snow geese helped contribute to a 29.6-percent increase from 2007. All numbers are estimates and are subject to the variability of migration.
My photos show a brace of blue-winged teal and a male wood duck, two hunting buddies with a trio of Canada geese, and the last photo is a test. Who can name this species of duck - a rare visitor to our Lowcountry outdoors?