They were across the small lake, the wind was causing my eyes to water, the ducks were dipping under water and I was a bit rusty (as always) on my duck IDs.
Thus, in a moment of haste, I spied what I thought was a small flock of hooded mergansers at the Celery Farm.
But what about the white body of the male? Was this something new? A fellow birder had an identification book, and it said nothing about male hoodies with white bodies.
I thought I should call the marsh warden, and went inside to do so.
By the time he arrived, the mystery was solved. The other birder had better looks at the ducks and determined they were buffleheads.
Which made me the not-so-rare species known as the red-faced baffle-head. Ouch.
Perhaps to console me, the marsh warden said he had never seen six buffleheads before at the Celery Farm at the same time.
As we looked around, we saw a bunch of other great ducks -- shovellers and wood ducks and green-wing teal and gadwalls.
There were also at least a dozen coots, and I an told that a moorhen (I call her Agnes, of course) has been hanging out with the coots.
Although today's rain is better for ducks than duck-watching, have no fear. Tomorrow (Sunday) at the Celery Farm from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., there's a free annual event called "Ducks at Dusk," where you can watch the armada of waterfowl as they paddle around or fly in for the night.
Experts will even help you ID them.
Meet at the Warden's Watch off the Franklin Turnpike. No baffle-heads, please.