Watching Buffleheads is a great way to get into winter birding!
This waterfowl is a relatively small bird and can be found in groups from six to 16. The male is easily identified at a distance by his penguin-like black and white color pattern. But, a closer look at the head in proper light, and you will see shades of purple and green with a large white patch at the back. Females and juvenile males are grey with a black head and a small white patch just behind the eye.
Buffleheads dive to feed on aquatic invertebrates. They can be found in fresh, brackish, and salt water. To photograph these birds, it is best to use a 200mm lens or higher. Point and shoot cameras with 12X zoom or stronger will also produce very good images. Be patient not to run up on them suddenly and spook them. Croaker Landing at York River State Park is a great place to see Buffleheads. But, don't forget the river access and Fossil Beach as well. With a bit of stealth, they can be found swimming along Taskinas Creek at the canoe & kayak dock.
Directions to York River State Park: From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.