Northern Pintail at Blackwater NWR.

I went to Blackwater this morning in hopes of finding some ducks, and got lucky.  Pintails and Shovelers were there in modest numbers, along with a few Sparrows, Geese and Flickers.

The weather couldn’t have been better. Several Eagles and Cormorants cooperated as well.

There will be many more ducks later, but today was a good harbinger.

Dock 8

The Key Wallace dock at 7:00 AM.

Bald Eagle 2017-180 Bald Eagle 2017-179

Bald Eagle 2017-181

This Bald Eagle allowed me to get very close.

Northern Flicker 2017-8

Northern Flicker 2017-9

Northern Flickers are migrating.

Great Egret 2017-147

I saw 3-4 Great Egrets.

Northern Pintail 2017-38

Northern Pintail 2017-37

All the Northern Pintails and Shovelers appeared to be first year birds.


Forster's Tern 2017-131

This Forster’s Tern was hovering right in front of me.

Wild Turkey at Sandy Point State Park.

I managed to drop my camera and break a few things, so both lens and camera spent a couple of weeks in the shop, but I’m back in business now.

I’ve been hanging out locally with my 70-300mm Nikkor, and I found a few close enough for decent shot. Yesterday I got to Bombay Hook, which was unusually slow.

It’s good to have my tools at hand again.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-106

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-107

An unusual pose for a Double Crested Cormorant.

Northern Pintail 2017-37

First Northern Pintail of the season.

Savannah Sparrow 2017-7

Savannah Sparrows are still easy to find.

Ruddy Duck 2017-7

First Ruddy Duck of the season.

Mallard 2017-39

Very cool Mallards.

Least Sandpiper 2017-11

There were hundreds of Least Sandpipers.

Yellow Rumped Warbler 2017-6

I found this Yellow Rumped Warbler (FOS) at Wooton’s Landing.

Eastern Phoebe 2017-1

This Eastern Phoebe was also at Wooton.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet 2017-1

A Ruby Crowned Kinglet from Wooton.

Mallard 2017-35

Mallard 2017-36 Mallard 2017-37 Mallard 2017-34

Mallard 2017-33

Truxtun Park always has a few Mallards.

Canada Goose 2017-52 Canada Goose 2017-53 Canada Goose 2017-51

Canada Goose 2017-50

Many Canada Geese spend time at Truxtun Park.

Green Winged Teal 2017-23 Green Winged Teal 2017-22 Green Winged Teal 2017-21 Green Winged Teal 2017-20

Green Winged Teal 2017-24

Green Winged Teal were very numerous.

Wild Turkey 2017-2

Wild Turkey 2017-3

Several Wild Turkeys were foraging by the side of the road.


Black Squirrel 3

I often see this Black Squirrel, but he doesn’t pose most of the time.

Squirrel 9

Squirrel 8

You can’t go wrong with a baby Squirrel.

Squirrel 11

This Squirrel hangs out at my front door.

Praying Mantis at Quiet Waters..

I went to Lake Artemesia this weekend,  and my big lens crapped out, so it’s in the shop for a few days. I’ve been running around looking at bugs and nearby birds, but not finding a whole lot.

I should be back in action in a few days.

Northern Parula 2017-1

I haven’t seen many Northern Parulas this year.

Wood Duck 2017-94

Wood Duck 2017-93

I found a few Wood Ducks at Lake Artemesia.

Red Bellied Woodpecker 2017-4

This Red Bellied Woodpecker was at Sandy Point.

Caspian Tern 2017-54

This Caspian Tern was resting at Sandy Point.

Praying Mantis 53 Praying Mantis 52

Praying Mantis 54

This Praying Mantis is making a meal of an insect leg.

Praying Mantis 55 Praying Mantis 51 Linda 3

Linda 2

Linda and I were admiring this Praying Mantis, and she agreed to pose with him.

Red Admiral 7

Partridge Bug 8

Today’s bugs.

Black Squirrel 2

I needed a little more shutter speed to capture this Black Squirrel.


Pectoral Sandpiper at Bombay Hook NWR.

Bombay Hook has been very, very good to me, so I made the trek again to see if I could get lucky.

It had to be a record day for Harriers. I saw at least six, one of whom posed nicely. A lifer Sandpiper, many ducks and egrets and a Fox by the side of the road made for a good day in near perfect weather.

Green Winged Teal 2017-19

I’m still not seeing any male Green Winged Teals.

Northern Harrier 2017-16 Northern Harrier 2017-15 Northern Harrier 2017-14 Northern Harrier 2017-13

Northern Harrier 2017-17

I saw at least 6 Northern Harriers today.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-39

Many Greater Yellowlegs were feeding in the shallows.

Northern Shoveler 2017-41

Northern Shoveler 2017-42

Northern Shovelers are the most common duck at the moment.

Great Egret 2017-144

Great Egret 2017-145

There were dozens of Egrets, but most were quite distant.

Savannah Sparrow 2017-6

Savannah Sparrows are almost common .

American Avocet 2017-9

These American Avocets didn’t stay long.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-104

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-105

This Double Crested Cormorant seemed to be sleeping.

Pectoral Sandpiper 2017-1

This Pectoral Sandpiper is a life bird for me.

Fox 85

This Fox paid no attention to me at all.

American White Pelicans at Blackwater NWR.

I got out yesterday and found nothing worthwhile.  Migration is slowing and the ducks aren’t here yet.

I tried Blackwater this morning, and it was slow, but worthwhile. Lots of Eagles, a few Egrets and Herons and  plenty of Terns still hanging out. Perfect weather.

Great Egret 2017-142

This Great Egret was working very hard for breakfast.

Bald Eagle 2017-176 - Copy Bald Eagle 2017-175 Bald Eagle 2017-174 Bald Eagle 2017-173

Bald Eagle 2017-172

Bald Eagles were active and visible.

Great Blue Heron 2017-96

Great Blue Heron 2017-97 - Copy

I drove very close to this Great Blue Heron and photographed it through the window.

Chickadee 2017-14

Two Chickadees were playing in the grass and ignored my presence.

Savannah Sparrow 2017-5

I often see Savannah Sparrows on Wildlife Drive, but it’s hard to get close enough for an image.

Caspian Tern 2017-53

This Caspian Tern was on Key Wallace Drive.

American White Pelican 2017-14

These American White Pelicans were too far away, but worth a try.

American Avocet at Bombay Hook NWR.

I headed for Sandy Point  early this morning, but as soon as I was on the road I could tell it was going to be a tepid sky, so I just kept going over the bridge to Bombay Hook.

It turned out OK. Bombay Hook can be very busy, with many species on some days, but today was not quite as prolific Still, the Avocets were a nice find, and some other migrants put on a good show. I expect things to pick up there very soon.

Forster's Tern 2017-128 Forster's Tern 2017-127 Forster's Tern 2017-126

Forster's Tern 2017-129

My love affair with Forster’s Terns continues.

Savannah Sparrow 2017-4

Yet another Savannah Sparrow.

Common Yellowthroat 2017-12

This Common Yellowthroat seemed unusually yellow.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-103

I would have thought the marsh was too shallow for a Double Crested Cormorant to go fishing.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-36

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-37

These Greater Yellowlegs were disputing the right to a fishing spot.

Green Winged Teal 2017-18

This Green Winged Teal is flashing her colors. So far, I’m only seeing female ducks.

Northern Shoveler 2017-37 Northern Shoveler 2017-36

Northern Shoveler 2017-38

I don’t recall capturing a Northern Shoveller with her beak open before.

American Avocet 2017-8

Bombay Hook is the only place where I’ve seen American Avocets.

Green Tree Frog 13 Green Tree Frog 10 Green Tree Frog 11

Green Tree Frog 9

A few overlooked Tree Frogs.

Bald Eagle at Blackwater NWR.

I tried Lake Artemesia yesterday and didn’t find very much. Today’s expedition to Blackwater was better, but didn’t produce anything new and exciting.

Still, the weather was excellent, and there were plenty of birds to look at, even if they were a bit pedestrian. It won’t be long before we’re getting some classy migrating ducks.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-35

This Greater Yellowlegs was spooked by a Northern Harrier.

Great Egret 2017-140 Great Egret 2017-139 Great Egret 2017-137 Great Egret 2017-136

Great Egret 2017-141

A few Great Egrets are still hanging around.

Great Blue Heron 2017-94

Great Blue Heron 2017-95

This Great Blue Heron just stared right back at me.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-78

I assume the Red Headed Woodpeckers will stay through the Winter.

Northern Flicker 2017-7

Several Northern Flickers seemed to be migrating through.

Forster's Tern 2017-124

Forster's Tern 2017-125

Many Forster’s Terns hang around Blackwater.

Wood Duck 2017-91

This Wood Duck was at Lake Artemesia yesterday.

Canada Goose 2017-44

About 50 Canada Geese were resting at Lake Artemesia.

Red Eyed Vireo 2017-6

This Red Eyed Vireo was also at Lake Artemesia.

Cardinal 2017-17

A very attractive Cardinal.

Blue Winged Teal 2017-1

Blue Winged Teal 2017-2

I didn’t know these were Blue Winged Teal until I took a closer look.

Bald Eagle 2017-167 Bald Eagle 2017-166 Bald Eagle 2017-171 Bald Eagle 2017-170 Bald Eagle 2017-169

Bald Eagle 2017-168

There were many active Eagles today.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 25


Delmarva Fox Squirrel 26

I saw six Delmarva Fox Squirrels today, a record for me.


Green Winged Teal at Bombay Hook NWR.

Some day I’ll get a plan and figure out the best way to spend my photo taking time.  I’m not getting the action I want around here, and the best places are a fair distance away. Anyway, I went to Bombay Hook again, and got some good results.

I was pleasantly surprised to see many birds, especially herons and egrets, but some migrating ducks and a Northern Harrier added to the fun. It’s almost always worth the drive, even though I’m not a fan of the trip.

Bobolink 2017-101 Bobolink 2017-102

Bobolink 2017-100

There’s a field full of Bobolinks near Bear Swamp Pool.


Caspian Tern 100

I found this Caspian Tern at Sandy Point yesterday.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-100

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-101

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-102

I was lucky to catch this Double Crested Cormorant as he was taking off.


Greater Yellowlegs 2017-100

Many Greater Yellowlegs feed at Bombay Hook.

Mallard 2017-100

A Mallard pair.

Northern Harrier 2017-100

Northern Harrier 2017-101

I saw this Northern Harrier on the side of the road, and was able to follow her briefly.

Savannah Sparrow 2017-100

Savannah Sparrow 2017-101.JPG

This appears to be another Savannah Sparrow, a bird I seldom see.

Snowy Egret 2017-1

I was surprised this Snowy Egret let me get this close.

Northern Harrier 2017-104

Northern Shoveler 2017-2

This shows the comparative size of the 19″ Northern Shoveller and the Green Winged Teal (14″).

Red Headed Woodpecker at Blackwater NWR.

There’s not much going on around here, so I made the trip to Blackwater again. I’ve been trying to get there in time for a little sunrise work., and it came out OK.

Eagles were more active than usual, but no significant migrants showed up. A noisy woodpecker got my attention for a good shot.

Blackwater Dawn 28

Blackwater Dawn.

Bald Eagle 2017-170 Bald Eagle 2017-169 Bald Eagle 2017-168 Bald Eagle 2017-167 Bald Eagle 2017-166 Bald Eagle 2017-165

Bald Eagle 2017-171

I definitely saw more Bald Eagles than usual today.

Great Egret 2017-136

This lone Great Egret was relaxing on Wildlife Drive.

Forster's Tern 2017-125

Forster's Tern 2017-124

Forster’s Terns will remain at Blackwater for some time yet.

Eastern Kingbird 2017-39

There’s still a few Eastern Kingbirds along Wildlife Drive.

Sanderling 2017-3

I found this Sanderling at Sandy Point yesterday.

Caspian Tern 2017-49 Caspian Tern 2017-48 Caspian Tern 2017-47

Caspian Tern 2017-50

A few Caspian Terns are still hanging out at Sandy Point.

Osprey 2017-106

This Osprey was the only image I got at Terrapin yesterday.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-78


This very noisy Red Headed Woodpecker got my attention.

Wasp 44 Differential Grasshopper 13 Caterpillar 234 Leatherwing 8 Bee 235 Wasp 43 Differential Grasshopper 12 Moth 222 Wasp 42 Wasp 41 Wasp 40 Insect 808

Beetle 31

Two days worth of bugs.

Green Tree Frog 12

Green Tree Frog 13

I’m still finding many small Tee Frogs.



Blue Grosbeak at Blackwater NWR.

We’re due for a short period of foul weather, so I made the trek to Blackwater this morning to improve my chances of a good day.

It worked out OK.  There’s still not a lot of birds, but the variety was good, and the weather was better than the reports suggested it would be.

I found more passerines than usual, but not much in the way of migrants.

Dock 7

The dock on Key Wallace Drive.

Blackwater Dawn 27

Blackwater Dawn.

Field Sparrow 2017-3

I haven’t seen many Field Sparrows anywhere lately.

Common Yellowthroat 2017-11

Common Yellowthroats will be migrating South soon.

Green Heron 2017-34

I wanted just a little better light for this Green Heron.

Belted Kingfisher 2017-34 Belted Kingfisher 2017-33

Belted Kingfisher 2017-35

I wasn’t quite ready for this Belted Kingfisher, who flew in as I walked by.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-42 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-41 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-40

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-43

I turned just in time to catch this Double Crested Cormorant swallowing his catch.

Caspian Tern 2017-46

This appears to be a Caspian Tern, and I don’t often see them at Blackwater.

Forster's Tern 2017-122

Many Forster’s Terns are feeding at Blackwater.

Great Blue Heron 2017-91

Great Blue Heron 2017-92

Great Blue Herons are the dominant wader at the moment.

Bald Eagle 2017-163 Bald Eagle 2017-162

Bald Eagle 2017-164

Bald Eagles are slightly more visible now.

Blue Grosbeak 2017-13

Blue Grosbeak 2017-14

I’ve only seen a few Blue Grosbeaks at Blackwater.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 24

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 23

I walked right into this Delmarva Fox Squirrel, who wasn’t as skittish as some of his fellow squirrels.

Wasp 38

Today’s bugs.

Katydid 15 Wasp 39