Northern Cardinal at Truxtun Park

It was raining this morning, and I thought the day was lost.\, but we got some sunshine around 9:00, so I went to the local parks.

Quiet Waters lived up to its name, with virtually no interesting birds. Truxtun Park wasn’t much better, but I did find a Cardinal gathering nesting material.

Turtle 27

These Turtles were enjoying the sunshine.

White Breasted Nuthatch 101

Cornell:”Nuthatches are active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches may be small but their voices are loud, and often their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.”

Titmouse 41

This Tufted Titmouse seemed to be curious about me.

Northern Rough Winged Swallow 100

Northern Rough Winged Swallows went missing last year.

 

 

Osprey 320

This Osprey was cruising at Quiet Waters.

Cardinal 181

This Cardinal is probably building a nest very near to where I found her.

Prothonotary Warbler at Wooton’s Landing

I went back to Sands Road this morning, and it was quite different. I saw very few birds, and didn’t get a single usable image, even after I made a second visit. Weird.

Wooton treated me better, but it was slower than yesterday.

Cardinal 180

Cardinal 179

The Cardinal is a very successful species.

White Eyed Vireo 101

White Eyed Vireo 100

You can hear the song of the White Eyed Vireo every place I  go.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher 203

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher 20

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher 20

Blue Gray Gnatcatchers are well represented now.

White Throated Sparrow 204

Another late White Throated Sparrow.

Prothonotary Warbler 102

Prothonotary Warbler 101

Prothonotary Warbler 100

Many people say the Prothonotary Warbler is their favorite.

Common Yellowthroat at Sands Road Park

It’s time to start hunting migrants, so I started at Sands Road this morning. It was pretty active, but the fog and clouds prevented really good photography.

I left after a couple of hours, and went to Wooton, which wasn’t as good. but looks promising.

I finished up with a short bug hunt.

Flower 33

Flower 32

A common flower whose name I don’t know.

Plant 5

Experiment with water drops.

Canada Goose 103

There’s usually a few Canada Geese at Wooton.

Eastern Towhee 101

Eastern Towhee 100

It’s been a while since I’ve seen an Eastern Towhee.

Tree Swallow 102

Tree Swallows are very active at Wooton.

Chipping Sparrow 100

This Chipping Sparrow was singing for a mate.

White Throated Sparrow 203

White Throated Sparrows will be headed North soon.

Chickadee 207

Chickadee 205

Chickadee 204

Chickadee 203

These Chickadees were pursuing one another aggressively.

Chipping Sparrow 100

This Chipping Sparrow was singing for a mate.

Field Sparrow 100

Field Sparrows will be easier to find now.

Swamp Sparrow 102

Swamp Sparrow are usually found close to the water’s edge.

Common Yellowthroat 102

Common Yellowthroat 101

Common Yellowthroat 100

For a while, I was surrounded by Common Yellowthroats.

Spider 226

A very small spider.

Insect 652

Bee 100

Today’s bugs.

Palm Warbler at Truxtun Park

I started at Possum Point this morning, but the light was so poor I didn’t get anything worth looking at.

Truxtun Park and Quiet Waters were very slow, but I did find a couple of bugs.

Flower 31

Spring flower.

 

 

Red Backed Salamander 1

I found this Red Backed Salamander in Truxtun Park. It’s a first for me.

Ladybug 41

A beetle of some kind.

Insect 651

I haven’t seen this one before.

Spider 225

The first Spider of Spring.

Osprey 319

Osprey 318

This is a favored Osprey perch at Possum Point.

Osprey 317

This Osprey was fishing at Quiet Waters.

Horned Grebe 96

Horned Grebes have to run across the water to take flight.

Cardinal 178

Cardinals are singing everywhere.

Palm Warbler 100

Palm Warbler 101

My first migrating Palm Warbler of the season.

 

Swamp Sparrow at Truxtun Park

I started out by visiting the heronry in Arnold, which was not as good as last time. There seemed to be fewer nesting herons, also.

Truxtun Park was next, and much more productive. I believe this is the first Swamp Sparrow I’ve seen there.

Quiet Waters was good also, but I’m still not seeing many migrants.

Fox 16

This Fox was crossing the Truxtun Park bridge.

 

Great Blue Heron 289 Great Blue Heron 288 Great Blue Heron 287 Great Blue Heron 285

Great Blue Heron 284

The Great Blue Herons were less active than on my last visit.

Horned Grebe 92 Horned Grebe 91

Horned Grebe 94

Horned Grebe 95

Horned Grebe 90

I don’t recall seeing this many Horned Grebes in previous years.

Wood Duck 228

Wood Duck 227

My favorite Wood Ducks flew right over my head.

Swamp Sparrow 100

Swamp Sparrow 101

Cornell:The simple trills of the Swamp Sparrow ring in spring and summer across eastern and central North America. Its name is appropriate, as it does live in swamps, but it can be found in a wide range of other wetland habitats too.”

Cedar Waxwing at Wooton’s Landing

From reports I’m hearing, migration is well underway, so I decided to look for migrants this morning. I started at Sands Road, which was pretty dead, then went to Wooton, which was better, but not really hot.

Tree Swallows and Ospreys were very active, but no significant amount of other visitors appeared.

I found a couple of migrants at Truxtun Park in a brief afternoon trip.

Musk Turtle 1

This small Musk Turtle was making his way across the path at Wooton.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher 200

This is my first Blue Gray Gnatcatcher of the season.

Tree Swallow 100

Tree Swallow 101

It’s tough to get flight shots of Tree Swallows, who fly erratically as they chase insects.

Mallard 145

Mallard 144

Many ducks, like these Mallards, fly over Wooton.

Red Tailed Hawk 106

I was lucky to get a look at this Red Tailed Hawk, who flew by quickly.

Great Blue Heron

I saw 10 or more Great Blue Herons fly over, so there must be a heronry nearby.

Cardinal 177

This Cardinal and her mate were foraging on the path from the parking lot.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet 200

This Ruby Crowned Kinglet was feeding at Truxtun Park.

Song Sparrow 132

I found this Song Sparrow at Sands Road.

Cedar Waxwing 202

Cedar Waxwing 201

Cedar Waxwing 200

I ran across a small flock of these colorful Cedar Waxwings.

Mourning Cloak at Truxtun Park

It was a rainy dawn, so I stayed home until 8:30 or so, then went to Possum Point. The usual Osprey and Cormorants were all I saw, and the rain was threatening, so I did some chores and headed home.

The Mourning Cloak is from a brief stop yesterday. Oddly this butterfly has been in the same small area for the last three years.

Possum Point 63

Sunrise at Possum Point.

 

Osprey 312

Osprey 313

I assume these Ospreys are getting used to people, as I can sometimes get very close.

Ring Billed Gull 92

This Ring Billed Gull is a juvenile.

Mourning Cloak 3

Wikipedia: Nymphalis antiopa, known as the Mourning Cloak in North America and the Camberwell Beauty in Britain, is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America. See also Anglewing butterflies. The immature form of this species is sometimes known as the spiny elm caterpillar. Other older names for this species include Grand Surprise and White Petticoat. A powerful flier, this species is sometimes found in areas far from its usual range during migration. These butterflies have a life-span of 11 to 12 months, one of the most extensive life-spans for any butterfly.

Common Loon at Possum Point

I went to Possum Point for sunrise again, then spent an hour looking for migrants without any luck. I did get some cooperation from the regulars, though.

Beach Road and Jonas Green were nearly deserted, but Quiet Waters as more productive, with Ospreys, Grebes and Wood Ducks. Great weather, also.

Possum Point 62

Sunrise at Possum Point.

Osprey 307 Osprey 311 Osprey 310 Osprey 309

Osprey 308

The Osprey dominates the sky in Chesapeake Bay Spring and Summer.

Mallard 143

Mallards in breeding plumage are beautiful.

 

Horned Grebe 87 Horned Grebe 86

Horned Grebe 85

Horned Grebes often forage close to shore, and don’t spook easily.

Horned Grebe 89

Horned Grebe 88

The Horned Grebe spends most of its life on the water, even as a chick. Like other Grebes, it can’t walk on land because its feet are so far back on its body. It can only flop and hop which means it can only take off from the water. It is also reported to eat its feathers which can be up to 55% of its stomach contents. Scientists believe the feathers protect the stomach from sharp fish bones that its gizzard can’t handle. The voice of the Horned Grebe is a series of interesting croaks and chattering, followed by a few long shrieks. In the summer you might hear whining.  http://www.birdinginformation.com/birds/grebes/horned-grebe/

Bufflehead 200

Bufflehead 197

Bufflehead 198

Cornell: “Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.”

Wood Duck 226 Wood Duck 225

Wood Duck 224

This pair of Wood Ducks is nesting at Quiet Waters.

Common Loon 107

Cornell: ” Common Loons are powerful, agile divers that catch small fish in fast underwater chases. They are less suited to land, and typically come ashore only to nest.”

 

Bonaparte’s Gull at Jonas Green Park.

I tried for more sunrises at Possum Point, and got a couple, then  a few gulls and Ospreys, but not much else.

I’d heard there were some gulls at Jonas Green Park, and I found a flock of 30 or so Bonaparte’s Gulls and a warbler.

Quiet Waters is still the best place, so I spent a couple of hours there and got a few decent shots.

Possum Point 62

“It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea.” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Horned Grebe 84 Horned Grebe 83

Horned Grebe 82

Horned Grebes are still plentiful.

Mallard 139

Mallard 142

Mallard 140

There’s usually a Mallard in my favorite Quiet Waters cove.

Osprey 306

Osprey 305

Ospreys are thriving around the Chesapeake Bay.

 

House Finch 100

This is the first House Finch I’ve seen in a while.

Yellow Rumped Warbler 202

This Yellow Rumped Warbler always seems to be in the same area at Jonas Green Park.

Starling 100

I usually skip Starlings, but this flight shot came out OK.

Downy Woodpecker 024

This Downy Woodpecker was feeding at Quiet Water.

Bonaparte's Gull 104 Bonaparte's Gull 103 Bonaparte's Gull 102 Bonaparte's Gull 101

Bonaparte's Gull 100

A small, graceful gull with bright white patches in its wings, the Bonaparte’s Gull winters near people, but breeds in the isolated taiga and boreal forest.

Double Crested Cormorant at Quiet Waters

I started at Governor Bridge today, in hopes of finding some early migrants, but had no luck at all.
Quiet Waters was my next stop, and it was slow also, but I had about an hour of decent activity. It was warm enough, but very windy, which may have slowed the birds down a bit.

GBH Image

This is an 11 x 19 print of one of the images I’m selling.

 

Turtle 26

This Turtle is a sure sign of Spring.

Beaver 28

This Beaver greeted me at Governor Bridge.

Bufflehead 196

This Bufflehead hen was foraging solo in the cove.

Horned Grebe 81

There were several Horned Grebes paddling in and around the cove.

Osprey 298

This Osprey was actually bathing, which I’ve never seen before.

Osprey 299 Osprey 300 Osprey 301

Osprey 302

When Ospreys fish in the cove you can sometimes get very close.

Chickadee 202

I found this Chickadee yesterday at Possum Point.

Double Crested Cormorant 101

Double Crested Cormorant 98

Double Crested Cormorant 99

Double Crested Cormorant 100

I don’t often see Double Crested Cormorants in the cove.