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.
These Turtles were enjoying the sunshine.
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.”
This Tufted Titmouse seemed to be curious about me.
Northern Rough Winged Swallows went missing last year.
This Osprey was cruising at Quiet Waters.
This Cardinal is probably building a nest very near to where I found her.
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.
The Cardinal is a very successful species.
You can hear the song of the White Eyed Vireo every place I go.
Blue Gray Gnatcatchers are well represented now.
Another late White Throated Sparrow.
Many people say the Prothonotary Warbler is their favorite.
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.
A common flower whose name I don’t know.
Experiment with water drops.
There’s usually a few Canada Geese at Wooton.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an Eastern Towhee.
Tree Swallows are very active at Wooton.
This Chipping Sparrow was singing for a mate.
White Throated Sparrows will be headed North soon.
These Chickadees were pursuing one another aggressively.
This Chipping Sparrow was singing for a mate.
Field Sparrows will be easier to find now.
Swamp Sparrow are usually found close to the water’s edge.
For a while, I was surrounded by Common Yellowthroats.
A very small spider.
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.
I found this Red Backed Salamander in Truxtun Park. It’s a first for me.
A beetle of some kind.
I haven’t seen this one before.
The first Spider of Spring.
This is a favored Osprey perch at Possum Point.
This Osprey was fishing at Quiet Waters.
Horned Grebes have to run across the water to take flight.
Cardinals are singing everywhere.
My first migrating Palm Warbler of the season.
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.
This Fox was crossing the Truxtun Park bridge.
The Great Blue Herons were less active than on my last visit.
I don’t recall seeing this many Horned Grebes in previous years.
My favorite Wood Ducks flew right over my head.
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.”
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.
This small Musk Turtle was making his way across the path at Wooton.
This is my first Blue Gray Gnatcatcher of the season.
It’s tough to get flight shots of Tree Swallows, who fly erratically as they chase insects.
Many ducks, like these Mallards, fly over Wooton.
I was lucky to get a look at this Red Tailed Hawk, who flew by quickly.
I saw 10 or more Great Blue Herons fly over, so there must be a heronry nearby.
This Cardinal and her mate were foraging on the path from the parking lot.
This Ruby Crowned Kinglet was feeding at Truxtun Park.
I found this Song Sparrow at Sands Road.
I ran across a small flock of these colorful Cedar Waxwings.
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.
Sunrise at Possum Point.
I assume these Ospreys are getting used to people, as I can sometimes get very close.
This Ring Billed Gull is a juvenile.
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.
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.
Sunrise at Possum Point.
The Osprey dominates the sky in Chesapeake Bay Spring and Summer.
Mallards in breeding plumage are beautiful.
Horned Grebes often forage close to shore, and don’t spook easily.
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/
Cornell: “Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.”
This pair of Wood Ducks is nesting at Quiet Waters.
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.”
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.
“It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea.” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Horned Grebes are still plentiful.
There’s usually a Mallard in my favorite Quiet Waters cove.
Ospreys are thriving around the Chesapeake Bay.
This is the first House Finch I’ve seen in a while.
This Yellow Rumped Warbler always seems to be in the same area at Jonas Green Park.
I usually skip Starlings, but this flight shot came out OK.
This Downy Woodpecker was feeding at Quiet Water.
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.
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.
This is an 11 x 19 print of one of the images I’m selling.
This Turtle is a sure sign of Spring.
This Beaver greeted me at Governor Bridge.
This Bufflehead hen was foraging solo in the cove.
There were several Horned Grebes paddling in and around the cove.
This Osprey was actually bathing, which I’ve never seen before.
When Ospreys fish in the cove you can sometimes get very close.
I found this Chickadee yesterday at Possum Point.
I don’t often see Double Crested Cormorants in the cove.