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.


Horseshoe Crab at Sandy Point

It was verging on rain when I left the house, so I went to Sandy Point to see if any sea birds were around. It did rain for a short time, so I didn’t stay long.

Greenbury Point is on the way home, so I stopped for a quick bug hunt, which was mildly successful.

Great Blue Heron 320 Great Blue Heron 321

Great Blue Heron 319

This Great Blue Heron was fishing in the surf at Sandy Point.

Yellow Breasted Chat 204

Yellow Breasted Chat 203

You can rely on Greenbury Point for Yellow Breasted Chats.

Horseshoe Crab 2

Horseshoe Crab 1

It’s Horseshoe Crab mating season.

Beetle 9 Bee 201 Insect 678 Insect 677

Bee 203 Insect 680 Insect 679

Bee 202

Today’s bugs.

Flower 43


Black Crowned Night Heron at Depot Pond

Depot Pond is just a couple of blocks from Schoolhouse Pond, so I tried it first this morning. It’s excellent habitat, shallow marsh surrounded by good size trees, but it’s not a photographer’s site. Access is very limited because of dense growth. I got a couple of decent images and moved on to Schoolhouse Pond, which was much slower than yesterday.

I made a quick stop at Truxtun looking for bugs on the way home.

Mute Swan 1

Cornell: “A native of northern and central Eurasia, the Mute Swan was introduced into North America to grace the ponds of parks and estates. Escaped individuals have established breeding populations in several areas, where their aggressive behavior threatens native waterfowl.”


Osprey 339

This Osprey is hovering prior to pouncing.

Mallard 146

Several Mallards were hanging out at the pond.

Canada Goose 118

This Canada Goose appeared to be bathing.


House Sparrow 103

House Sparrows seem to enjoy the pond.

Tree Swallow 115

It’s tough to catch a Tree Swallow in flight.

Barn Swallow 21 Barn Swallow 20

Barn Swallow 23

Barn Swallow 22

I wasted far too much time trying to catch Barn Swallows in flight.

Black Crowned Night Heron 50


Insect 676 Ant 36 Insect 675

Butterfly 19

Today’s bugs.

Barn Swallow at Schoolhouse Pond

I haven’t been to Schoolhouse Pond in a while, so I took a chance this morning. I missed a Black Crowned Night Heron, who took off as I arrived, and some of the large birds were so close I had to reduce the zoom and shoot in DX mode to keep them in the frame.

I didn’t get anything great, but I may try again tomorrow.

Turtle 40

Turtles were sunning everywhere.

Eastern Phoebe 104

This Eastern Phoebe may be nesting under the dock.

Tree Swallow 114

Tree Swallows seem to be nesting nearby.

House Sparrow 102

There are several House Sparrows in the area.

Grackle 101

This Grackle was foraging right behind me.

Osprey 336 Osprey 335

Osprey 337

At least two Ospreys were fishing in the pond.



Great Blue Heron 317


Great Blue Heron 318

The Great Blue Herons were very active.

Barn Swallow 19

Barn Swallows are nesting also.