It’s that time of year when birds are hard to find. Most have finished raising young, so they’re less active, and there’s no migratory movement going on. I exxpect thing to pick up in a few weeks.
I’ve been hitting the usual places, with shortened days due to the heat. There’s a few finds here and there, but nothing really exciting.
I went to Blackwater again this morning, and it was an improvement. Still no egrets or sandpipers, but a few images are good enough to publish.
Dawn at Sandy Point.
Osprey young have not quite finished fledging.
Red Headed Woodpeckers are still quite active.
Only a few Great Blue herons were hanging around.
This female Orchard Oriole landed right near me.
Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows have finished nesting and are gathering in groups.
Least Terns are fishing at Terrapin.
This Fox was foraging at Blackwater.
Graeme, Prayoon and I headed out very early to Bombay Hook in hopes of finding some birds we don’t get to see around here. The water was still low, but we found a few interesting specimens anyway.
There weren’t many people visiting, and there were far fewer wading birds than my last visit. We could see a decent sized flock in the distance, but much too far away to get decent images.
Some Terns were very active, and many Herons were fishing, but Egrets were not numerous. The insect population seems to be less, for some reason. We didn’t miss them.
Many Greater Yellowlegs were foraging in the distance.
There’s still many Swallows in the marsh.
This Forster’s Tern has found a large fish.
Several Killdeer were feeding at the edge of the marsh.
This flock of Black Necked Stilts flew quickly by us.
A lone Mallard was hanging with the Herons.
We saw a couple of Laughing Gulls.
Red Winged Blackbirds can be seen and heard everywhere you go.
A few Glossy Ibis flew by close enough to photograph.
It was much cooler the last couple of days, but too windy yesterday. I set out early for Blackwater, and it was OK, if not spectacular. Egrets, Herons and Sandpipers just aren’t out in numbers yet.
I did find a few parents with chicks, some Eagles and Herons, but the star today was the Red headed Woodpecker. They were very active. including mating and fetching food for their chicks. I was hoping for more variety, but it didn’t happen.
I don’t usually talk about such things, but I ran over a Raccoon this morning. There were three, right in the middle of the road. It was still quite dark, and there wasn’t anything I could do. I haven’t hit many animals in a car, and it wasn’t a good way to start the day.
I seemed to see a Red Headed Woodpecker every time I turned around.
There were many vocal Red Winged Blackbirds.
Bald Eagles are still easy to find on Wildlife Drive.
This Red Winged Blackbird is feeding her chick.
This Osprey has two healthy chicks.
Eastern Kingbirds were plentiful.
Three Rabbits were feeding in the grass right in front of me.
It’s getting very hot very early, so I planned a short day this morning. The Spoonbill is still hanging around at North Beach, so I decided to go early and see if I could get lucky.
I’ve actually been there twice before without seeing him, so it was a crapshoot.
Lucky me! Just as I got in place, he flew in from out of the marsh and landed on the pilings near the beach. He wasn’t as close as I wanted, but close enough. Interestingly, it was so humid that I had to clean the condensation from the lens after every shot. That lasted for 20 minutes.
I got tired of waiting for him to move closer, so I wandered around a bit looking for other birds, without much luck. I was considering leaving, and I was looking at closer birds (Many Mallards) when I checked the piling perch, and he was gone?
Looking about, I quickly saw he had landed on the beach about 30 feet from my position, and in good light. Patience and persistence paid off at last!
This Black Duck is a rarity at this time of year.
He flew in at dawn.
The Roseate Spoonbill seemed to be interested in this snake, even though it’s not a normal menu item.
Cornell: “The flamboyant Roseate Spoonbill looks like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book with its bright pink feathers, red eye staring out from a partly bald head, and giant spoon-shaped bill.”
It’s still the slowest time of year, and I’m not having much luck, so I braved the bugs at Bombay Hook this morning. They actually weren’t too bad. I’m sure the bug spray helped, but I’ve seen more bugs in other places.
It was really quite birdy this morning. I found some Glossy Ibis, but they were too far off. The Skimmers were more cooperative, and my Willet was still hanging out in Bear Swamp Pool. There were hundreds of Egrets and Herons, but not as many Sandpipers as I expected. No Eagles at all, which is surprising.
A very good morning indeed.
Sunrise at Bombay Hook.
I saw well over a hundred Great Egrets.
Several Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching along the roadside.
Black Skimmers showed up early.
Many Forster’s Terns were fishing in the pools.
Dozens of Great Blue Herons were scattered through all the pools.
I think this is a Greater Yellowlegs.
This may be the same single Willet I saw a few weeks ago.
I often see Blue Grosbeaks at the road’s edge.
It’s easy to find Goldfinches by the side of the road.
This juvenile Wood Duck was at Lake Artemesia a couple of days ago.
I thought these were nice looking Mallards.
Theses Short Billed Dowitchers were just barely in range.
There have only been 5 Roseate Spoonbills recorded in MD, and I got to see the fourth one a few days ago. I actually went to find it several times, with varying success. There were many people doing the same dance, probably a hundred or more. In any case, North Beach looks like a good birding area and I’ll be back.
There wasn’t a lot of variety to be found at this time of year, so I haven’t posted much. I made a trip to Blackwater today, so I’m going to combine several day’s images in this post. Blackwater wasn’t exactly overrun with good birds either, but I managed a few decent shots.
A few Great Egrets were feeding in the marsh. There will be many more in a few weeks.
Red Headed Woodpeckers were very active.
This Barn Swallow was resting near Wildlife Drive.
A few Purple Martins were looking for insects.
This Great Blue Heron let me get very close.
This is probably a young Mallard.
This Catbird was very vocal.
Many Red Winged Blackbirds were foraging in the marsh.
These Ospreys were feeding two chicks.
A few Tree Swallows were resting by the side of Wildlife Drive.
I saw several Eastern Kingbirds.
These gulls were at Walton Beach.
This Green Heron flew overhead at North Beach.
This Snowy Egret was very intent on his fishing.
This Roseate Spoonbill stayed on the same piling for two hours or more.
These Foxes found some roadkill.
Graeme and I and Prayoon set out early for Wildwood Lake in Pennsylvania and Kiwanis Lake in York. It’s a 2 hour ride, but it turned out well. I think once a year would be worth it.
Wildwood lake wasn’t as prolific as it’s been in the past, but we found many chipmunks, an animal that has eluded me until now. A Baltimore Oriole was cooperative, but we didn’t find much else,
Kiwanis Lake was much better, with nesting egrets and herons, as well a lake full of Canada Geese and Mallards. I haven’t seen many rookeries, so it was a treat.
This very rare Roseate Spoonbill is only the fourth ever recorded in Maryland.
This Mallard was at Lake Artemesia a few days ago.
This young Great Egret Heron is trying out his new wings.
This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.
This seems to be a domestic Mallard.
This Baltimore Oriole and her mate were feeding their chicks.
I seldom get this close to a Black Crowned Night Heron.
I see very few chipmunks, but Wildwood Lake is home to dozens.
This Eastern Box Turtle was crossing the path at his own speed.
Many Turtles were soaking up the sunshine.