Orchard Oriole at Blackwater NWR.

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.

Sandy Point 510

Sandy Point 511

Dawn at Sandy Point.

Osprey 2018-42 Osprey 2018-41 Osprey 2018-40 Osprey 2018-39

Osprey 2018-44

Osprey young have not quite finished fledging.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-43 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-42

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-44

Red Headed Woodpeckers are still quite active.

Great Blue Heron 2018-45

Only a few Great Blue herons were hanging around.

Orchard Oriole 2018-16 Orchard Oriole 2018-14 Orchard Oriole 2018-15

Orchard Oriole 2018-17

This female Orchard Oriole landed right near me.

Tree Swallow 2018-47

Barn Swallow 2018-13

Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows have finished nesting and are gathering in groups.

Least Tern 2018-4

Least Tern 2018-5

Least Terns are fishing at Terrapin.

 

Fox 106

This Fox was foraging at Blackwater.

Glossy Ibis at Bombay Hook NWR.

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.

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-5

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-6

Many Greater Yellowlegs were foraging in the distance.

Tree Swallow 2018-46

There’s still many Swallows in the marsh.

Forster's Tern 2018-90 Forster's Tern 2018-89 Forster's Tern 2018-88 Forster's Tern 2018-87 Forster's Tern 2018-86

Forster's Tern 2018-91

This Forster’s Tern has found a large fish.

Killdeer 2018-1

Several Killdeer were feeding at the edge of the marsh.

Black Necked Stilt 2018-16

Black Necked Stilt 2018-17

This flock of Black Necked Stilts flew quickly by us.

Mallard 2018-36

A lone Mallard was hanging with the Herons.

Laughing Gull 2018-5

We saw a couple of Laughing Gulls.

Great Blue Heron 2018-41

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-34

Red Winged Blackbirds can be seen and heard everywhere you go.

Glossy Ibis 2018-7

A few Glossy Ibis flew by close enough to photograph.

Eastern Kingbird at Blackwater NWR.

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.

Blackwater Dawn 53

Blackwater Dawn.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-39 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-38 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-37 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-36 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-35 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-34

 

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-40

I seemed to see a Red Headed Woodpecker every time I turned around.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-32

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-33

There were many vocal Red Winged Blackbirds.

Great Blue Heron 2018-40 Bald Eagle 2018-59

Bald Eagle 2018-58

Bald Eagles are still easy to find on Wildlife Drive.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-31

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-30

This Red Winged Blackbird is feeding her chick.

Osprey 2018-35 Osprey 2018-34

Osprey 2018-36

This Osprey has two healthy chicks.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-15Eastern Kingbird 2018-17

Eastern Kingbird 2018-16

Eastern Kingbirds were plentiful.

Rabbit 31

Three Rabbits were feeding in the grass right in front of me.

Goldfinch at Bombay Hook.

My original plan was to try Blackwater this morning, but the car wanted Bombay Hook, so off I went.

It turned out to be the wrong choice. Not terribly bad, but not as good as recently. Apparently low water keeps the bird population down, so we need some rain.

I did manage to find a few decent birds, especially Terns and Goldfinches. I’ll keep an eye on the weather and try again when we’ve had some rain.

Bald Eagle 2018-55 Bald Eagle 2018-54 Bald Eagle 2018-53

Bald Eagle 2018-56

This juvenile was being harassed by Two Blackbirds, who eventually drove him from the area.

Forster's Tern 2018-83 Forster's Tern 2018-84 Forster's Tern 2018-82 Forster's Tern 2018-81 Forster's Tern 2018-80

Forster's Tern 2018-85

It’s difficult to capture these Forster’s Terns as they catch a fish.

Great Blue Heron 2018-38 Great Blue Heron 2018-37

Great Blue Heron 2018-39

There were many Great Blue Herons fishing today.

Great Egret 2018-43

There were far fewer Great Egrets today.

Goldfinch 2018-10 Goldfinch 2018-9

Goldfinch 2018-11

Goldfinches populate the area near the road.

Roseate Spoonbill at Walton Beach.

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!

Black Duck 2018-2

This Black Duck is a rarity at this time of year.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-13

He flew in at dawn.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-7

The Roseate Spoonbill seemed to be interested in this snake, even though it’s not a normal menu item.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-6 Roseate Spoonbill 2018-5 Roseate Spoonbill 2018-4 American Avocet 2018-11 Roseate Spoonbill 2018-10 Roseate Spoonbill 2018-12

 

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-8

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.”

 

Laughing Gull at Bombay Hook NWR.

It’s still pretty slow at the local spots, so I went back to Bombay Hook in hopes of finding something interesting. I actually didn’t find as much variety as last time, but there were plenty of birds and the light was good. It got seriously hot early, and I left sooner than usual, but it was worth it.

Egrets and Herons were well represented, and I heard Bob Whites in several places, but couldn’t get one to pose.

Mute Swan 2018-7

These Mute Swan Cygnets were a nice find, as I haven’t seen young Swans before.

Great Blue Heron 2018-34 Great Blue Heron 2018-33 Great Blue Heron 2018-32 Great Blue Heron 2018-30 Great Blue Heron 2018-31

Great Blue Heron 2018-35

I’ve been surprised several times at how large a fish a Great Blue Heron can swallow.

Great Egret 2018-41 Great Egret 2018-40 Great Egret 2018-39 Great Egret 2018-38Great Egret 2018-37

Great Egret 2018-42

I saw over a hundred Great Egrets.

Black Skimmer 2018-35 Black Skimmer 2018-32 Black Skimmer 2018-33 Black Skimmer 2018-31

Black Skimmer 2018-34

This close-up of a Black Skimmer’s beak shows the difference in length of the upper and lower beaks.

Glossy Ibis 2018-5 Glossy Ibis 2018-4 Glossy Ibis 2018-3

Glossy Ibis 2018-6

A small flock of Glossy Ibis was feeding in the marsh.

Bald Eagle 2018-51 Bald Eagle 2018-50 Bald Eagle 2018-49 Bald Eagle 2018-48

Bald Eagle 2018-52

This juvenile Bald Eagle wasn’t having much luck with his fishing.

Laughing Gull 2018-4 Laughing Gull 2018-2

Laughing Gull 2018-3

This Laughing Gull was acting like a Skimmer.

 

Short Billed Dowitcher at Bombay Hook.

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.

Bombay Hook 8

Bombay Hook 9

Sunrise at Bombay Hook.

Great Egret 2018-33 Great Egret 2018-32 Great Egret 2018-31

Great Egret 2018-34

I saw well over a hundred Great Egrets.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-14

Several Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching along the roadside.

Black Skimmer 2018-29 Black Skimmer 2018-28 Black Skimmer 2018-27

Black Skimmer 2018-30

Black Skimmers showed up early.

Forster's Tern 2018-4 Forster's Tern 2018-5 Forster's Tern 2018-3 Forster's Tern 2018-2 Forster's Tern 2018-1

Forster's Tern 2018-6

Many Forster’s Terns were fishing in the pools.

Great Blue Heron 2018-28

Dozens of Great Blue Herons were scattered through all the pools.

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-4

I think this is a Greater Yellowlegs.

 

Willet 2018-5

This may be the same single Willet I saw a few weeks ago.

Blue Grosbeak 2018-3

I often see Blue Grosbeaks at the road’s edge.

Goldfinch 2018-8

It’s easy to find Goldfinches by the side of the road.

Wood Duck 2018-47

This juvenile Wood Duck was at Lake Artemesia a couple of days ago.

Mallard 2018-31

I thought these were nice looking Mallards.

Short Billed Dowitcher 2018-1

Short Billed Dowitcher 2018-2

Theses Short Billed Dowitchers were just barely in range.

Roseate Spoonbill at Walton Beach

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.

Blackwater Dawn 52

Blackwater Dawn 51

Blackwater Dawn.

Great Egret 2018-29

Great Egret 2018-30

A few Great Egrets were feeding in the marsh. There will be many more in a few weeks.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-32 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-31 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-30 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-29 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-28

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-33

Red Headed Woodpeckers were very active.

Barn Swallow 2018-12

This Barn Swallow was resting near Wildlife Drive.

Purple Martin 2018-25

A few Purple Martins were looking for insects.

Great Blue Heron 2018-26 Great Blue Heron 2018-25 Great Blue Heron 2018-24

Great Blue Heron 2018-27

This Great Blue Heron let me get very close.

Mallard 2018-29 Mallard 2018-28 Mallard 2018-27

Mallard 2018-30

This is probably a young Mallard.

Catbird 2018-4

This Catbird was very vocal.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-27

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-28

Many Red Winged Blackbirds were foraging in the marsh.

Osprey 2018-32 Osprey 2018-31 Osprey 2018-30

Osprey 2018-33

These Ospreys were feeding two chicks.

Tree Swallow 2018-43

A few Tree Swallows were resting by the side of Wildlife Drive.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-13

I saw several Eastern Kingbirds.

Herring Gull 2018-1

Laughing Gull 2018-1

These gulls were at Walton Beach.

Green Heron 2018-4

This Green Heron flew overhead at North Beach.

Snowy Egret 2018-5

This Snowy Egret was very intent on his fishing.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-3

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-2

This Roseate Spoonbill stayed on the same piling for two hours or more.

Fox 103 Fox 102 Fox 101

Fox 104

These Foxes found some roadkill.

Black Crowned Night Heron at Kiwanis Lake.

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.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-1

This very rare Roseate Spoonbill is only the fourth ever recorded in Maryland.

Mallard 2018-24

This Mallard was at Lake Artemesia a few days ago.

Great Egret 2018-27 Great Egret 2018-26 Great Egret 2018-25

Great Egret 2018-28

This young Great Egret Heron is trying out his new wings.

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-7

This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.

Mallard 2018-25

This seems to be a domestic Mallard.

Baltimore Oriole 2018-9 Baltimore Oriole 2018-8 Baltimore Oriole 2018-12 Baltimore Oriole 2018-11 Baltimore Oriole 2018-6 Baltimore Oriole 2018-5

Baltimore Oriole 2018-10

This Baltimore Oriole and her mate were feeding their chicks.

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-6

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-9

I seldom get this close to a Black Crowned Night Heron.

Chipmunk 2 Chipmunk 3

Chipmunk 1

I see very few chipmunks, but Wildwood Lake is home to dozens.

Eastern Box Turtle 7

This Eastern Box Turtle was crossing the path at his own speed.

Turtle 81

Many Turtles were soaking up the sunshine.

 

 

Tree Swallows at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

I started at Sandy Point this morning, hoping for a decent sunrise, but it was not to be.

I was at Terrapin right after dawn, and it was almost deserted. A lone Osprey and a couple of Egrets were all that was on offer. A lone Wood Duck hen made brief appearance.

CBEC was next, and the usual Tree Swallow flock was present and very active. I managed a few good shots.

Another single Osprey allowed a few good looks. I made another stop at Sandy point on the way home, but even the gulls were scarce.

Osprey 2018-26 Osprey 2018-27 Osprey 2018-28 Osprey 2018-25 Osprey 2018-24

Osprey 2018-29

I found this early morning Osprey at Terrapin.

Barn Swallow 2018-9

The CBEC Barn Swallows nest under the blind.

Barn Swallow 2018-10

Tree Swallow 2018-36 Tree Swallow 2018-37 Tree Swallow 2018-35 Tree Swallow 2018-34 Tree Swallow 2018-33 Tree Swallow 2018-31 Tree Swallow 2018-32 Tree Swallow 2018-30 Tree Swallow 2018-29 Tree Swallow 2018-28 Tree Swallow 2018-27 Tree Swallow 2018-26 Tree Swallow 2018-25

Tree Swallow 2018-38

If you spend enough time, you can get a few good flight shots of the elusive Tree Swallow.

Wood Duck 2018-42

This lone Wood Duck didn’t stay long.