American Coot at Blackwater NWR.

I got out late yesterday, and spent a little time at Sandy Point. It was cool to find a Snow Goose mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese, a most unusual find for this area. There were lots of distant ducks and a few passerines also.

I went to Blackwater this morning, and found all the usual suspects, as well as a few nice ducks at Oakley Street.

Blackwater Dawn 43

Blackwater Dawn 42

Blackwater Dawn.

Lesser Scaup 2017-23

This Scaup was feeding at Sandy Point.

Bald Eagle 2017-227

Bald Eagle 2017-226

There were fewer Bald Eagles than usual.

Great Blue Heron 2017-134 Great Blue Heron 2017-133 Great Blue Heron 2017-138

Great Blue Heron 2017-135

Great Blue Herons were abundant this morning.

Snow Goose 2017-33

a huge flock of Snow Geese left the refuge early.

Snow Goose 2017-32

This Snow Goose was by himself, in a flock of Canada Geese.

Red Bellied Woodpecker 2017-6

I found this Red Bellied Woodpecker at Sandy Point.

Northern Pintail 2017-68

There were only a few Northern Pintails.

Lesser Scaup 2017-25

This Scaup is another Oakley Street denizen.

American Wigeon 2017-12

This American Wigeon was at Oakley Street.

Canvasback 2017-20

I only found two Canvasbacks.

Northern Shoveler 2017-54

There weren’t many Northern Shovelers.

Belted Kingfisher at Bombay Hook NWR.

I went to Lake Artemesia yesterday, and it was pretty slow. I also stopped at Buddy Attick, and didn’t do any better. I got a few good enough images, but nothing great.

Today I made the trek to Bombay Hook, which wasn’t nearly as productive as in the past. There was a fair amount of ice, which meant the dabbling ducks had to go elsewhere. There were thousands of Snow Geese, though, which was a spectacular sight. Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, Black Ducks and Mallards were plentiful.

Bombay Hook 7

Dawn at Bombay Hook.

Lake Artemesia 98

Lake Artemesia.

Hooded Merganser 2017-816

These Hooded Mergansers were at Lake Artemesia.

Great Blue Heron 2017-131

Great Blue Heron 2017-132

Several Great Blue Herons were fishing in an ice-free pond.

Turn up the volume to hear the geese.Snow Goose 2017-28

Snow Goose 2017-27

There may have been 20,000 Snow Geese in residence.

American Wigeon 2017-11

This American Wigeon was at Buddy Attick.

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-17

This pair of Pied Billed Grebes was at Lake Artemesia.

Canada Goose 2017-59

This Canada Goose was leaving Lake Artemesia.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-23Belted Kingfisher 2017-38

Belted Kingfisher 2017-37

I saw this Belted Kingfisher from a distance, and was lucky to get so close.

 

American Wigeon at Oakley Street.

The weatherman predicted good weather today, so I went back to Blackwater. It was OK, but there’s still not the quantity of birds I’ve seen in the past. I blame the warm weather.

Even so, I did find a few interesting subjects and it was hardly a waste.

When I left Blackwater I stopped at Oakley street in Cambridge to see if the locals have been attracting the resident ducks with offerings of food, and I found a decent flock of Wigeons , along with few Canada Geese.

Blackwater Dawn 40

Blackwater Dawn 39

Blackwater Dawn.

Bald Eagle 2017-225 Bald Eagle 2017-224

Bald Eagle 2017-223

Bald Eagles continue to be numerous.

Canada Goose 2017-58

A few Canada Geese were also looking for a handout.

Great Blue Heron 2017-130

I saw 4-5 Great Blue Herons.

Hooded Merganser 2017-814

Hooded Merganser 2017-815

I found only a few Hooded Mergansers.

Northern Shoveler 2017-53

Northern Shovelers are still being found in small numbers,

Snow Goose 2017-26

A large flock of Snow Geese was leaving as I arrived.

American Wigeon 2017-7

American Wigeon 2017-8

This America Wigeon has just landed.

Hooded Merganser at Thomas Point.

It was cloudy this morning, so I didn’t go out until 8:00 or so. I usually stop at Quiet Waters first, but today I went straight to Thomas Point. There were a few decent birds, but mostly too far out for good images.  I did manage a decent shot of a Loon.

I then stopped at a friend’s house on Thomas Point Road, and had much better luck. She and her neighbor’s often feed the Swans, and they, as well as many ducks often congregate there. There was a decent variety today, and they were fairly close.

Bufflehead 2017-66 Bufflehead 2017-64

Bufflehead 2017-65

This Bufflehead came quite close to shore.

Mallard 2017-56

Mallard 2017-57

Many Mallards were swimming near the dock.

Tundra Swan 2017-76

Tundra Swan 2017-77

There were probably 75 or so Tundra Swans.

 

Common Loon 2017-15

A single Common Loon was foraging at the point.

Hooded Merganser 2017-813

This Hooded Merganser and his mate were near the entrance to the park.

Common Loon at Thomas Point.

It’s been a slow couple of days. I got out to Sandy Point yesterday, after being rained out in the morning, and to Lake Artemesia the day before, but there hasn’t been much to see. A Blackwater trip was ruined by a  deer hunt that I failed to see on the Blackwater web page.

I did OK today. Not a lot of birds, but a few good pics, especially of the Loon, one of my favorite birds.

Northern Pintail 2017-66

I found this Northern Pintail at Blackwater.

Tundra Swan 2017-75 Tundra Swan 2017-74 Tundra Swan 2017-73 Tundra Swan 2017-72

Tundra Swan 2017-71

Tundra Swans have arrived in good numbers.

Canvasback 2017-19

I saw only three Canvasbacks.

Mallard 2017-54

 

Mallard 2017-55

This Mallard was also at Blackwater.

Bufflehead 2017-63

I’m seeing more Buffleheads now.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-22

Ring-necked Ducks have a subtle beauty.

Surf Scoter 2017-28

A few Surf Scoters were feeding at Thomas Point.

Bald Eagle 2017-221

You can almost always find a Bald Eagle at Blackwater.

Northern Harrier 2017-21 Northern Harrier 2017-19

Northern Harrier 2017-20

This Northern Harrier was more cooperative than most.

Common Loon 2017-12 Common Loon 2017-10 Common Loon 2017-9

Common Loon 2017-11

This Common Loon and two of his friends were hanging around the point this morning.

 

Pied Billed Grebe at Lake Artemesia.

I like to find birds when I go out, and I’m not finding many around here. It seems to me that wasn’t always so. In any event, I headed to College Park this morning, despite the traffic, which I came to loathe years ago.

Lake Artemesia was OK-not over abundant, but a good variety, including my first decent Grebes of the season.

I also stopped by Buddy Attick Lake, which is only a couple of miles away, and found a few good birds.

A good morning.

Lake Artemesia 96

Lake Artemesia 97

Lake Artemesia.

Common Loon 2017-8

I found this Common Loon at Quiet Waters yesterday.

 

Ring Necked Duck 2017-19

This Ring Necked image is enhanced by the reflection of the fall colors.

Great Blue Heron 2017-129 (1)

A single Great Blue Heron was fishing at Buddy Attick.

 

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-16

I found 4 Pied Billed Grebes at Lake Artemesia.

Hooded Merganser 2017-808

Hooded Merganser 2017-809

Two female Hooded Mergansers were resting at Buddy Attick.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-18 Ring Necked Duck 2017-16

Ring Necked Duck 2017-17

Ring Necked ducks always seem to be at Lake Artemesia in the Winter.

Mallard 2017-53

Many Mallards are at both lakes.

Tundra Swan 2017-70

This is the same Tundra Swan I found a couple of weeks ago.

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-15

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-16

I found 4 Pied Billed Grebes at Lake Artemesia.

Eastern Bluebird at Blackwater NWR.

I don’t usually make long (ish) trips two days in a row, but that’s what I did this morning. Blackwater beckoned, and I answered.

It wasn’t exciting, but the Snow Geese have finally arrived and a Bluebird posed nicely.

The ducks are trickling in, and perhaps it will get more active close to home soon.

Blackwater Dawn 37

Blackwater Dawn 36

Blackwater Dawn.

Northern Pintail 2017-65Northern Pintail 2017-64Northern Pintail 2017-63

Northern Pintail 2017-62

Large flocks of Northern Pintails were very active.

Bald Eagle 2017-217 Bald Eagle 2017-215

Bald Eagle 2017-218 Bald Eagle 2017-219

This tree is a convenient perch for Bald Eagles on Wildlife Drive.

Great Blue Heron 2017-127

Several Great Blue Herons were quietly fishing.

Great Blue Heron 2017-128 Northern Shoveler 2017-52

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-116

There’s always Double Crested Cormorants at the dock on Key Wallace Drive.

Mallard 2017-52

There seem to be many more Mallards than usual.

Mallard 2017-52

There seem to be many more Mallards than usual.

Eastern Bluebird 2017-15

I haven’t seen many Eastern Bluebirds at Blackwater.

Snowy Owl at Eastern Neck NWR.

A Snowy Owl was reported at Eastern Neck, so I gave it a try, with mixed results. My trip last year was a major disappointment, as I missed all the good birds.This year was better, but not a major success. The Owl was too far away, and there wasn’t the variety of birds I’d hoped to see.

Still, the hour and a half trip wasn’t a total loss, and I may try again before the season is over.

Eastern Neck 2

The marsh boardwalk.

Ruddy Duck 2017-14

Ruddy Duck 2017-15

A small flock of Ruddy Ducks was feeding near the bridge.

Black Duck 2017-9

A few Black Ducks were foraging near the Tundra Swans.

American Wigeon 2017-6

Several American Wigeons were following the Tundra Swans.

Great Blue Heron 2017-126

I spooked this Great Blue Heron.

Bald Eagle 2017-214

A juvenile Bald Eagle flew overhead.

Tundra Swan 2017-68 Tundra Swan 2017-67

Tundra Swan 2017-69

A couple of dozen Tundra Swans were in the cove.

 

Eastern Bluebird 2017-14

I found this Easter Bluebird at Possum Point yesterday.

Snowy Owl 2017-1

That little white dot is a Snowy Owl. He stayed 300-400 yards away all morning.

 

Brown Pelican at Thomas Point State Park.

We had rain yesterday, so I only got out for a short time. Sandy Point was a waste of time, and I didn’t see much at Jonas Green Park, either.

I did OK at Quiet Waters, so I went back this morning. It’s very slow, but there’s a few good birds around if you’re willing to wait for the action.

I was undecided about going to Thomas Point because it’s still early in the season. I gave it a try and was rewarded with two Brown Pelicans who flew by as I arrived. A Loon and a Pileated Woodpecker made for a decent day.

Cove 20

Cove 19

Quiet Waters.

Gadwall 2017-10

This Gadwall was at the pond across from Jonas Green. You can almost always find ducks there.

Mallard 2017-49 Mallard 2017-48

Mallard 2017-50

I was really drawn to the colors in the water surrounding these Mallards.

Pileated Woodpecker 2017-3

Pileated Woodpecker 2017-4

I saw this Pileated Woodpecker at a distance yesterday. When I heard him this afternoon, I was able to slowly sneak up on him.

Common Loon 2017-7

Common Loon 2017-5

Common Loon 2017-6

I’m always pleased to find a Common Loon.

Bufflehead 2017-62 Bufflehead 2017-61 Bufflehead 2017-60 Bufflehead 2017-59 Bufflehead 2017-58 Bufflehead 2017-57 Bufflehead 2017-56 Bufflehead 2017-55 Bufflehead 2017-54 Bufflehead 2017-53

Bufflehead 2017-632

Buffleheads will be at Quiet Waters for quite while.

Canada Goose 2017-57

This Canada Goose was at Jonas Green.

Brown Pelican 2017-1

Brown Pelican 2017-2

My timing was perfect to find these Brown Pelicans. A couple of minutes later and I would have missed them.

Northern Pintail at Blackwater NWR.

I got to Blackwater in time for a quick dawn shot, but I missed the best colors by half an hour.

The few clouds dispersed quickly, and I had good light for most of the morning. Pintails are still plentiful, there are many more Shovelers, and Eagles were easy to find.

I made a stop at Oakley Street, but it’s still too early to find ducks in any quantity.

Blackwater Dawn 31

Blackwater Dawn.

Bald Eagle 2017-212 Bald Eagle 2017-211 Bald Eagle 2017-210 Bald Eagle 2017-209 Bald Eagle 2017-208

Bald Eagle 2017-213

Eagles were very active today.

Northern Pintail 2017-60 Northern Pintail 2017-59 Northern Pintail 2017-58 Northern Pintail 2017-57 Northern Pintail 2017-56

Northern Pintail 2017-61

There seem to be more Northern Pintails than in previous years.

Northern Shoveler 2017-50

The Northern Shoveler population is increasing.

Great Blue Heron 2017-125

Several Great Blue Herons were fishing in the marsh.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-81

This is a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker.

Hooded Merganser 2017-805

These Hooded mergansers took off soon after I spotted them.

Ruddy Duck 2017-13

I saw only a few Ruddy Ducks.

Bald Eagle 2017-207

I found this juvenile Bald Eagle at Jonas Green Park yesterday.

American Wigeon 2017-5

This American Wigeon was the only duck at Oakley Street.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 27

It took a while to get in the right position for a good look at this Delmarva Fox Squirrel.