Blue Grosbeak at Blackwater NWR.

We’re due for a short period of foul weather, so I made the trek to Blackwater this morning to improve my chances of a good day.

It worked out OK.  There’s still not a lot of birds, but the variety was good, and the weather was better than the reports suggested it would be.

I found more passerines than usual, but not much in the way of migrants.

Dock 7

The dock on Key Wallace Drive.

Blackwater Dawn 27

Blackwater Dawn.

Field Sparrow 2017-3

I haven’t seen many Field Sparrows anywhere lately.

Common Yellowthroat 2017-11

Common Yellowthroats will be migrating South soon.

Green Heron 2017-34

I wanted just a little better light for this Green Heron.

Belted Kingfisher 2017-34 Belted Kingfisher 2017-33

Belted Kingfisher 2017-35

I wasn’t quite ready for this Belted Kingfisher, who flew in as I walked by.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-42 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-41 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-40

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-43

I turned just in time to catch this Double Crested Cormorant swallowing his catch.

Caspian Tern 2017-46

This appears to be a Caspian Tern, and I don’t often see them at Blackwater.

Forster's Tern 2017-122

Many Forster’s Terns are feeding at Blackwater.

Great Blue Heron 2017-91

Great Blue Heron 2017-92

Great Blue Herons are the dominant wader at the moment.

Bald Eagle 2017-163 Bald Eagle 2017-162

Bald Eagle 2017-164

Bald Eagles are slightly more visible now.

Blue Grosbeak 2017-13

Blue Grosbeak 2017-14

I’ve only seen a few Blue Grosbeaks at Blackwater.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 24

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 23

I walked right into this Delmarva Fox Squirrel, who wasn’t as skittish as some of his fellow squirrels.

Wasp 38

Today’s bugs.

Katydid 15 Wasp 39

Savannah Sparrow at Bombay Hook NWR.

I met Graeme early, and we drove to Bombay Hook to see if we could get lucky. There have been Ibises seen, and it’s well into migration, so anything was possible.

It was not to be. There were certainly plenty of birds in good light, but nothing out of the ordinary save a very nice Savannah Sparrow.

We spent some time with the Egrets and Terns, and found some Sandpipers willing to come quite close. Not a great day, but good enough.

Snowy Egret 2017-78 Snowy Egret 2017-77 Snowy Egret 2017-76 Snowy Egret 2017-75 Snowy Egret 2017-74

 

Snowy Egret 2017-79

Many Snowy Egrets were feeding in the marsh.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-31 Greater Yellowlegs 2017-30

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-32

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-33

I don’t often get this close to a Greater Yellowlegs.

Forster's Tern 2017-113

Forster’s Terns were feeding quickly.

Forster's Tern 2017-114

Forster's Tern 2017-118Forster's Tern 2017-117Forster's Tern 2017-115

Great Blue Heron 2017-90

This Great Blue Heron shows how the light was nearly perfect.

Great Blue Heron 2017-89

Savannah Sparrow 2017-1

I haven’t seen a Savannah Sparrow in quite a while.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler at Terrapin Nature Park.

I was at Sandy Point for sunrise, and didn’t take a single picture.  That’s a lot of trips I’ve made without a decent sunrise.

I went to Terrapin afterwards, and it was a very active day. Many migrants were on the move, and I saw lots of movement in many different areas of the park. I didn’t get as many images, nor as much variety as I’d like, but it was good enough.

Flycatcher 2017-2

This Flycatcher was the first bird I found this morning.

Cedar Waxwing 2017-12

A small flock of Cedar Waxwings was roaming the park.

Palm Warbler 2017-7

I was lucky to spot this Palm Warbler.

Osprey 2017-105

This Osprey will be heading South soon.

Great Crested Flycatcher 2017-15

I saw several Great Crested Flycatchers this morning.

Scarlet Tanager 2017-1

This Scarlet Tanager is on the way South.

Red Eyed Vireo 2017-5

This Red Eyed Vireo took off just as I pressed the shutter.

Baltimore Oriole 2017-16

This Baltimore Oriole was a surprise.

Chestnut Sided Warbler 2017-2

Chestnut Sided Warbler 2017-3

Several Chestnut-sided Warblers flew through my area.

Grasshopper 220 Wasp 35 Fly 1127 Ant 44 Insect 805

Caterpillar 233

Today’s bugs.

Green Tree Frog 8

I found 5 of these small Frogs this afternoon.

Skink 17

Five Lined Skinks are numerous at Quiet Waters.

Brown Headed Nuthatch at Blackwater NWR.

With good weather promised, I decided to try a trip to Blackwater this morning. It wasn’t any kind of bonanza, but I did find a few interesting birds.

There’s still only a few wading birds compared to a few weeks ago, and I don’t know what to make of that.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-29

I found only a single Greater Yellowlegs.

Field Sparrow 2017-2

This appears to be a Field Sparrow.

Killdeer 2017-13

Killdeer are started to appear in larger numbers.

Eastern Kingbird 2017-38

Several Eastern Kkingbirds are stiil flycatching on Wildlife Drive.

Barn Swallow 2017-38

A mixed flock of Tree and Barn Swallows was foraging along Wildlife Drive.

Great Blue Heron 2017-88

Severall Great Blue Herons were fishing in the marsh.

Bald Eagle 2017-160

Bald Eagle 2017-161

This Bald Eagle was making a lot of noise.

Great Egret 2017-133

Great Egret 2017-134

This Great Egret had much of the marsh to himself.

Forster's Tern 2017-111 Forster's Tern 2017-110

Forster's Tern 2017-112

Forster’s Terns like to hang out on theses pilings.

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-30 Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-29

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-28

These Brown Headed Nuthatches appeared to be having a lot of fun.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 22

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 21

This Delmarva Fox Squirrel was just barely in range.

Fox 84

This Fox was prowling around the visitor center.

 

Blackwater Dawn 25

Blackwater Dawn 26

Blackwater Dawn.

Wilson’s Warbler at Terrapin Nature Park.

It was cloudy this morning, so I didn’t get to Terrapin until nearly 7:00. It started clearing up right away, so my timing was good.

There was plenty of migrant activity, but they were moving quickly and I didn’t get as many good images as I wanted. There were very few wading birds, which seems a little odd to me.

I stopped by Sandy Point on the way home and found a few Terns, which are beginning to be a favorite.

Seagull 2017-12

Seagull, goofing on the beach.

Laughing Gull 2017-12

This Laughing Gull was bathing at Sandy Point.

Royal Tern 2017-8

Only a few Royal Terns are at Sandy Point.

 

Caspian Tern 2017-42

About 10 Caspian Terns are spending time at Sandy Point.

Caspian Tern 2017-44Caspian Tern 2017-43Barn Swallow 2017-36Barn Swallow 2017-35

Barn Swallow 2017-37

This Barn Swallow was flying in an oval pattern, so I was able to get some flight shots.

Brown Thrasher 2017-10

I found this Brown Thrasher at Terrapin.

Red Eyed Vireo 2017-3

Red Eyed Vireo 2017-4

This Red Eyed Vireo is probably a migrant.

American Redstart 2017-5

American Redstart 2017-6

American Redstarts are still appearing in large numbers.

Warbler 2017-2 Warbler 2017-1

Warbler 2017-3

The poor light make this Yellow Warbler look too dark.

Wilson's Warbler 2017-2

Wilson's Warbler 2017-3

This is only my second Wilson’s Warbler, and the last one was at Terrapin as well.

Wilson's Warbler 2017-1

Bald Eagle at Blackwater NWR.

It’s still slow around here-I went to Terrapin yesterday and didn’t get a single image worth looking at. I found a few Terns at Sandy Point, but that’s nothing new. The bug hunt at Quiet Waters was much better.

The weather was near perfect, but Blackwater hasn’t picked up much, despite the cooler weather. I was hoping to find some migrants, but I didn’t have any luck.

It was still a good day, and I got a few photos worth looking at.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-76 Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-75

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-74

This is another juvenile Red Headed Woodpecker.

Forster's Tern 2017-108 Forster's Tern 2017-107 Forster's Tern 2017-106 Forster's Tern 2017-105 Forster's Tern 2017-104

Forster's Tern 2017-102

Forster's Tern 2017-103

Blackwater is very popular with Forster’s Terns.

Green Heron 2017-33

This Green Heron was content to sit and soak up the Sun.

Common Yellowthroat 2017-7

Common Yellowthroat 2017-8

I haven’t found a Common Yellowthroat in quite a while.

Great Egret 2017-127 Great Egret 2017-132 Great Egret 2017-131 Great Egret 2017-130 Great Egret 2017-129

Great Egret 2017-126

Only a few Great Egrets remain at Blackwater.

Bald Eagle 2017-157 Bald Eagle 2017-156

Bald Eagle 2017-158

I turned just in time to see this Bald Eagle catching a small fish.

Caterpillar 231 Wasp 33 Wasp 32 Skipper 65 Insect 804 Caterpillar 232 Insect 803 Bee 234 Insect 802 Assassin Bug Nymph 11 Assassin Bug Nymph 10 Wasp 31

Cicada 2017-3

Yesterday’s bugs.

Skink 16

This Five Lined Skink was more cooperative than most.

Red-necked Phalarope at Sandy Point State Park.

We’ve had a little rain the last couple of days, so I haven’t been able to get out in the morning, my preferred time for photography.

I did manage to find a few bugs in the afternoon, and then I got an email about a rare bird at Sandy Point yesterday, so I made the trip despite the rain and traffic.

The Red-necked Phalarope was right where he was reported to be, and very cooperative,so I got some nice images. I don’t usually chase these rarities, but this one was close and worth the effort.

Forster's Tern 2017-100

Caspian Tern 2017-39

There are still 20 or so Caspian Terns at Sandy Point.

Royal Tern 2017-7

Royal Tern 2017-6

Royal Tern 2017-5

This sequence shows a Royal Tern apparently picking up, then dropping a stick.

Red-necked Phalarope 2017-1

Red-necked Phalarope 2017-2

This Red-necked Phalarope was foraging in small circles, as described by the Audubon guide. Audubon: “Phalaropes reverse the usual sex roles in birds: Females are larger and more colorful than males; females take the lead in courtship, and males are left to incubate the eggs and care for the young. Red-necked Phalaropes nest around arctic tundra pools and winter at sea. During migration they pause on shallow ponds in the west, where they spin in circles, picking at the water’s surface. However, most apparently migrate offshore, especially in the east. Despite their small size and delicate shape, they seem perfectly at home on the open ocean.”

Caterpillar 231

Yesterday’s bugs.

 

Red Headed Woodpecker at Blackwater NWR.

I’m posting this a day late as I got a little busy yesterday and didn’t have the time. I went to Blackwater once again, and it was slower than usual, but still good enough.

I also made a couple of stops at Quiet  Waters, as the bug hunts have been more successful lately.

Forster's Tern 2017-99 Forster's Tern 2017-98

Forster's Tern 2017-100

This Caspian Tern was at Sandy Point.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2017-31

Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2017-32

There’s still a few Ruby Throated Hummingbirds at the Blackwater visitor center.

Great Egret 2017-124 Great Egret 2017-123 Great Egret 2017-122 Great Egret 2017-121

Great Egret 2017-125

This Great Egret allowed me to get very close.

Eastern Kingbird 2017-37

Eastern Kingbirds are still flycatching along Wildlife Drive.

Barn Swallow 2017-33

Barn Swallow 2017-32

Many Barn Swallows were feeding on Wildlife Drive.

Belted Kingfisher 2017-32

Barn Swallow 2017-34

It took a bit of patience to catch this Barn Swallow in flight.

Bald Eagle 2017-155

This Bald Eagle took off as I approached his perch.

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-26

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-27

Brown Headed Nuthatches do well at Blackwater.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-39

I stopped at the bridge to check out the Double Crested Cormorants.

Forster's Tern 2017-96

Forster's Tern 2017-97

Blackwater is popular with Forster’s Terns.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-72 Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-71 Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-69

Red Headed Woodpecker 2017-73

This is a juvenile Red Headed Woodpecker.

 

Squirrel 4

Squirrel 5

This Gray Squirrel family has taken over an old woodpecker nest.

Insect 801 Red Banded Hairstreak 3 Wasp 28 Monarch 55 Bee 233 Bee 232 Monarch 54 Butterfly 70 Insect 800 Butterfly 69 Insect 799 Moth 221 Moth 220

Wasp 29

Bugs from Quiet Waters.

 

Green Tree Frog 4

Green Tree Frog 3

This Green Tree Frog is about 1/2″.

Black Crowned Night Heron at Bombay Hook, NWR.

It’s still a little slow around here, so I went back to Bombay Hook this morning. I’ve never seen so many Sandpipers in one place. There were many thousands feeding in the first pool. Apparently they stay until the tide comes in.

There wasn’t as much variety as usual, and many of the birds were at the distant side of the pools, but enough cooperated to get a few decent images. The Night Herons were much more visible than usual.

Beaver 123

I found this Beaver at Lake Artemesia yesterday.

Goldfinch 2017-17

Many Goldfinches were feeding near the marsh.

Bald Eagle 2017-153

Bald Eagle 2017-154

Eagles are almost always in this single tree at Bombay Hook.

Great Egret 2017-120

Great Egret 2017-118

Great Egret 2017-119

There were hundreds of Egrets, but most were too distant for good images.

Semi-palmated Plover 2017-1

I just barely caught this Semi-palmated Plover at it flew by.

Forster's Tern 2017-94

Forster's Tern 2017-95

Forster’s Terns are still present in large numbers.

Green Heron 2017-32

I spooked this Green Heron near Finis Pool.

Great Blue Heron 2017-86 Great Blue Heron 2017-85

Great Blue Heron 2017-87

This Great Blue Heron was photobombed by a flock of Least Sandpipers.

Blue Grosbeak 2017-12

This Blue Grosbeak was singing loudly as I entered the refuge.

Black Crowned Night Heron 2017-12 Black Crowned Night Heron 2017-11 Black Crowned Night Heron 2017-10

Black Crowned Night Heron 2017-13

Black Crowned Night Herons nest at Bombay Hook, and this juvenile is learning how to feed himself.

Skipper 63 Caterpillar 230 Ladybug 54 Skipper 64 Monarch 53 Bee 231

Ladybug 55

Today’s bugs.

Chestnut Sided Warbler at Lake Artemesia.

I tried Lake Artemesia for the first time in a while, and it was good enough.  I found a decent warbler and some other migrants, a promising sign. A couple of huge caterpillars made as nice find as well.

I also stopped at Quiet Waters this afternoon, and found a few bugs.

Cardinal 2017-16

This Cardinal posed nicely.

Wood Duck 2017-90

Wood Duck 2017-88

Wood Duck 2017-89

Several Wood Ducks were feeding near shore.

Great Crested Flycatcher 2017-14Great Crested Flycatcher 2017-13

Great Crested Flycatcher 2017-12

This Great Crested Flycatcher found a nice Cicada for breakfast.

Green Heron 2017-31

At least two Green Herons were foraging in the lake.

Chestnut Sided Warbler 2017-1

This Chestnut Warbler was a nice find.

Insect 798

An odd looking bug.

Red Banded Hairstreak 2

Another Red Banded Hairstreak.

Caterpillar 229

Caterpillar 228

Two of the largest caterpillars I’ve ever seen.