Carolina Wren at Sandy Point

I went back to Sandy Point State Park this morning, for lack of any better available choice. Late July is kind of blah for birding.

Deer

This is the first deer (There were two of them) I’ve seen at Sandy Point. She looked to be pretty skinny.

Carolina Wren

It’s always a treat to hear a Carolina Wren.

Bay Bridge

The beaches are littered with Gulls.

Mockingbird

Mockingbirds are thriving at Sandy Point.

Osprey

It’s my understanding that the Chesapeake Bay is the largest Osprey breeding ground.

Great  Black Backed Gull

This appears to be a first year Great Black Backed Gull

Little Yellow

This may be a Little Yellow, but I’m not sure.

Black Vulture

This would make a good cover for a Gothic novel.

Great Blue Heron

I watched this Great Blue Heron fish for a while, but he wasn’t having much luck.

Cardinal

This Cardinal needs to eat to finish molting.

Butterfly

I haven’t found an ID for this butterfly.

Lothian:My First Owl

Someday I’ll figure out why one birding day is better than another. I went back to Lothian today and didn’t see nearly as many birds even though the weather was better and I had more time to seek them out.

Blue Grosbeak

When I first saw this Blue Grosbeak he was sitting atop a corn plant, but I couldn’t get a decent shot.. Fortunately, he flew to a nearby willow tree and posed.

Cardinal

I can’t recall any place I’ve been that didn’t have a Cardinal singing nearby.

Flycatcher

This may be a Peewee, but Flycatchers are hard to identify. There weren’t nearly as many in sight as last time I went.

Cardinal

I can always tell a slow day when I find my self capturing multiple Cardinals.

House Finch

This House Finch may have heard the shutter click.

Owl

My first Owl!

Sparrow

I’m working on an ID for this bird. Female House Finch.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

I believe this is a Western Tiger Swallowtail.

Osprey:Two Fish in One Pass

Image

It was cooler today, so I went to the Nature Center and Possum Point to see if anything had changed, but, aside from a Bonaparte’s Gull, it was very slow.

Osprey Two at a Time!

Osprey

Osprey

This Osprey has snagged two fish, probably on the same pass. I’ve seen Ospreys many times with a single fish, but this is a first for me.

Osprey

On Summer mornings the sky above Possum Point is filled with Ospreys.

Blue Grosbeak

This Blue Grosbeak was singing loudly.

Orchard Oriole

This Orchard Oriole was looking for a meal.

Cardinal

Some Cardinals are redder than others.

Flycatcher

I took a short walk after dinner, and this Flycatcher was feeding 100 feet from my front door.

Four Birds on a Wire

I had a job in Lothian this morning, on the farm of a friend, and he graciously allowed me to cruise the property for birds. It’s a haven for all kinds of wildlife, and he’s one a marvelous job of landscaping and general maintenance. The first thing I noticed was an abundance of Flycatchers and Butterflies.

Acadian Flycatcher

These birds are hard to identify, but I’m calling it an Acadian Flycatcher.

Zebra Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail

My Android Audubon Butterfly app says this is a Zebra Swallowtail.

Northern Parula

Hardly a great image, but a nice find for me. I believe this is a Northern Parula, and I’ve only seen a couple in the past.

Aphrodite Fritillary

I’m fairly confident this is an Aphrodite Fritillary.

Yellow Bellied Flycatcher

When I set up for this shot, there were two Yellow Bellied Flycatchers sitting on the branch, so the other two were a nice surprise.

Goldfinch

This Goldfinch will be adopting a winter plumage before long.

Dragonflies in the Heat

Work. weather and chores have been intruding on my birding for the last couple of days, so there’s not much to show here.
Yesterday I had to work on a couple pf computer problems, so my Sandy Point Trip was very short, and today I got new tires for the truck and got a few shots of the birds around Sam’s Club, but a subsequent trip to the Nature Center was very brief due to the excessive heat and humidity.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

This view of the Bay Bridge was taken looking across the marina at Sandy Point.

Dragonfly

When it’s too hot for the birds, you can usually find a dragonfly.

Blue Jay

The local Sam’s club did a decent job of keeping a green border, and it looked promising, but it’s largely populated by Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Starlings, stray cats and Sparrows.

Mockingbird

Mockingbirds seemed to be everywhere, and they were quite aggressive with one another.

Red Winged Blackbird

This Red Winged Blackbird was one of the few birds braving the heat.

July 24, 2012

Hot and humid again, with a promise of thunderstorms that haven’t materialized yet, but seemed possible all day long. I slept later than usual, and arrived at Sandy Point State Park around 8:00 AM and circled the entire park, anti-clockwise.

Red Shouldered Hawk

I’ve taken a lot of photos of birds, and it can get a little ho-hum in cases, but some birds always give a thrill and leave you a little breathless. That’s the way I feel about Hawks. This Red Shouldered Hawk flew into the woods and I despaired of getting a good shot, but I moved nearer and was able to get some respectable images of this magnificent bird. I believe this is a juvenile.

Balck Swallowtail

This butterfly appears to have led a hard life. I’m calling it a Black Swallowtail, but it differs somewhat from the Audubon image.

Crow

Black Vulture

The Black Vulture is another commonplace bird at Sandy Point

Ring Billed Gull

There are many Ring Billed Gulls in the park. The red eye ring and red “Gape” mentioned in Sibley are easily seen here.

Great Egret

Great Egret

This shot isn’t as sharp as I’d like, but it’s my first Great Egret and will have to do.

Sandy Point

Sandy Point State Park is at the Western terminus of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It’s well maintained and includes many amenities such as the picnic tables and BBQ grill seen here.

Canada Goose

One of the beaches is filled with Canada Geese and Ring Billed Gulls.

Great Blue Heron

This is the first time I’ve seen this wing drying posture from a Great Blue Heron.

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

I don’t often get this close to an Eastern Kingbird.

Mockingbird

There are many Mockingbirds in the park, and they pose willingly.

Downy Woodpecker

When I watch a Downy Woodpecker foraging, I’m always impressed by their attention to detail.

Dragonfly

Dragonflies are everywhere you look in the park.

July 23, 2012

Another hot day, but I decided to try changing my luck and went to Sandy Point State Park this morning. This is a 786 acre park right on the Chesapeake Bay, at the Eastern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
There is a fee, but I had read about the “Golden Age” pass, which was granted quickly, and gives me free entrance to all MD State Parks. A good deal.
From the web site:”Wildlife viewing and bird watching are favorite pastimes for many park visitors. Sandy Point’s location on the Eastern Flyway makes it an ideal location for viewing a large variety of woodland, marsh and migratory waterfowl”

Great Blue Heron (Juvenile)

The Great Blue Heron (Juvenile) has yet to get is adult colors or plumage. He was not nearly as wary as an adult.

Eastern Kingbird

These Eastern Kingbirds were very active, and feeding well.

Black Vulture

There was a flock of 20 or so Black Vultures hanging out at the dumpster.

Bluebird (Juvenile)

Bluebird

Bluebird

There were several Bluebirds, including this male and a juvenile.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

This Mockingbird, like many of his brethren, was perched at the top of his tree, proclaiming multiple songs loudly.

Savannah Sparrow

The Savannah Sparrow is another prolific songster.

Red Admiral

According to my Audobon Android app, this is a Red Admiral.
I’m disappointed it isn’t sharper, but it’s the first I’ve seen.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Someday I’ll get names for these guys.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Despite its name, this Great Crested Flycatcher was catching dragonflies and grasshoppers.

July 22, 2012

Decent weather for a change. I got to Possum Point around 6:45. It was in the high 70s and very overcast.
I immediately startled a feeding doe and two large waterbirds I couldn’t see well enough to ID. Almost certainly not Great Blue Herons, dark and silent.
I messed around for a while, then spent a couple of hours at the nature center, followed by an afternoon trip to Truxtun Park.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

There were two of these birds hanging around Possum Point. They seemed to be eating something on the ground, but I didn’t see what it was.

Osprey

There are still many Ospreys around, and many have successfully raised their young.

Deer

The deer are doing well. This is another doe. I’ve seen a couple of bucks, but have yet to get a picture.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This Red Bellied Woodpecker examined the dead limbs on this tree for several minutes.

Starling

I count 28 Starlings.

Osprey

Some Ospreys will allow you to approach quite closely.

Mockingbird

There were two Mockingbirds engaging in what appeared to be a territorial dispute.

Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird is very handsome.

Cardinal

It’s hard to pass up a Cardinal.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

This Blue Gray Gnatcatcher led me a merry chase and I was lucky to get this shot.

Chipping Sparrow

There seems to always be a Chipping Sparrow around the Nature Center building.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

This Western Tiger Swallowtail is looking a little ragged.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron seemed to be resting.

Barn Swallow

For most of this year I’ve only seen Northern Rough Winged Swallows at Truxtun Park, so this Barn Swallow was a surprise.

Dragonfly

I remember watching Dragonflies as a child, but it wasn’t until recently I realized there were many different ones.

Indigo Bunting at Greenbury Point

We had a good rainstorm last night, and it looked like rain this morning, so I just spent a couple of hours at the Nature Center before setting out to do some much neglected chores.

Cowbird (Juvenile)

This appears to be a juvenile Cowbird. He was a good subject, and may not have seen a human before.

Catbird

A Catbird has taken up residence in a bush right in front of my house, and has confused me a couple of times. This bird was silent, however.

Blue Grosbeak

This is the first time I’ve seen a male and female Blue Grosbeak together.

Red Winged Blackbird

This female Red Winged Blackbird struck a classic pose.

Orchard Oriole

I was surprised to see three Orchard Oriole hanging out together. Perhaps they’re a family.

Blue Grosbeak and Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Oriole

I didn’t get a perfect shot, but at one point there were 4 different species in this bush:The Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Oriole above, a House Finch a Goldfinch and a female Blue Grosbeak.

Cardinal

This Cardinal may be a Rod Stewart fan.

Blue Grosbeak  and Cardinal

It was an unusual day for getting multiple species in the same shot.

Blue Grosbeak

When I started photographing birds I was mostly interested in getting clear shots that showed enough field marks to ID the bird. Now, I find the occasional shot that demands artistry in composition, and that’s a real challenge for me.

Grackle with Peanut

Another yucky, uninspiring day. It was warm early, even after last night’s welcome rain, an the firing range at USNA was open again, limiting the available birding space. I left soon after I arrived, as not much was happenng, and went to a friend’s house, which looks promising for the future.

Goldfinch

This Goldfinch was one of the few visible birds.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This juvenile Red Bellied Woodpecker searched this tree thoroughly for a meal.

Osprey

There are so many Ospreys at Possum Point that I sometimes ignore them, but I’ll miss them when they migrate.

Red Tailed Hawk

I saw this Red Tailed Hawk land in a large tree, but I couldn’t locate him until two Crows chased him from his perch into the open .

Grackle

This handsome Grackle was proud of his peanut.

C at

My friend Shannon rescued this handsome cat several years ago.