Red Shouldered Hawk at Terrapin Nature Center

After three days with no significant birding, I was eager to see if Sandy had blown any birds our way. After a brief doctor’s appointment, I set out for Terrapin Nature Center under cloudy skies with a threat of rain and arrived about 10:00 AM. While there were many active birds, I didn’t see anything unusual, but I did get a few good images. I did see a lone, bedraggled Osprey on the beach, but he was too distant for a good shot.

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warblers are still present in large numbers.

Bald Eagle

This appears to be an immature Bald Eagle.

Goldfinch

This Goldfinch hasn’t finished his Winter molt yet.

Cardinal

Cardinal

Cardinals were abundant and active.

Carolina Wren

I heard several Carolina Wrens, but this was the only one who would pose.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

This Song Sparrow was enjoying a bath in this puddle.

Field Sparrow

There was a large, mixed flock of Sparrows along the beach path, including this Field Sparrow.

Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Juncos are often called “Snow Birds.”

White Throated Sparrow

This White Throated Sparrow chose a nice place to pose.

Canada Goose

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

I saw this Red Shouldered Hawk land at quite a distance, and was able to move closer to get this shot.


Canada Goose

Canada Geese flew overhead frequently.

Canada Geese at Terrapin Nature Park

It was a dark and cloudy morning, but the weatherman promised no rain, so I set out early for Terrapin Nature Park. It wasn’t a totally successful day, but I did see a lot of geese and the Yellow Rumped/Kinglet invasion is still ongoing.

Canada Goose

This is the first time I’ve seen so many Canada Geese on the marsh pond, so it may portend the arrival of a variety of water birds soon.

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

I captured this Yellow Rumped Warbler at ISO 1600 due to the low light, hence the grainy look.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Several Snowy Egrets were fishing in the marsh pond.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are early risers.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Another good look at how the Red Bellied Woodpecker gets his name.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglets were especially elusive today.

Double Crested Cormorant

Unseasonable weather continues, and I have to wonder about climate change, especially after watching the latest NOVA special. It’s a weird world where money can trump good science.
I spent a couple of hours at Greenbury Point to virtually no avail, followed by a quick trip to Truxtun Park that wasn’t much better. Where are the birds?

Double Crested Cormorant

These Double Crested Cormorants are resting on an Osprey nesting platform. The one on the right is a juvenile.

Great Blue Heron

If you can’t find a bird to photograph, head for the bridge at Truxtun Park and this Great Blue Heron will accommodate you.

White Breasted Nuthatch

I don’t take many feeder shots, but a very nice couple (Thanks, Bill and Lisa) allowed me into their yard full of feeders where this White Breasted Nuthatch was hanging out.

Great Blue Heron

I was in a good position to capture this Great Blue Heron as he flew by.

Titmouse

This Titmouse was taking advantage of the feeders also.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrows remain plentiful.

Wooton’s Landing Wetland Park

I’m still trying out new places, and today it was Wooton’s Landing Wetland Park in Lothian. It’s a well maintained park with access to the Patuxent river and a large marsh area, and looks very promising. I didn’t find anything great today, but I got a few decent pictures and I’ll go back soon.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

I’m seeing migrating Ruby Crowned Kinglets everywhere I go. There must be many thousands of these birds just in Maryland.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers make good subjects as they usually ignore the photographer.

Blue Jay

I don’t often photograph Blue Jays on the ground.

Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco

The Dark Eyed Junco migration is well under way.

White Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrows are becoming commonplace.

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warblers have also inundated the area.

Bluebird

There were many Bluebirds in the area.

Raccoon at Lake Artemesia

I decided to try a new place today, so I went back to Lake Artemesia in Beltsville for a closer look. While not an overwhelming success, I did get a new bird and saw my first Racccoon in a tree. A good day, all in all.

Ring Necked Duck

This Ring Necked Duck is a first for me. It was taken during the morning fog.
From Cornell:
“Of all the diving duck species, the Ring-necked Duck is most likely to drop into small ponds during migration.”

Canada Goose

These Canada Geese were enjoying the early morning tranquility.There were dozens of geese on the lake.

Beaver

This Beaver is carrying breakfast back to his den.

Ruddy Duck

This Ruddy Duck was patrolling the lake by himself.

Song Sparrow

This Song Sparrow struck a nice pose.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

There were several flocks of Cedar Waxwings in residence.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

This Ruby Crowned Kinglet is giving us a look at his crown.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

This Mockingbird’s pose was so bizarre, I took a closer look. In the preceding image you can see his foot is tucked up under his wing, but I don’t know why.

Brown Thrasher

This Brown Thrasher flew into the frame while I was photographing another bird.

Raccoon

I’ve seen Raccoons around garbage cans or in the back yard, but this is the first time I saw one near his den.

Blue Headed Vireo

Blue Headed Vireo

Blue Headed Vireo

This Blue Headed Vireo was a nice find. (Thanks, Ed)

Turtle

This looks like a family outing.

Unknown Duck

This may be a female Ruddy Duck, but I’m not sure. It turns out to be a Pied Bill Grebe (Thanks, Kevin).

Ruddy Duck

There was a raft of 10-12 Ruddy Ducks, all snoozing.

Brown Creeper at Terrapin Nature Park

The weather gods continue to favor the birder. I set out early for Terrapin and arrived just about sunrise. After a quick tour of the interior, I set uout for the beach path, and walked the entire without seeing a single worthy bird. Most unusual. After returning, I did another circuit and found a Brown Creeper, a bird I’ve been seeking fro quite some time. It’s not a great shot, as he only gave me a quick glimpse before disappearing, but I’ll take it.

Cedar Waxwing

This juvenile Cedar Waxwing will get his adult coloration early next year.

Robin

There are very large flocks of Robins in the park.

Deer

Some young deer seem uncertain what to do when they see a human.

Canada Goose

Flocks of Canada Geese are a common sight at this time of year.

Brown Creeper

I hate when a picture isn’t perfectly focused, but I’ve been looking for this guy for a while, so it will do.
From Cornell:
“Cool Facts
The naturalist W.M. Tyler, writing in 1948, captured this species’ energy and fragility in a memorable description, “The Brown Creeper, as he hitches along the bole of a tree, looks like a fragment of detached bark that is defying the law of gravitation by moving upward over the trunk, and as he flies off to another tree he resembles a little dry leaf blown about by the wind.””

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Migrating Ruby Crowned Kinglets seem to be everywhere in Maryland.

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

This Yellow Rumped Warbler will be more colorful in the Spring.

Downy Woodpecker

When you watch a Downy Woodpecker, you’re impressed with their thoroughness.

Hermit Thrush

I was watching some Phoebes when this Hermit Thrush came into view.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

When a Great Blue Heron has spotted his prey, he strikes very rapidly.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron usually catches a fish sideways to his beak, then immediately starts turning it to make swallowing easier.

Slow Birding at Greenbury Point

The great weather continued today, but not the great birding. I did see a distant Ruddy Duck, which may mean more ducks are on the way soon.

Ruddy Duck

This distant Ruddy Duck was by himself.

Song Sparrow

I saw hundreds of Song Sparrows in large flocks.

Palm  Warbler

Palm Warbles are common at Greenbury Point.

Chickadee

This Chickadee was hanging out with a flock of Goldfinches.

Goldfinch

This Goldfinch has assumed his drab Winter plumage.

Bald Eagle at Governor Bridge Natural Area

I checked with my Facebook group last to try to find a new spot, and they recommended the Governor Bridge Natural Area, which is on 301 South, and not too far from my home. I headed there at about 9:30. It’s certainly got possibilities, with a large wooded area, a meadow/shrub area and a large lake. but there was very little action. I’ll try it again some day.

Eastern Phoebe

One advantage of Fall is the possibility of new backgrounds for birds like this Eastern Phoebe.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle flew over the lake shortly after I arrived, and was the highlight of the day.

Great Blue Heron in Flight

This Great Blue Heron also flew over the lake.

Song Sparrow

I saw large flocks of Song Sparrows.

Goldfinch

Goldfinches were numerous also.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

It took me half an hour to get a decent picture of this Ruby Crowned Kinglet as he flitted rapidly from branch to branch.

Sparrows and Goldfinches at Greenbury Point

Another gorgeous day for birding! I debated leaving my light jacket at home, but decided to take it just in case. I spent some time at Possum Point first, looking for migrants in the pine trees, then headed over to Greenbury Point. I did spot a Junco, but the highlight was the huge flocks of Sparrows and Goldfinches out by the point, and one cooperative Downy Woodpecker.

Flicker

This Flicker was up early, warming in the sunrise.

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warblers are being reported all over Maryland, so there must be many thousands of these birds in the area.

Bluebird

Bluebird

I see a lot of Bluebirds at Greenbury, and they’re hard to pass up.

Song Sparrow

There’s been a large influx of Song Sparrows.

Dark Eyed Junco

The Dark Eyed Junco is a sparrow who spends the Summer in Canada and winters in the US.

Goldfinch

A large flock of Goldfinches was feeding out by the towers. There were so many it startled me the first time they took off.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

The Goldfinches and Sparrows ignored this Downy Woodpecker as he went from tree to tree among them.

Goldfinch

This small puddle had so many visitors it reminded e of a jungle watering hole.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

I went for a short walk before dinner, and found several Kinglets foraging in the bushes a short distance from my home.

Golden Crowned Kinglet

Golden Crowned Kinglet

The Ruby Crowned Kinglet often hides his “Crown”, but the Golden Crowned Kinglet always has it on display.

Eastern Towhees Pose at Terrapin Nature Park

I enjoy birding, but I’m not a fan of cold, windy weather, so I’m glad the good weather is continuing. I had to fix a friend’s computer this morning, so I left early in order to get to the park near dawn. It was just as busy as yesterday, but I didn’t get the variety I was seeking. The Eastern Towhee was a nice find, however.

Eastern Towhee

I’ve had difficulty getting a good pose from these birds, so I’m thankful to this one. It’s an adult female, red eyed, Eastern Towhee.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This Red Bellied Woodpecker may be contemplating the coming day.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

From Cornell:
“The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the only woodpecker in eastern North America that is completely migratory. Although a few individuals remain throughout much of the winter in the southern part of the breeding range, most head farther south, going as far south as Panama. Females tend to migrate farther south than do males.”

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

I saw many more Ruby Crowned Kinglets than on previous days.

Bluebird

I don’t often see Bluebirds at the park.