Buffleheads at Greenbury Point

The promised rain/snow hadn’t materialized by 9:00, so I decided to take a chance and see what was going on at Possum Point/Greenbury Point.
It was really too cloudy for decent photos, but I had nothing else to do, and there’s always a chance of getting lucky.
There were many active Cedar Waxwings, and plenty of ducks. I did see a nice hawk, but had no opportunity to get a photo.

Canada Goose

It’s not hard to find flocks of Canada Geese in the morning at this time of year.

Flicker

This Flicker was hard to see in the low light.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron is using a vacant Osprey nest for a perch.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Flocks of Cedar Waxwings were active throughout the area.

Lesser  Scaup

Lesser  Scaup

The 2-3 foot waves seemed to make no difference to this pair of Lesser Scaup

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Ruddy Ducks and Buffleheads seem to be the most common ducks in the area.

Hooded Merganser at Quiet Waters Park

It would be hard to get better December birding weather than today. When I left the house around 8:30 AM, it was in the low 40s, and gradually warmer a few degrees. One disadvantage of really cold weather is the need to wear gloves, which makes the camera a little harder to use. Today, I had the gloves off by 10:00.
I started at Thomas Point State Park, where I found a Long Tailed Duck, then drove a short distance to Quiet Waters, where there was more variety, including the title duck, and a very cooperative Sharp Shinned Hawk. I made a stop at Truxtun Park on the way home, where I found a few Mallards. A good day to be a birder.

Greater Scaup

I’m not great at Identifying birds, but my Sibleys leads me to believe this is a female Greater Scaup.

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Buffleheads often fly away when I’m observing, so I was ready for this pair.

Long Tailed Duck

This is only the second Long Tailed Duck I’ve seen, and I think they were solitary each time.

Lesser  Scaup

Lesser  Scaup

This drake is probably a Lesser Scaup.

Great Blue Heron

I was lucky to be observing this Great Blue Heron just as he caught breakfast.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

I’ve missed birds lkike this Sharp-Shinned Hawk in the past, but I’ve learned to look up more often.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

This drake Hooded Merganser was on the far side of a cove when I spotted him. I walked a good half mile through the woods to get closer, whereupon he flew off.

Bluebird

I don’t often see Bluebirds at Quiet Waters.


Here’s a look at a Downy Woodpecker earning his meal.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

This Downy Woodpecker ignored my presence, as they often do.

Mallard

Mallards are so common I sometimes forget how colorful they are.

Wild Turkey at Patuxent NWR

It was a dark and windy morning, but the Sun was peeking through, so I headed out to Patuxent to look for some reported Crossbills. I didn’t find any, but I did run into some Wild Turkeys on the way in. The picture isn’t very good, but it’s my first Wild Turkey, so I’ll take it. After a mostly fruitless search at Patuxent North, I headed to Patuxent South, where it was also slow, but I had better luck.

Wild Turkey

There was a flock of 8-10 Wild Turkeys crossing the road, and they began running off as my truck approached. I managed to get out and snap a few images before they disappeared into the brush.

Red Headed Woodpecker

Red Headed Woodpecker

Red Headed Woodpecker

Red Headed Woodpecker

Red Headed Woodpecker

This Red Headed Woodpecker appeared just as I arrived at the parking lot. That’s the same circumstance as last time I was here, so maybe he’s just glad to see me.

Blue Jay

Blue Jays were numerous and active.

White Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrows were plentiful as well.

Nutty Nuthatches at Truxtun Park

I was hoping Santa would bring me some nice birds for Christmas, along with the sunny, cold weather. I went to Jonas Green Park, Greenbury Point and Truxtun Park and found a flock of noisy nuthatches and later headed to Sandy point, which was oddly barren. Santa wasn’t much help, but I did get a few decent images.

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbirds are year-round residents.
This is a female.

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

I began looking (And listening) for birds at one end of the footbridge and realized I was hearing a lot of White Breasted Nuthatches. It’s hard to count them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 10 or so, all chattering away and flying from tree to tree in search of food. I’ve never seen them gather like that before.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

I’ve found several cooperative Song Sparrows at Jonas Green Park.

Dark Eyed Junco

Small flocks of Dark Eyed Juncos are in most places I go.

Blue Jay

This Blue Jay got my attention with a strange, single note call I’ve never heard before.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

I followed this Downy Woodpecker around for a while, trying to get a better shot.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron can often be found near the boat ramp at Possum Point.

Ring Billed Gull

Ring Billed Gull

This Ring Billed Gull seems quite well acclimated to humans.

Cedar Waxwings at Possum Point

It was a cool, partly sunny morning, with rain promised for later, so I planned a short day. I went to Possum Point first. where Cedar Waxwings were plentiful and active, then to Greenbury Point where they were feeding as well. Ducks were in short supply, but I did find a few out near the point.

Sunrise

Sunrise at Possum Point

This would be a better image with a more interesting foreground, but the colors are spectacular.

Belted Kingfisher

I’m not great with bird songs, but the sound of a Belted Kingfisher is unmistakable, and helped me find this guy.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing 75

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

I didn’t realize there was a Bluebird mixed in with these Cedar Waxwings until I uploaded the image to my computer. Can you find it?

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

These gray, cloudy days are a lighting challenge, but a black and white bird like this Bufflehead helps.

Greater Scaup

Scaup can be hard to identify, but I’m going to call this a female Greater Scaup.

Annapolis Waterfront

MD capitol dome from Greenbury Point.

Mockingbird

It’s not hard to find a Mockingbird at Greenbury Point.

White Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrows are in most areas of the point.

Bluebird

Bluebirds are not as plentiful as in previous months.

Annapolis Ducks

I couldn’t have asked for better December weather. Temps in the mid-40s and sunny skies made for a promising day. I manages to get to THomas Point and Hillsmere ELemenatary before stopping for groceries, then I headed out to Sandy Point.In truth, I had expected more variety, but that’s the way it goes some times.

Bufflehead

Bufflehead are fast fliers, and I’ll set a higher shutter speed the next time.

Bufflehead

This pair of Buffleheads were taking a break.

Lesser  Scaup

There were rafts of Lesser Scaup at both locations.

Canada Goose

You can’t go far in this area without seeing Canada Geese.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron was fishing in a quiet cove at Thomas Point.

Tundra Swan

I saw these Tundra Swans as I was leaving Thomas Point.

Gull

This Gull Was looking for a place to land.

Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco

This Dark Eyed Junco was foraging with a small flock of Juncos and Sparrows.

Deer

This may be the same deer I saw here a few weeks ago.

Greater Scaup

This may be a female Greater Scaup.

Ruddy Duck

Luckily, this adult female Ruddy Duck was swimming quite close to shore.

Common Goldeneye at Thomas Point

Bufflehead

There was a mixed flock of Bufflehead and Lesser Scaup in the cold, choppy water.

When I looked out this morning, it was gay, dreary and cold and I planned to stay home and get some chores done. There was a respite around 10:00, so I took a chance and went to Thomas Point, then Quiet Waters. It worked out well.

Common Goldeneye

These Common Goldeneye took off as I approached Thomas Point, so I didn’t really know what I had until I uploaded the images. I have’t seen one of these since the Summer, so it was a nice surprise.

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Not a bad shot of this female Bufflehead given the poor light.

Ruddy Duck

This female Ruddy Duck has her tails raised, an identifying trait.

Bufflehead

This Bufflehead drake was hanging out with his harem.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woopecker

I spent several days this Summer and Spring looking for Pileated Woodpeckers with very little luck. In Winter, with the leaves gone, it gets much easier to find them.

Red Headed Woodpecker at Patuxent NWR

Weatherwise, it was a promising, if cold morning, so I headed for Thomas Point state Park to see if any new water birds were about. That was a bust, as all the birds were quite far out. I decided on a quick stop At Quiet Waters Park, which was more fruitful, quickly yielding a Pileated Woodpecker or two, but nothing else.
After dithering a bit, I went to Patuxent NWR, where I haven’t been for a while, and got lucky.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

This female Pileated Woodpecker was one of a pair noisily whacking at adjacent trees. Note how the stiff tail provides a convenient prop.

Red Headed Woodpecker

I had heard there was a Red Headed Woodpecker at Patuxent, but I didn’t expect one would land right in front of me the instant I arrived.

Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco

This Dark Eyed Junco is for my sister.

Cardinal

I like the colors surrounding this female Cardinal.

Bird's Eye View

I noticed my reflection in the main door at the visitor center. This what a bird sees when I’m taking a picture.

Ring Necked Duck

These Ring Necked Ducks were quite distant, so I’m pleased with the photo.

Tufted Titmouse

There were actually very few birds about, so I was glad to to see this Tufted Titmouse.

Bald Eagle Fishing at Sandy Point State Park

The day promised perfect Winter weather, with a morning temperature in the high 30s, quickly warming to the 50s. The sky was a litrtle cloudy. but there was enough Sun for decent lightingh, so I headed back to Thomas Point State Park looking for ducks and other waterfowl. After some moderate success I drove to Quiet Waters in search of same, but the pickings were slim to nil. Sandy Point was my next destination, and I had much more success.
I headed for one of the lesser known trails in search of a Wild Turkey I had been told about, but found a Bald Eagle and a few more water birds instead.


Here’s a look at the raft of Scaup and Buffleheads off the point.

Bufflehead (Female)

Bufflehead (Female)

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

This Bufflehead was part of a medium sized raft of Buffleheads and Scaup.

Black Backed Seagull

This Black Backed Seagull did a fly by.

Long Tailed Duck

There were only a few Long Tailed Ducks in the flock.

Lesser  Scaup (Female)

Lesser  Scaup

These appear to be male Lesser Scaup in breeding plumage.

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron was resting in one of the coves at Quiet Waters.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

When I first saw this Bald Eagle, he was heading out over the bay to do some fishing.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

He (or She) returned before long with what appears to be a rather large fish.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

These Canada Geese flew right in front of me.

Mockingbird

I don’t often get this close to a wild bird, even a Mockingbird.

Long Tailed Duck at Thomas Point State Park

There was a bit of rain last night, but the morning looked promising, so, after a trip for groceries, I set out for Thomas Point State Park. I encountered some employees repairing ruts in the road, who informed me the park was closed, but they were kind enough to let me proceed for a quick look at the ducks off the point. My thanks to them.
I did see a few ducks, then I set off to Terrapin Nature Center, which was actually kind of dull, but I got a few usable images.

Bufflehead

This pair of Buffleheads was paddling about right off the point, in the company of some Scaups.

Long Tailed Duck

Long Tailed Duck

This Long Tailed Duck was diving quite near shore. She’s a female.

Horned Grebe Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

White Throated Sparrow

This White Throated Sparrow was eating seeds.

Cedar Waxwing

I’m seeing flocks of Cedar Waxwings almost everywhere I go.

Black Duck

This pair of Black Ducks was paddling in one of the small ponds.