Eagles, Hawks and Woodpeckers at CBEC.

The weatherman got it right again. Cloudy and cool with the promise of rain. I don’t like these low-light days, but with Spring migration in the air I figured it was worth a try. I didn’t see any migrants, but it was well worth the trip.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

You often see Bald Eagles engaging in aerial duels at this time of year.

Double Crested Cormorant

I may have spooked this Double Crested Cormorant, who took off shortly after I saw him.

Tree Swallow

The lighting sucks, but you can’t get much closer to a Tree Swallow.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

If you see a small hawk with a white rump hunting in the marsh grasses, it’s a Northern Harrier.
Cornell:
“A long-winged, long-tailed hawk of open grassland and marshes, the Northern Harrier forages by flying slowly low above the ground looking for small rodents. It is one of the few raptors in which the sexes look quite different: the male is white below with a light gray back and hood, the female is mottled in browns.”

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

I saw many Bald Eagles today, but this one flew right toward me.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

I heard this Northern Flicker singing long before I saw him.


Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated  Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

I saw a large black bird flying toward me and snapped a couple of quick pictures, and was surprised to find it was a Pileated Woodpecker.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

The Ospreys are now well established.

A Slow Day at Wooton Wetlands Park

Perfect birding weather. I had an early appointment, so I didn’t get started until 10:00 or so, and I headed to Wooton to avoid the crowds at the regular spots around here.
A couple of Red Tails appeared early, and the Tree Swallows were still active, but all the ducks have gone and very few small passerines appeared. Such is the birding game at times.

Tree Swallow 39

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Teee Swallows are active and gregarious birds.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This Red Bellied Woodpecker was one of the few active small birds.


Song Sparrow

There are many Sparrows, but I mostly see Song Sparrows.

Turtle

The Turtles are out, and that’s a sure sign of Spring.

Canoodling Killdeer at CBEC

[/caption]We finally have some weather worthy of Spring! It was just a little chilly this morning, and there were more clouds than I’d like, but by the time I got to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, things were improving and the day was very good indeed.
I spotted the usual Tree Swallows along the entrance road, and found some mating Killdeer near the parking lot, so the day started well. There were Eagles and Osprey everywhere I looked, and a couple of Red Tailed Hawks provided some great images, along with sundry other birds.
I’ve been posting some pictures on the Facebook page of the Mid-Atlantic NWF and you can find them here:National Wildlife Federation They’re good people doing a good job.

Ranger Rick

Ranger Rick, the NWF mascot, rode on my hood today and helped me spot birds.

Killdeer

Killdeer

Killdeer

Mating a is a very quick affair, so I was lucky to catch these Killdeer in the act.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle, and a friend, was trying to steal a fish from an Osprey.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

These Tree Swallows seem to be setting up house in what looks like Bluebird boxes.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron is preparing to land.

Common Loon

This Common Loon is in breeding plumage. A fellow birder said he was, “All dressed up.”

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

I took a shortcut through the woods and came across this Downy Woodpecker.

Cardinal

Equal time for the female Cardinal.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers are skittish, so I was lucky to get this close.

Deer

This is the first Deer I’ve seen at CBEC.

Red Tailed Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

I’ve seen lots of Red Tailed Hawks, and they are the most common hawk in MD, but they don’t all come this close.


Green Winged Teal

Black Duck

A pair of Black Ducks and a Green Winged Teal were in the pond near the observation tower.

Mockingbird

Some Mockingbirds seem to be angry.

Double Crested Cormorant

The Double Crested Cormorants are in breeding plumage.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This Red Bellied Woodpecker was foraging vigorously.

Bald Eagle

There’s almost always a Bald Eagle in this tree in the morning.

Wood Ducks at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctary

I was eager to get out in today’s wonderful weather, but unsure where to go. My aged brain reminded me that I had signed up to be a “Friend of Jug Bay”, and that they are only open on Wednesdays, so I loaded up the truck and took off. A wise decision as it turned out.
I located a good variety of birds and got a few good shots, as well as meeting some nice people.

Green Winged Teal

Green Winged Teal

These Green Winged Teals were in front of the observation tower.

Great Blue Heron

I don’t often see Great Blue Herons flying in formation.

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

It was low tide shortly after I arrived, which attracted this Greater Yellowlegs.

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

A pair of Wood Ducks flew in and landed right near me before quickly taking off

Wood Duck

Takeoff is a quick and violent affair.

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Cornell:
“A small, graceful gull with bright white patches in its wings, the Bonaparte’s Gull winters near people, but breeds in the isolated taiga and boreal forest.”
This is a non-breeding adult.

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

It’s not a great image, but I don’t often see Common Mergansers.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

There were many Bald Eagles flying overhead today.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Ospreys are prolific at Jug Bay, and MD in general.

Hairy Woodpecker at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Today’s weather was much more in keeping with the arrival of Spring than our surprise snow of yesterday. With a nearly clear sky and warming temps, I went to CBEC to see if there were any new arrivals. A Hairy Woodpecker was a nice find, along with a Northern Harrier and even more Ospreys.
Spring seems to be here to stay, and I anticipate we’ll be talking Warblers before long.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Even though I’ve seen many Ospreys in trees, they still look out of place there.

Hairy  Woodpecker

Hairy  Woodpecker

Hairy  Woodpecker

This Hairy Woodpecker and his mate were engaging in some kind of courting behavior.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

I’d like to have gotten a better image of this Northern Harrier, but I’ve only seen a few, so this will do.

Great Blue Heron

If you walk near the water anywhere in Eastern MD, you’ll eventually startle a Great Blue Heron.

Song Sparrow

I see more Song Sparrows than any other.

Gadwall

A small flock of Gadwalls remains in the marsh pond.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows can usually be found along the entrance road.

Red Tailed Hawk

This tree was occupied by a Red Tailed Hawk on my previous visit. Maybe it’s the same one.

Northern Pintail at Wooton Wetlands Park

I was much too busy today to go birding, but I couldn’t resist, so I drove quickly to Wooton to see if I could have as much success as yesterday. I was somewhat surprised to find a lone Pintail and a small flock of American Coots. I spent way too much time trying to get a Tree Swallow to pose for a flight shot.

American Coot

This American Coot and a few friends was feeding in a small part of the marsh.

Ring Necked Duck

Ring Necked Duck

Ring Necked Duck

Ring Necked Duck

The Ring Necked Ducks didn’t spook as easily as yesterday.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow 28

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows fly quickly and erratically, and it took a lot of shots to get even these images.

Northern Pintail

This Northern Pintail was swimming by himself.

Dark Eyed Junco

And a Dark Eyed Junco for Marthe.

Greater Yellowlegs at Wooton Wetlands Park

I had an early appointment this morning, but the weather was perfect and I headed to Thomas Point for a quick look. It was a waste, so I decided to go to Wooton to see what the warming weather might have brought.
A flock of Tree Swallows was the highlight, as well as a Bald Eagle and a Greater Yellowlegs, which I’ve only seen once before.
A good day.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows are cavity nesters, and this hole would be perfect for a nest.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

I was here first!

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs’ long bill is perfectly suited to his diet.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle was soaring overhead as I arrived.

Ring Necked Duck

Ring Necked Duck

These Ring Necked Ducks flew away shortly after I spotted them.

Red Tailed Hawk (And a few Ospreys) at CBEC

The weatherman got it about right this morning;temps in the 30s, but warming and a strong wind. My friend Graeme and I had planned a trip to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, and we met there about 8:30.
We made several loops of the marsh path and ran into some nice birds, including several recently arrived Ospreys.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

This one-footed Osprey seems to be thriving despite the handicap.

Mallard

This Mallard was having a serious snooze.

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk 55

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

This Red Tailed Hawk flew right over us as we were leaving.

White Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrows will be heading North to breed soon.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

This Belted Kingfisher was fishing near the observation platform.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows were foraging on the entrance road, just as in my previous visit.

Bald Eagle

We saw several Bald Eagles, but none came very close.

Forster’s Tern at SERC

I awoke to a light snow shower and cold, windy weather this morning, and headed out to a small repair job before moving on to the fun stuff.
My appointment was in Davidsonville, and the owner raises chickens. Afterwards, I decided to go to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as I was halfway there.
It wasn’t as productive as in the past, but it was a nice walk and at least a few birds cooperated.

Horned Grebe

This Horned Grebe is molting to his breeding plumage.

Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern
Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern

Cornell:”Forster’s Tern is the only tern restricted almost entirely to North America throughout the year.”

Double Crested Cormorant

Double Crested Cormorant

This Double Crested Cormorant is in breeding plumage also.


Chicken 3

Chicken 1

Chicken

Top: Black Maran (Pet name Olive)
Middle: Barred (Plymouth) Rock (Pet name Keepie)
Bottom: Buff Orpington (Pet name Buffy)

Fishing Osprey at Truxtun Park

Between rain, work and chores I’ve hardly had a chance to get out at all the last few days. Here’s a few images I was lucky enough to get this afternoon.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

This Sharp-Shinned Hawk was looking for lunch at Truxtun Park

Osprey

Osprey

This Osprey is carrying a half-eaten fish.

Carolina Wren

This Carolina Wren was singing in my backyard.

Mallard

Mallard

You can usually find a few Mallards at Truxtun Park.