We had a couple of days of cold, snow and wind, so it was nice to get out today in warming weather. Still too windy, but tolerable.
I started at Possum Point, which was slow except for the Pipit, which is a life bird for me. There were other birds around, but too far away.
Quiet Waters was also slow, but I did get a couple of OK images.
I found this Horned Grebe at Quiet Waters a few days ago.
I also startled this Great Blue Heron.
My first decent Osprey of the year.
I spooked this Red Breasted Merganser, and was lucky to get any image at all.
This Mallard was also at Quiet Waters.
Chickadees are easy to hear at Quiet Waters.
Bald Eagles aren’t rare at Quiet Waters, but I’ve only photographed a few.
First Eastern Phoebe of the season.
This is my first American Pipit, and I had to get help with the ID.
Graeme and I met at Lake Artemesia this morning in search of Wood Ducks, and did well. We had a bright day of sunshine with a light breeze and plenty of birds.
We were met by an Eagle, a relatively rare species at the lake, then Ring Necks and Pied Billed Grebes. Geese, Mallards and Wood Ducks followed. My first good Junco of the season will please my sister.
I made a brief stop at Quiet Waters in the afternoon and found a nice Pileated Woodpecker.
Spring is coming soon!
This Bald Eagle flew overhead as we entered the park.
This Pileated Wood pecker is excavating a nest at Quiet Waters.
A few Mallards seemed to be playing in the lake.
Sveral Wood Duck pairs were cruising the lake.
Three Pied Billed Grebes were fishing.
We found only a few Canada Geese.
This Red Winged Blackbird posed in perfect light.
Only a few Buffleheads were swimming in the lake.
This Dark Eyed Junco was feeding rapidly.
Graeme and I looked for the Hooper’s Island Snowy Owl this morning without luck. Most of the waterfowl in the area seem to have moved on.
We then took a tour of Blackwater and had somewhat better luck. There were many Shovelers, Tundras, Geese and Eagles and a few passerines.
Very windy and cold weather probably affected the numbers of birds. It certainly affected our enthusiasm.
We found this Bald Eagle on Hooper’s Island.
This Great Blue heron didn’t move for at least two hours.
Many Tundra Swans are still at Blackwater.
A few Bluebirds were feeding along Wildlife Drive.
A Downy Woodpecker was near the observation tower.
Many Red Winged Blackbirds were singing.
Northern Shovelers were more common than usual.
We found this Horned Grebe at Hooper’s Island.
This Redhead was also at Hooper’s Island.
The Red Headed Woodpecker barely moved at all.
With nice weather promised, I took a chance on Lake Artemesia this morning, and it worked out.
There weren’t a great number of birds, but there was a good variety and they were close enough for decent images.
Most of the Geese are gone, but the Wood Ducks and Grebes have moved in, as well as a few Mergansers.
I made a stop at Quiet Waters on the way home, but didn’t see much.
Soon we’ll be seeing warblers and Spring will be here.
This pair of Horned Grebes was at Quiet Waters.
I almost missed this pair of Wood Ducks in Indian Creek.
Several Northern Flickers were foraging on the ground.
A lone Double Crested Cormorant flew in while I was circling the lake.
Several Cardinals were feeding near the water’s edge.
A few Mallards were swimming in the lake.
A single pair of Hooded Mergansers were serenely paddling about.
I found this mis-matched pair at Quiet Waters yesterday.
These Pied Billed Grebes are in breeding plumage.
Hooper’s Island, MD.
I had pretty good directions to the Snowy Owl site the other day, and parked a couple of hundred yards short of the spot.
As I walked along the roadside, a school bus puled up alongside and the woman driver opened the door and asked, “Have you seen the Snow Owl yet”?
“No”, I said, and she wished me luck and drove off. All this at 7:00 AM.
There was a pickup parked near the spot, and I walked up to it, hoping to get some insight, and saw the owl about the same time. He was perched a hundred or so yards away on a small tree near the water. Then I met Ray.
Ray must be about 60. He looks more like a banker than the waterman he is. He was dressed neatly (Much neater than me) and had a neatly trimmed beard. He then proceeded to detail every move the bird had made for the last two weeks or more.
Ray is enamored of this owl. He pointed out each tree and piece of ground the bird occupied, listed his schedule and told of the other birders he’d met, and their reactions. I was able to give him some insight to the life and behavior of Snowy owls, and he was eager for every detail, including the recorded songs.
I’ve watched birds and fished for a very long time, and I know that connecting to nature is a large part of the attraction. Watching and listening to Roy’s animated story-telling reminded me of how amazing the whole experience can be, and was as rewarding as finding the owl at all.
Ray, the Owl man.
I got a better location on the Hooper’s Island Owl, so I made the 80+ mile trek this morning and got a decent look. Not as good as I wanted, but ‘twil do.
There were many waterfowl in the water along the road and the bridge as well.
I made a couple of rounds at Blackwater also, but there wasn’t much to see.
Northern Shovelers are still present in good numbers.
There’s still a few hundred Snow Geese at Blackwater.
This Canvasback was at Hooper’s Island.
Many Horned Grebes were feeding near shore.
This Horned Grebe is in breeding plumage.
Several Common Loons were nearby as well.
Many small flocks of Buffleheads were around.
I didn’t get as close as I wanted to this Snowy Owl.
We’ve had 3 days of high winds, which has kept me mostly at home. I did get out for a few hours, but it was hard to get decent images until today.
I was really hoping to see the season’s first Osprey, but that hasn’t happened yet.
I’ll settle for Pileateds and a few Waxwings.
I found this Horned Grebe at Quiet Waters yesterday.
A small flock of Cedar Waxwings was raiding the berries on this evergreen.
A small flock of Red Breasted Mergansers was cruising in the cove.
I heard at least two Pileated Woodpeckers today,.