Forster’s Tern at Blackwater NWR.

With excellent weather promised, I decided to give Blackwater one last try for the season, and it worked out OK.

Most of the ducks are gone, the Eagles are very active, and a few Sandpipers are showing up.

Now it’s time to start looking for warblers.

Northern Harrier 2017-10

This Northern Harrier was just a little too far away.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-10

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-9

Greater Yellowlegs often forage in the marsh.

 

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-13

 

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-11

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-12

Several Double Crested Cormorants were fishing alongside the Terns.

Osprey 2017-19

Osprey 2017-21

Osprey 2017-20

Ospreys are very busy at this time of year.

Bald Eagle 2017-90

This juvenile Bald Eagle ia about three years old.

Bald Eagle 2017-89

Bald Eagle 2017-92

Bald Eagle 2017-91

Many Bald Eagles live at Blackwater.

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-17

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-16

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-15

 

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-14

The sight and sounds of Red Winged Blackbirds ring throughout the marsh.

 

Snow Goose 2017-23

Two weeks ago there were thousands of Snow Geese. Today there was only one.

Least Tern 2017-1

These Forster’s Terns were at Maple Dam Road.

Caspian Tern at Lake Artemesia.

I met Darlene and Graeme at Lake Artemesia this morning.   Darlene is thinking of getting a larger lens, and wanted to try mine. It’s a bit heavy for her, but I think she’s going to get one.

There were plenty of birds to choose from today, and there were plenty of photographers, also. The weather was perfect. Migration is well under way, and we did well. No warblers yet, but Egrets and Terns made up for that.

Lake Artemesia 79

Lake Artemesia 78

Lake Artemesia.

Darlene 3

Darlene, arriving at the lake.

Graeme Simpson 10

Graeme, taking a break.

Great Blue Heron 2017-26

Great Blue Heron 2017-27 Great Blue Heron 2017-26

Great Blue Heron 2017-25

This Great Blue Heron greeted me this morning.

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-17 Red Breasted Merganser 2017-16

Red Breasted Merganser 2017-18

Two Red Breasted Mergansers were feeding near the center of the lake.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-9 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-8 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-7 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-6 Double Crested Cormorant 2017-5

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-10

A couple of Double Crested Cormorants were fishing all morning.

Great Egret 2017-5

A single Great Egret flew in and stayed for a while.

 

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-12

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-11

This Pied Billed Grebe was cooperative.

Wood Duck 2017-26 Wood Duck 2017-25

Wood Duck 2017-27

I didn’t have much light for the Wood Ducks.

Tree Swallow 2017-29

Tree Swallows are very active setting up house.

Mallard 2017-17

I liked the color of the water around this Mallard.

Caspian Tern 2017-8 Caspian Tern 2017-7 Caspian Tern 2017-6 Caspian Tern 2017-5 Caspian Tern 2017-4 Caspian Tern 2017-3 Caspian Tern 2017-2 Caspian Tern 2017-1

Caspian Tern 2017-9

I’ve always enjoyed trying to capture Caspian Terns fishing.

Cackling Goose at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

It was a little windy and cool this morning, but I started at Sandy Point anyway. It was a total bust-a boring sky and no hint of m ore colors, so I got to Terrapin earlier than usual.

It’s starting to pick up there, but it’s still slow, even though I saw 5 Ospreys fishing, and a friend saw 10, later. A few Palm Warblers and Snowy Egrets helped

CBEC  was a bit better, with the Cackling Goose, more Ospreys, ducks and Nuthatches.

Snowy Egret 2017-9

Snowy Egret 2017-7

Snowy Egret 2017-8

Several Snowy Egrets landed in the pond shortly after I arrived.

 

Great Horned Owl 2017-2

 

 

Great Horned Owl 2017-1

There’s an Owl cam at CBEC, and this is the first time I’ve spotted the Great Horned Owl, who may be sitting on eggs.

Northern Shoveler 2017-33

Northern Shovelers are still hanging out in Lake Knapp.

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-12

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-11 Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-10

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2017-9

Brown Headed Nuthatches were very active.

Tree Swallow 2017-28

Tree Swallow 2017-27

Another try for a Tree Swallow in flight.

Palm Warbler 2017-3

Palm Warbler 2017-2

Palm Warbler 2017-1

I saw at least two Palm Warblers.

Eastern Bluebird 2017-6

Eastern Bluebird 2017-5

This Eastern Bluebird was checking out a nest box.

Blue Jay 2017-2

Blue Jays are migrating in small numbers.

Goldfinch 2017-1

This is the first Goldfinch I’ve seen in a while.

Canada Goose 2017-16

This Canada Goose may be nesting.

Cackling Goose 2017-4

 

Cackling Goose 2017-3

The little goose to the left is the Cackling Goose. Cornell: “The newly recognized Cackling Goose is a smaller version of the Canada Goose. Formerly considered the smallest subspecies of one variable species, recent work on genetic differences found the four smallest forms to be very different. These four races are now recognized as a full species: the Cackling Goose. It breeds farther northward and westward than does the Canada Goose.”

Little Blue Heron at Bombay Hook NWR.

With good weather promised, I made the trek to Bombay Hook to see if I could get a better variety of birds. I got lucky-many Sandpipers and wading birds have moved in, and there’s still plenty of ducks and raptors.

The Avocets are always a treat, and the Little Blue Heron is the first I’ve seen in breeding plumage.

Bombay Hook 1

Sunrise at Bombay Hook.

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-11

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-12

This Red Winged Blackbird greeted me at dawn.

Mute Swan 2017-1

Two Mute Swans were in Bear Swamp Pool.

Sandpiper 2017-2

I’m not certain which Sandpipers these are.

Bald Eagle 2017-88

Several Bald Eagles were hanging out in the area.

Bufflehead 2017-50

There always seems to be a few Buffleheads.

Snowy Egret 2017-6

Snowy Egrets were well represented.

Great Egret 2017-3

I saw 8-10 Great Egrets.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-8

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-7

These appear to be Greater Yellowlegs.

Sandpiper 2017-2

I’m not certain which Sandpipers these are.

American Avocet 2017-3

A large flock of American Avocets was foraging in the marsh.

Green Winged Teal 2017-16

Green Winged Teal 2017-15

Green Winged Teal 2017-14

Green Winged Teals were more numerous.

Snowy Egret 2017-5

Great Egret 2017-2

Many Herons and Egrets were feeding in the marsh ponds.

Northern Shoveler 2017-32

Northern Shoveler 2017-31

This Northern Shoveler is really getting down to business.

Little Blue Heron 2017-1

I was lucky to spot this Little Blue heron.

Pied Billed Grebe at Lake Artemesia.

It was the first nice day in a long time. Lake Artemesia seemed as good a guess as any, so I got there early.

Wood Ducks and Grebes were active, as well as Canada Geese and a few Cormorants. I stayed abut three hours and got a few nice pics.

Cardinal 2017-1

This Cardinal was singing to all who could hear.

Canada Goose 2017-13

Canada Goose 2017-11

Only a few Canada Geese were on the lake.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-3

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-2

Two Cormorants were fishing in the lake.

Song Sparrow 2017-7

Several Song Sparrows were all along the lake’s edge.

Wood Duck 2017-19

Wood Duck 2017-18

Wood Duck 2017-17

Wood Duck 2017-16

Wood Duck 2017-15

Wood Duck 2017-14

Wood Duck 2017-13 Wood Duck 2017-12

Wood Duck 2017-7

Many Wood Ducks seem to be pairing off.

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-7 Pied Billed Grebe 2017-6 Pied Billed Grebe 2017-5 Pied Billed Grebe 2017-4

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-8

A flock of 6-8 Pied Billed Grebes hung together all morning.

 

Snowy Egret at Terrapin Nature Park.

The weather hasn’t been much good, but I got out anyway. I sill have a lot to learn about lousy light photography.

I’m hearing about some good birds elsewhere, but I’m not seeing much on the Eastern Shore.

Perhaps I’ll try some new places next week.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-12

I was surprised to see this solo Ring Necked Duck at CBEC.

Osprey 2017-10

Northern Shoveler 2017-30

There’s still a few Shovelers and Ruddys at CBEC.

Pine Warbler 2017-2

First Pine Warbler of the season.

Gadwall 2017-8

This Gadwall was at CBEC.

Song Sparrow 2017-6

Song Sparrows are easy to find.

Ring Billed Gull 2017-3

Many Ring Billed Gulls hang out at Terrapin.

Wood Duck 2017-6

Wood Ducks are just now arriving at Terrapin.

Canada Goose 2017-10

Only a few Geese were on the marsh ponds.

Tree Swallow 2017-22

Tree Swallow 2017-21 Tree Swallow 2017-20 Tree Swallow 2017-19 Tree Swallow 2017-18 Tree Swallow 2017-17 Tree Swallow 2017-16 Tree Swallow 2017-15

Tree Swallow 2017-14 Tree Swallow 2017-13 Tree Swallow 2017-12

Tree Swallow 2017-10

Tree Swallow 2017-9

I spent too much time with the Tree Swallows.

Osprey 2017-10

Osprey 2017-9

Osprey 2017-8

Osprey mating and nest building is in full swing.

Chipping Sparrow 2017-4

Chipping Sparrow 2017-3 Chipping Sparrow 2017-2

Chipping Sparrow 2017-1

First Chipping Sparrows of the season.

Snowy Egret 2017-3 Snowy Egret 2017-2

Snowy Egret 2017-3

First Snowy Egrets of the season.

Great Egret at Blackwater NWR.

We had a fairly sunny day with moderate wind, so I took the season’s last trip to Blackwater. It gets too buggy in the warm weather.

It wasn’t a bad day, but many of the water birds have moved on, and a few have moved in, including Egrets and Sandpipers.

At least four ospreys were active, and the Pelicans are still hanging out.

Northern Shoveler 2017-29

There are still many Northern Shovelers.

Gadwall 2017-7

A lone Gadwall was in the tidal pool.

Osprey 2017-3

Osprey 2017-5

Osprey 2017-6

Osprey 2017-4

This Osprey is working on his nest.

Bald Eagle 2017-86

Bald Eagle 2017-85

Bald Eagle 2017-84

 

Bald Eagle 2017-83

Bald Eagles were very active and nest building as well.

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-6

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-5

Greater Yellowlegs 2017-4

I saw at least 4 Greater Yellowlegs.

Turtle 70

I found this turtle crossing the road as I was leaving.

Wood Duck at Lake Artemesia.

I met Graeme at Lake Artemesia this morning, and we did reasonably well.  My first Wood Ducks of the season, and some departing Ring Necks  were a nice combination.

Other ducks, geese and a few Tree Swallows made for a good morning, with temps near 70 and not much breeze.

Graeme Simpson 9

Graeme Simpson, looking professionally dapper.

White Throated Sparrow 2017-4

This White Throated Sparrow landed quite near me.

Double Crested Cormorant 2017-1

This Double Crested Cormorant didn’t move for over an hour.

Tree Swallow 2017-8

Tree Swallow 2017-7

Many Tree Swallows were chasing bugs.

Ring Necked Duck 2017-9 Ring Necked Duck 2017-8

Ring Necked Duck 2017-10

I suspect Ring Necked Ducks will be gone soon.

Ruddy Duck 2017-2

Ruddy Duck 2017-3

This Ruddy Duck is molting into breeding plumage.

Pied Billed Grebe 2017-3

You can only see the “Pied” bill during breeding season.

Wood Duck 2017-4 Wood Duck 2017-3

Wood Duck 2017-1

This Wood Duck greeted me this morning.

Muskrat 16

This Muskrat may be working on his den.

 

Tree Swallow at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

The weather man promised sunny, and we got sunny.  It was a little windy and cool, but  good enough.

I started at Terrapin, which was a little slow, but I got a couple of decent shots.

CBEC was better, as it has been lately, but still a little slow. There were many more Swallows than last week, and plenty of ducks, along with a pair of Osprey. It won’t be long.

Tree Swallow 2017-6

Most of the Tree Swallow nest boxes seem to be occupied now.

Northern Shoveler 2017-28

I don’t often see Northern Shovelers at CBEC.

Brown Thrasher 2017-1

My first Brown Thrasher of the season.

Red Winged Blackbird 2017-10

Red Winged Blackbirds are easy to find at this time of year.

Green Winged Teal 2017-13

Green Winged Teal 2017-11

This pair of Green Winged Teal was at Terrapin.

Northern Pintail 2017-35 Northern Pintail 2017-34

Northern Pintail 2017-36

This is a Northern Pintail hen.

Tree Swallow 2017-5

Tree Swallow 2017-6

Most of the Tree Swallow nest boxes seem to be occupied now.

Horned Grebe at Quiet Waters Park.

I stopped at Truxtun Park yesterday, without much lick. A couple of Geeses seem to setting up house, but there wasn’t much else.

I spent the morning at Quiet Waters, which was much better. I actually found several nice birds, though they didn’t all pose for me. Spring is coming!

South River 7

South River from Quiet Waters.

Canada Goose 2017-6 Canada Goose 2017-9 Canada Goose 2017-8 Canada Goose 2017-7 Canada Goose 2017-6

Canada Goose 2017-5

These Canada Geese were at Quiet Waters,.

 

Osprey 2017-1

These Osprey are mating.

Horned Grebe 2017-12

Horned Grebe 2017-13

Many Horned Grebes were around this morning.

Fox 67

 

Fox 66

Fox 69

Fox 68

I found this Fox as I entered the park this morning.