The first time I saw Terns feeding in a flock, diving headlong into a school of small fish, I was hooked. Master flyers, master fisherbirds, what’s not to like?
I’ve spent a lot of time since then trying to get good images, and it ain’t easy. Terns don’t understand straight lines, and they are quick! Anyway, here’s my latest efforts.
A few other birds were around as well, and CBEC might be getting much better soon if the water level keeps dropping and there’s some mud for the Sandpipers.
Sunrise in the Marsh.
I’ve heard a lot of Wood Ducks at CBEC, but I don’t see them often.
Many Egrets dine all summer at CBEC.
There are many Chipping Sparrows at CBEC.
I saw this bird out of the corner of my eye, and snapped a shot while I was watching the Terns. It was a surprise to see later that it’s a Bald Eagle!
I spent way too much time with these Forster’s and Least Terns who were just a little too far away.
Diamondback Terrapins are laying eggs now.
CBEC is a good place to find Eastern Box Turtles.
I’ve continued the routine: CBEC, occasionally Greenbury Point or Kent Narrows and one trip to Schoolhouse Pond, which was a total waste.
Lake Knapp continues to be the source of the action. Lots and lots of Egrets and Herons, and today, American Avocets! I’ve never seen them there before, but regular readers know we see them at Bombay Hook.
The Egrets are sometimes close, sometimes far, and I’m learning to deal with both. I like to get close, but you can get some nice compositions at a distance, as well.
I expect to start seeing Wild Turkeys soon, and maybe last year’s Yellow Throated Warbler will visit again.
I saw 18 Great Egrets this morning.
Every MD marsh has hundreds of Red Winged Blackbirds.
Forster’s Terns have just returned to the area.
A few Snowy Egrets are hanging out as well.
American Avocets! I could hardly believe my eyes, and I quickly moved to get a better look.
Osprey nest repair.
I’ve been spending most mornings at CBEC because it’s easy to be alone, and there’s often plenty of birds. Sunrise can be exciting also.
The Egrets, both Great and Snowy, often gather in a corner of Lake Knapp, and may offer the best chance to get close. At other times they seem to be laughing at you as they gather on the West side, where they can be quite distant. You may see other birds such as Ospreys, Eagles, Herons, Terns, Wood Ducks, and Swallows, or Muskrats, Gophers and Deer.
The Tree Swallows nest in the Boxes along the entrance road, and this offers a chance to get fairly close, in good light, without harassing the birds. They’ll dive at you if you’re too close. When they’re feeding young, they are very active, and you may have to wander out into the grass to get the best shots. Bluebirds and Barn Swallows hang out here also. I keep hearing about the Nelson’s Sparrows here, but nobody ever seems to see them. A great spot to find Diamondback Terrapins in the Summer.
Dawn, from the Blind.
If you’re lucky, you can get fairly close and watch the action.
Repairing the nest.
Snowy Egrets aren’t as numerous as Greats.
I confess to be a bit addicted to these guys.
I haven’t posted since mid-May, mostly because I’m not finding much. I’m only going places where I’m alone or nearly so, and I leave early to avoid any crowds that may arrive.
I had a computer crash during all this, so editing has become a bit slower and more difficult until my new computer arrives.
I’m not seeing much exciting, and good photo opps were in short supply.
I’m going to post the best of the recent stuff. Current conditions appear to promise better birding soon.
Morning at Possum Point.
Morning at CBEC.
I found this Common Loon at ossum Point.
This Ring Necked duck should have migrated by now.
EAstern Kingbirds are plentiful.
Eastern Towhees are often heard but not seen.
I have several shots this Great Blue Heron, and he appears to have only one leg.
Red Headed Woodpeckers are nesting at CBEC.
These are about 40 Tree Swallow nest boxes at CBEC.
I found these Trumpeters at Governor Bridge.
The Yellow Breasted Chat has a bizarre song.
Graeme and I spent some time at Artemesia this morning, then tried a new spot Graeme found not far away. It looks very promising, with marsh, hardwoods and a meadow. We saw Egrets, Herons, Swallows and Wood Ducks, so I’ll be heading back soon.
I’m still getting out locally when weather permits, but I’m not finding much interesting yet. It’s been very cool so far, but warmer weather is coming tomorrow.
This Chipping Sparrow was at CBEC.
Eastern Kingbirds are appearing everywhere I go.
This Great Egret only flew a short distance.
This Northern Flicker was foraging on the ground.
This Wood Duck mother led her flock into the tall reeds for safewty.
A single Great Blue Heron stood motionless.
This Song Sparrow was singing for a mate.
This Orchard Oriole will probably nest at Lake Artemesia.
Tree Swallows return to Artemesia every year.
This Robin is taking food to his chicks.
There are several decent birding sites near my home, but some have been closed or otherwise limited. Some places are scheduled to open soon.
I’ve been sticking mostly to Quiet Waters, but I managed a trip to Possum Point and CBEC in the last couple of days. Wooton’s Landing wasn’t productive at all. I’d like to try Lake Artemesia, but it’s in PG County, which is a virus hotspot at the moment.
So, here’s what I’ve been seeing, including a couple of nice Foxes from this afternoon.
This Downy Woodpecker was eating at Quiet Waters Park.
This Chipping Sparrow was also dining at Quiet Waters.
You can hear Eastern Bluebirds in most areas of the park.
This Pine Warbler was at CBEC.
A Canada Goose hybrid at CBEC.
Eastern kingbirds are just arriving for the season.
Starlings are always around.
These Red Headed Woodpeckers will probably nest at CBEC.
Yellow Breasted Chats are regulars at Greenbury Point.
A White Breasted Nuthatch, nesting at Quiet Waters.
This White Throated Sparrow will be heading North soon.
These Fox kits are learning the ropes at Quiet Waters.
If we had to have a pandemic, the timing could have been far worse. We’ve had some bad, windy, rainy weather, and migration is really just getting underway. A few more weeks of this will definitely make for slow birding if we can’t travel any distance.
I’ve been spending time in Quiet Waters, which is only a few blocks from home. I got to CBEC a couple of times, but nothing’s going on there yet.
So, a few images from previous years for your amusement.
Sunrise at Possum Point.
A Swamp Sparrow from yesterday.
American Redstart male. A favorite.
American White Pelican.
A Bald EAgle from 2016.
A Baltimore Oriole male.
Squabbling Barn Swallows.
We’ve been sort of locked down for a week or so. We slowed gradually over a period of several weeks, then the governor issued a stay at home order, which, fortunately, didn’t forbid birding.
We’re just coming in to Spring migration, so it might get interesting. Some spots, Like Sandy Point and Greenbury Point are closed, but, so far, plenty of places are open. I’d hate to have to be a birding pirate to get a look at a warbler.
I haven’t found much recently, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing some cool migrants very soon.
Dawn at Possum Point.
A few Canada Geese may stay at CBEC and breed.
I found this Chipping Sparrow at Quiet Waters.
A female Belted Kingfisher at CBEC .
This Heronry is near Greenbury Point. I plan to go back soon.
There are many Ospreys settling in at Possum Point, but the area is closed and likely to remain so for some time.
There must be thousands of Osprey Platforms on the bay.
Tree Swallows are very active now.
This Northern Flicker was at CBEC.
I met Graeme Simpson at Lake Artemesia this morning, and we had a pleasant morning. Early Spring weather and a light breeze made for a pleasant walk, and we encountered a lot of migrating arrivals who cooperated nicely.
A few Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Geese, Hoodies and Grebes were foraging vigorously and ignored us as they went about their routine.
We didn’t pay much attention to social distancing, but that needs to change, I suppose. Still, Spring is coming and that’s good news.
In talking with Graeme, I heard that some parks are being overrun with photographers who are now home from work. We saw several other photographers at Artemesia, but not an unusual number.
A single pair of Wood Ducks posed for several photographers.
A few Hooded Mergansers were feeding near shore.
A single Double Crested Cormorants was resting on a nest box.
Singing Carolina Wrens are so commonplace you may overlook them.
These Eastern Bluebirds are nesting in a Tree Swallow nest box. Conflicts may arise.
This Bald Eagle was being harassed by two nesting Ospreys.
I found this Rusty Blackbird at Possum Point. I don’t see many of these diminishing birds.
Pied Billed Grebes are always fun to find.