Birding in the Time of Coronavirus.

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.

Possum Point 36

Sunrise at Possum Point.

Swamp Sparrow 2020-1

A Swamp Sparrow from yesterday.

American Redstart 2016-17

American Redstart male. A favorite.

American White Pelican 2016-5

American White Pelican.

Bald Eagle 2016-4

A Bald EAgle from 2016.

Baltimore Oriole 2016-19

A Baltimore Oriole male.

Barn Swallow 2016-17

Squabbling Barn Swallows.

Birding with the Virus.

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.

Osprey 2020-2

Dawn at Possum Point.

 

Canada Goose 2020-19

A few Canada Geese may stay at CBEC and breed.

Canada Goose 2020-20

Chipping 2020-1

I found this Chipping Sparrow at Quiet Waters.

Belted Kingfisher 2020-1

A female Belted Kingfisher at CBEC .

Great Blue Heron 2020-3

This Heronry is near Greenbury Point. I plan to go back soon.

Osprey 2020-4

There are many Ospreys settling in at Possum Point, but the area is closed and likely to remain so for some time.

Osprey 2020-3

There must be thousands of Osprey Platforms on the bay.

Tree Swallow 2020-5

Tree Swallows are very active now.

Northern Flicker 2020-3

This Northern Flicker was at CBEC.

Pied Billed Grebe at Lake Artemesia.

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.

Lake Artemesia 152

Artemesia Dawn.

Wood Duck 2020-9

Wood Duck 2020-8

Wood Duck 2020-7

A single pair of Wood Ducks posed for several photographers.

Hooded Merganser 2020-16

Hooded Merganser 2020-15

A few Hooded Mergansers were feeding near shore.

Double Crested Cormorant 2020-2

A single Double Crested Cormorants was resting on a nest box.

Ring Necked Duck 2020-18

Carolina Wren 2020-4 Carolina Wren 2020-3

Carolina Wren 2020-2

Singing Carolina Wrens are so commonplace you may overlook them.

 

Eastern Bluebird 2020-4 Eastern Bluebird 2020-3

Eastern Bluebird 2020-2

These Eastern Bluebirds are nesting in a Tree Swallow nest box. Conflicts may arise.

Bald Eagle 2020-5

This Bald Eagle was being harassed by two nesting Ospreys.

Rusty Blackbird 2020-1

I found this Rusty Blackbird at Possum Point. I don’t see many of these diminishing birds.

 

Pied Billed Grebe 2020-15 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-14 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-13 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-11 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-10 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-9

Pied Billed Grebe 2020-8

Pied Billed Grebes are always fun to find.

Pied Billed Grebe at Lake Artemesia.

We got a little taste of Spring this morning. Clear blue skies and temps in the 60s were a welcome change. There weren’t a lot of birds on the lake, but the variety was good. Migration is just beginning, so I expect to do better very soon.

Geese and ducks are present in decent numbers, and there’s more bird song in the woods.

Canada Goose 2020-16

 

Canada Goose 2020-18

Many Canada Geese spend the night at Lake Artemesia.

Ring Necked Duck 2020-13

Ring Necked Duck 2020-14

Ring Necked Ducks are regulars at Artemesia.

Hooded Merganser 2020-13 Hooded Merganser 2020-12 Hooded Merganser 2020-11

Hooded Merganser 2020-14

A small flock of Hooded Mergansers was foraging near shore.

Mallard 2020-30

This white Mallard has been at the ;lake for several months.

Pied Billed Grebe 2020-6 Pied Billed Grebe 2020-5

Pied Billed Grebe 2020-7

A single Pied Billed Grebe was fishing for breakfast.

 

Bufflehead at Quiet Waters.

There’s definitely more action than a week ago. Swans and Geese are on the move and the woods are noisier with birdsong.

I found quite a few passerines and a few water birds in the last few days, and many more are on the way. My current intention  is to spend more time in the Annapolis area in order to save time and money. I suspect there’s many areas I haven’t examined thoroughly.

South River 25 Cove 29

Cove 28

Quiet Waters Cove.

Common Goldeneye 2020-3

I usually find Common Goldeneyes at Thomas Point,.

Bald Eagle 2020-4

This juvenile Bald Eagle scattered all the birds in the cove as he flew overhead.

Wood Duck 2020-6 Wood Duck 2020-4 Wood Duck 2020-3 Wood Duck 2020-2

Wood Duck 2020-5

A pair of Wood Ducks appeared to be setting up house.

Canada Goose 2020-15

Canvasbacks are leaving us soon.

Lesser Scaup 2020-10

Lesser Scaup have left the area.

Bufflehead 2020-14

Bufflehead 2020-13

I was lucky to get this close look at a Bufflehead hen.

Ring Necked Ducks at Lake Artemesia.

We’re not going to get any kind of waterfowl bonanza this year, but the smaller birds are starting to be more active, so all will be well.  Is Global Warming affecting migration? I don’t know, but I was talking with a friend a few days ago, and we agreed that we seem to be seeing fewer birds.

Again, I’ve been getting out almost daily (Rain keeps me home) but I’m not getting any great photos. This might be the year of more landscapes.

Lake Artemesia 151

Artemesia Dawn.

Brown Headed Nuthatch 2020-1

Brown Headed Nuthatches were very active at CBEC .

Yellow Rumped Warbler 2020-1

I’ve seen fewer Yellow Rumped Warblers this year.

Eastern Bluebird 2020-1

I found several Eastern Bluebirds at CBEC this morning.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet 2020-1

This Ruby Crowned Kinglet was surprise.

Downy Woodpecker 2020-4 Downy Woodpecker 2020-2 Downy Woodpecker 2020-1

Downy Woodpecker 2020-3

This Downy Woodpecker ignored me as he searched for morsels.

Hooded Merganser 2020-10

This Hooded Merganser flew off as soon as he saw me.

Canada Goose 2020-14

Not enough shutter speed, or an arty effect?

Ring Necked Duck 2020-11

I found these Ring Necked Ducks at Lake Artemesia.

Ring Necked Duck 2020-12

Pied Billed Grebes at Lake Artemesia.

We’re finally getting some signs of Spring birds. Passerines are chirping at Quiet Waters, and some migrants are being found in other areas of MD. There’s been  no improvement in duck numbers, and maybe there won’t be.

I’ve made a few short trips, but wasted a lot of time trying to find birds, so it’s been a bit sparse.

Common Goldeneye 2020-2

A single Common Goldeneye hen is visiting Lake Artemesia.

Ring Necked Duck 2020-10

Ring Necked Ducks are a regular winter visitor.

Canada Goose 2020-10 Canada Goose 2020-11 Canada Goose 2020-12 Canada Goose 2020-13

Canada Goose 2020-9

Many Canada Geese spend the night in winter.

Hooded Merganser 2020-8

A few Hooded Mergansers are passing through.

 

 

Winter Ducks at Julia’s Place.

It’s still very slow here, but I saw a pair of Wood Ducks at Quiet Waters today, so thing are looking up.

I’ve been sticking close to home, as there doesn’t seem to be a lot of action anywhere close, and Ocean City is just too  far. I’ve been to CBEC and Kent Narrows, as well as Lake Artemesia, and we’re not getting much in the way of variety. Last year was significantly better in terms of diversity.

Julia’s Place is an Ebird hotspot on Thomas Point Road where a friend lives. Julia is a collared Tundra Swan who’s been seen in the area for several years.

So, here’s some of last week’s best images.

Canvasback 2020-25

There is a large flock, 000 or more, of Canvasbacks hanging out.

Mallard 2020-28

Redhead 2020-15

The Redhead, on the left, can be mistaken for the Canvasback in poor conditions.

Canvasback 2020-22 Canvasback 2020-21

Canvasback 2020-28

Only a pro could ID this Canvasback Drake.

Redhead 2020-14

Redhead 2020-17

This is a Redhead hen.

Canvasback 2020-19

Canada Goose 2020-8

There’s usually 15-20 Canada Geese in the area.

Black Duck 2020-2

Black Duck 2020-5

Black Duck 2020-7

I don’t get this close to many Black Ducks.

Tundra Swan 2020-26

70-80 Tundra Swans are spending the Winter.

Mallard 2020-25

Many Mallards hang out near the shoreline.

Bufflehead 2020-9

There were only a few Buffleheads.

White Throated Sparrow 2020-1

Many White Throated Sparrows hang out in the woods.

Great Blue Heron 2020-2

This Great Blue Heron was at Lake Artemesia.

Common Goldeneye 2020-1

This Common Goldeneye was also at Lake Artemesia. In the past, it was much more likely to see this bird at Thomas Point, wher4e I haven’t seen any this year.

Hooded Merganser 2020-5

Hooded Merganser 2020-6

There are a few Hooded Mergansers in the Area.

Ring Necked Duck 2020-8

Ring Necked Ducks seem to like Lake Artemesia.

 

Redheads at Thomas Point

This is the warmest Winter I can recall around here. We’ve been in the 60s several times, and it must be many degrees above normal.

I don’t know if climate change is involved, but the winter ducks know about it, and they’re staying well to the North. Why fly this far if the weather lets you find food easily?

So, a few images from the last two weeks. These don’t let you see how many trips were just a blank, which is unknown at this time of year.

Ebird lists:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S64228258

https://ebird.org/checklist/S64227061

Tundra Swans in an odd combination of reflection and shadows.

Canvasback hen, wit h the subtle beauty many female birds have.

Mallard hen, coming in for a landing.

Looks like an old fashioned print.

Canada Goose landing at Thomas Point.

Redhead at Thomas Point.

Many Buffleheads winter at Thomas Point.

Dawn at Possum Point.

Canvasback at Thomas Point.

It’s been an exciting and exasperating two weeks. My car died, and my sister was kind enough to donate her old car to the cause. which necessitated a trip to NY via train, and the long drive back. The deed is done and I should have the paperwork finished in a few days.

I did manage to get out several times, but there’s not a whole lot going on.  The unusually warm weather has to be a factor.

Freddie 1

“Freddie” is a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis.

Tundra Swan 2020-6 Tundra Swan 2020-5 Tundra Swan 2020-7 Tundra Swan 2020-4 Tundra Swan 2020-1

Tundra Swan 2020-8

About 70-80 Tundra Swans are spending the Winter near Thomas Point.

Mallard 2020-1

Mallard 2020-3

There are plenty of Mallards in the area.

Lesser Scaup 2020-4

There’s always a few Lesser Scaup in the mix.

Mute Swan 2020-1

Mute Swan 2020-2

This Mute Swan was at a park near my sister’s house in Huntington, NY.

Redhead 2020-2

Redhead 2020-4

A few pairs of Redheads are usually nearby.

Bufflehead 2020-3 Bufflehead 2020-2

Bufflehead 2020-4

You’ll always find a few Buffleheads at Thomas Point.

Canvasback 2020-6 Canvasback 2020-5 Canvasback 2020-9 Canvasback 2020-4 Canvasback 2020-3 Canvasback 2020-2 Canvasback 2020-1

Canvasback 2020-8

There may have been a thousand or more Canvasbacks visible today.