Prothonotary Warbler at Governor Bridge Natural Area

Still no large influx of migrants, but the forecast says we’ll see some by the end of the week.
It was even hotter and humider today, but I had a little better luck. A few birds were out early, including dozens of robins and catbirds.
The bugs are still plentiful, but I’m not seeing anything new.

Indigo Bunting

I saw several juvenile Indigo Buntings.

Cedar Waxwing

I’m seeing Cedar Waxwings more often.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

I’m surprised at the number of Baltimore Orioles I’m seeing.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroats are getting to be a common sight.

Prothonotary Warbler

I’ve seen Prothonotary Warblers in the big field quite often.

Click Beetle 5

Fly 75

Fly 76

Grasshopper 62

Fly 77

Ant 30

Arrow Shaped Micrathena 5

Cicada 105

Snout Beetle 3

Insect 610

Wasp 63

Grasshopper 63

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Common Yellowthroat at Governor Bridge Natural Area

Another gloomy morning which made photography very difficult. I managed a few shots before the dark clouds gave way to bright sun and high humidity that was most uncomfortable. A few migrants were around, but none that posed for me.
I got in some bug hunting, but quite early in the nasty heat.

Flycatcher

Flycatchers are still easily found.

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

This Blue Grosbeak was shot with a flash and very little ambient light.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

Yellow Billed Cuckoos are still in the area.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

This Common Yellowthroat is a female

Spider 180

Spider 179

Spider 178

Spider 177

Spider 176

Spider 175

Nursery Web Spider 101

Skipper 17

Insect 606

Insect 607

Insect 608

Insect 609

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo at Governor Bridge Natural Area

The perfect weather has ended for the moment. It was very cloudy until 9:00 or so, and it was difficult to get any decent photos. It was just as well, because migrants were scarce anyway.
I spent a little time looking for bugs, but the day was almost a waste.

Eastern Towhee

This Eastern Towhee was foraging with a juvenile. I was lucky to get any image at all deep in this bush on a gloomy day.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

This isn’t a bad image for a flash shot. This Yellow Billed Cuckoo was nearly invisible in the dark morning light.

This frog sat unusually still.

This frog sat unusually still.

Dragonfly 206

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Tennessee Warbler at Governor Bridge Natural Area

I can’t recall a MD Summer with such consistently good weather. I left for Governor Bridge early in hopes of making up for the barren VA trip, and I did well enough. There were actually quite a few migrants in the area, and I managed to get a few. I’ll be gong back tomorrow to get the rest.
Graeme showed up, and we found a few bugs together.

Eastern Towhee

This Eastern Towhee will winter in TX or OK.


Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue Gray Gnatcatchers are still very active.

Prairie Warbler 61

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warblers breed here in MD.

Red Eyed Vireo

This Red Eyed Vireo will winter in South America.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

This Baltimore Oriole is a first year male.

Common Yellowthroat

This Common Yellowthroat appears to be a female.

Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

I haven’t seen a Tennessee Warbler since the Spring.

Spider 170

Spider 169

Spider 171

Fly 73

Arrow Shaped Micrathena 4

Caterpillar 170

Scorpionfly 7

Fly 74

Praying Mantis 40

Wasp 62

Caterpillar 171

Dragonfly 204

Dragonfly 205

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Yellow Rumped Warbler at Shenandoah National Park

Graeme and I went to Shenandoah NP yesterday to look for birds, and, hopefully a bear.
Birding was a lot slower than we had hoped, and the bears eluded us.
On the insect front, we had hoped to find some butterflies, but they they, too were scarce.

Field Sparrow 20

Field Sparrow 20

Graeme Simpson

Graeme Simpson on Skyline Drive.

Spider 172

Hugh 7

Hard at work in the Big Meadow.

Hard at work in the Big Meadow.

Skyline Drive `

The view from Skyline Drive. `

Field Sparrow Field Sparrow
Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco

We were surprised to find this Dark Eyed Junco, who must be at the southern end of his range.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows were abundant.


Goldfinch

Goldfinch

We found a flock of Goldfinches in the Big Meadow, where we spent most of our time.

Flycatcher

We saw thousands of Sand Flies, which were appreciated by the many Flycatchers.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings were taking advantage of the flies also.

Bluebird 186

Bluebird

Bluebirds and Sparrows were the dominant species.

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

This Yellow Rumped Warbler was the only warbler we found.

Spider 172

Broad Headed Sharpshooter 25

Bee Mimic 105

Bee Mimic 103

Bee 60

Bee Mimic 104

Butterfly 35

Garden Spider 4

Today's Bugs.

Today’s Bugs.

Baltimore Oriole at Governor Bridge Natural Area

I went back to Governor Bridge this morning, but there’s still no large influx of migrants. I did find a few birds, and the oriole was the first I’ve seen in a while.
A couple hours looking for bugs was only moderately successful.

Common Yellowthroat

This young Common Yellowthroat was probably born at Governor Bridge.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

I watched this Great Egret fish for half an hour, but he didn’t catch anything.

Flycatcher

This Flycatcher watched me watching the egret.

Indigo Bunting

This juvenile Indigo Bunting will be heading south soon.

Baltimore Oriole

The colors of a Baltimore Oriole are astonishing.

Spider 168

Caterpillar 169

Ladybug 39

Dragonfly 203

Northern Pearly Eye 3

Red Admiral 7

Butterfly 35

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

American Redstart at Terrapin Nature Park

I read about some good birds at Terrapin yesterday, so I decided to give it a try. I found a few, but it was no bonanza. The park rangers have taken to patrolling in motorized carts, and they scare away the birds on every pass, and they come through all too frequently.
I managed to find a few bugs as well.

Chestnut Sided Warbler

This Chestnut Sided Warbler will winter in Central or South America.

Eastern Kingbird

I saw several Eastern Kingbirds in the park.

American Redstart 60

American Redstart 59

American Redstart

American Redstart

American Redstart

The American Redstart is one of my favorite warblers.

Bee Mimic 101

Bee Mimic 102

Praying Mantis 37

Praying Mantis 38

Butterfly 34

Praying Mantis 39

Fly 71

Fly 72

Bald Faced Hornet 2

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Spiders Galore at Governor Bridge Natural Area

With another perfect day and last night’s North winds, I anticipated an influx of migrants, but it just didn’t happen. Birds were scarce in general, and not a migrant was in sight.
I did see a few bugs, and more spiders than usual.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue Gray Gnatcatchers were the most active birds this morning.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron was fishing i the small pond near the parking lot.

Indigo Bunting

Yet another juvenile Indigo Bunting.

Flycatcher 55

Flycatcher 54

Flycatcher 53Flycatcher

Spider 162

Spider 163

This Nursery Web Spider is guarding her egg sac.

This Nursery Web Spider is guarding her egg sac.

Differential Grasshopper 9

Red Admiral 5

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Fly 70

Insect 602

Stink Bug 9

Insect 603

Ant 29

Grasshopper 61

Beetle 98

Robber Fly 14

Spider 160

Spider 159

Garden Spider 3

This spider is new to me.

This spider is new to me.

Macro Photography with the Raynox DCR 250

A few months ago, I started using my Nikkor 55mm with a 12mm extension tube for macro shots. I had been using a Nikon 55mm micro with a TC-2 converter, but the manual focus was difficult for my 70 year old eyes. I was getting some good shots, but i had a lot of blurry shots to delete, as well. Results were much better with AF. I then read ab out the DCR 250 on a FB Macro group, and I ordered one. Graeme was skeptical at the time, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the $70.00 cost. Well, we’re both sold now, and Graeme is now using it as well.

Examples of close ups with the DCR 250

Examples of close ups with the DCR 250

Fly 68

Caterpillar 161

Graeme has just made a video with a detailed explanation of the gear and techniques.

American Redstart at Wooton Wetlands Preserve

This is a nice variety compared to recent days.[/caption]It was in the low 60s this morning, so I was wearing a light jacket when I arrived around 6:30.
Plenty of birds were active, and I got some good shots almost immediately.
I was going to walk the upper trail, but I got distracted by some good bugs.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

This Common Yellowthroat was deep in a small bush, and It took a while to get a decent shot.

Flycatcher

Flycatchers are hard to ID, and I’m not sure which this is.

Indigo Bunting

This Indigo Bunting appears to be molting.

American Redstart

This American Redstart is a juvenile.

Red Winged Blackbird

This Red Winged Blackbird posed to well to pass up.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

This Northern Cardinal is probably defending his turf.

Belted Kingfisher

It’s hard to get a good look at a Belted Kingfisher, but this one landed quite near me.

Insect 144

Insect 143

Insect 142

Insect 141

Insect 140

Insect 139

Insect 138

Insect 137

Insect 136

Insect 135

Bee 20

Insect 147

Insect 146

Insect 145

Today's bugs.  This is a nice variety compared to recent days. Today’s bugs.