About Hugh

Later

Sandhill Cranes at Bombay Hook NWR.

Graeme and I went to Bombay Hook yesterday and had our most successful trip yet. I also got a Virginia Rail (Lifer).

Black Skimmers, Terns, Egrets, a Common Yellowthroat, Eagles, Night Herons and others had us busy snapping photos for several hours. My count was over 1900 photos, the most ever.

There were plenty of flies, and it was getting very hot by 0930. Graeme has some hydrocortisone cream which was very effective for the insect bites.

A Double Crested Cormorant in silhouette.

 

We saw only two Bald Eagles.

There were many Forster’s Terns.

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A few Caspian Terns were fishing with the other birds.

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Common Yellowthroat Warbler.

 

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Virginia Rail, a first for me.

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This Ruddy Duck didn’t migrate.

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Mute Swans are regulars.

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Two Green Herons were fishing in a small pond.

 

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We found 8 or more Black Crowned Night Herons.

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Wood Duck ducklings were numerous.

Many Egrets were feeding in the pools.

This Snow Goose should be long gone.

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We were lucky to find these Sandhill Cranes, who are rare visitors.

Trumpeter Swan Cygnets.

About three years ago I found a pair of Trumpeter Swans near me in Annapolis, MD. The trumpeter Swan Society said they were juveniles and wouldn’t mate for a while yet. They are generally monogamous and mate for life.

Last year it looked as though they were going to mate, but it didn’t happen .This year they started nest building  in early April, and started incubating in late April. This can take over a month, and I found three cygnets this morning.

I’ve got a lot of photos and video, so I’ll just try to post the best of the lot.

This video is from 6/1/22

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These Cygnets are probably two days old.

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Peek-a-boo!

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Trumpeter Swan 2022-59

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Trumpeter Swans are the largest flying birds, with big feet and very large eggs.

Trumpeter Swan 2022-61 Trumpeter Swan 2021-80

Trumpeter Swan 2021-56

I figured out how they were approaching the pond and managed to get some flight shots.

Trumpeter Swan 2021-60 Trumpeter Swan 2021-61

Trumpeter Swan 2021-64

This was taken at their other hangout,. a pond which has a high embankment.

Trumpeter Swan 2021-76

 

Great Blue Heron Fledglings at Jonas Green Park.

Finally, I got a good look at the fledglings they seemed to be feeding, and there’s at least three or four. I made a decent video of  the feeding process.

I found a Tennessee Warbler at Greenbury, my first ever there. Chats are thriving along with Indigo Buntings and Cardinals

The Trumpeters are apparently thriving. I haven’t seen her at all in a week or so.  He spends time foraging. There’s a number of Wood Ducks on the pond now.  I’m not seeing ducks at the JG pond now, but I suspect there are several pairs I can’t see yet.

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Muskrats seem to be in every marsh.

Snapping Turtle 43

This Snapping Turtle lives at quiet Waters.

One of the G”MIC filters.

I’ve seen only a few Goldfinches so far this season.

The Possum Point Ospreys are thriving.

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Many mourning Doves live in the fields around the park.

A Baltimore Oriole visited Greenbury Point.

This is a Tennessee Warbler.

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This Osprey had a successful hunt.

Trumpeter Swans have serious paddles.

Several Wood Ducks are hanging out with the Trumpeters.

The Barred Owlets are thriving.

Many Bluebirds are feeding young now.

This Starling is eating Japanese Beetles.

I wonder just how many Cardinals there are.

I’m seeing Catbirds often.

I hear Red Eyed Vireos more often than I see them.

Indigo Buntings nest at Greenbury Point every year.

In Summer you can hear Yellow Breasted Chats throughout the day.

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Yellow Breasted Chat at Greenbury Point.

Yellow Breasted Chats returned to Greenbury Point a few days ago, as they have each year for the past ten. I have yet to see a nest or chicks. but their bizarre song reverberates throughout the area, and even out to the actual point.

I’m maintaining a Trumpeter watch almost daily, and have high hopes.

A few migrating birds have begun showing up. I could probably get more species by travelling further, but gas is well over $4.00 now, and that’s too much. In truth, there are still areas of Greenbury and Quiet Waters I haven’t explored, and I don’t miss driving longer distances.

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This Bald Eagle flew quite close to me.

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Mockingbirds tend to be in the exact same place each time I visit.

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There are many Blue Jays about at the moment.

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I got a gimbal head for my tripod which may help with smoother videos.

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This Chipping Sparrow was at Greenbury Point.

Green Heron 2022-4

I’ve seen 4 Green Herons so far this year.

Red Winged Blackbird 2022-7

Red Winged Blackbird 2022-9

Any MD marsh is now filled with singing Red Winged Blackbirds.

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Trumpeter Swan 2022-60

This Trumpeter Swan is just stretching.

Osprey 2022-133

I usually see several Ospreys every day.

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This Crow was relaxing at Jonas Green Park.

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A few Goldfinches are hanging out at Jonas Green Park.

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Spotted Sandpipers are one of the most common sandpipers.

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I can’t pass up a good Cardinal.

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This Great Blue Heron is probably feeding chicks, but I haven’t seen them yet.

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Swamp Sparrows are creatures of the marsh.

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Look closely to see two owlets.

 

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Those with good hearing will find many Common Yellowthroat Warblers in any MD marsh.

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This Brown Thrasher was foraging at Greenbury Point.

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First Blue Grosbeak of the season.

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Yellow Breasted Chat 2022-2

This Yellow Breasted Chat was more cooperative than most. They sing loudly, but not often from an exposed perch.

Barred Owl at Quiet Waters.

A cold and windy Spring so far. I went out yesterday morning and skipped a couple of spots because it was just too cold.

Graeme and I got to Bombay Hook again, and the Trumpeter Swans are nesting for sure. My amateur guess is late May for chicks (32-34 days incubating).  I think the Jonas Green Herons may be feeding chicks, but I haven’t got the angle to see into the nests. I’m not seeing any migrants to speak of, but it’s early days yet.

Lots of Wood Ducks this year, and a couple of Owls have been a bonus.

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This Trumpeter Swan is putting his rivals on notice.

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This is my 10th year of watching the Possum Point Ospreys.

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The Bombay Hook Mute Swans may be nesting.

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We found a single Common Merganser hen.

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There were many Bald Eagles at Bombay Hook.

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This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.

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Snowy Egrets are just arriving.

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These Great Horned Owl chicks are at Thomas Point.

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These Black Vultures found a dead Opossum at Quiet Waters.

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It’s been a good year for Wood Ducks.

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This Great Blue Heron was at Bombay Hook

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Black Necked Stilts are always a treat.

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This is a Short Billed Dowitcher.

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These Willets were mating at Bombay Hook.

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Eastern Bluebirds are numerous this year.

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This Red Winged Blackbird hen was at Beach Road.

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This Gadwall seemed to stay later than his buddies.

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Look closely to see the nesting Barred Owl.

Trumpeter Swans at Beach Road.

The routine hasn’t changed much; Local parks, check the heronry, try the Eastern Shore. Graeme and I went to Bombay Hook a few days ago and saw a lot of birds, including a tree full of Night herons.

I’d been hearing the Trumpeters were in the area,  but had only seen them once until I found them at Beach Road. It looks a lot like they’re building a nest, but it’s not a sure thing.  I thin k that’s a relatively rare occurrence in MD, so it could be exciting.

No warblers to speak of yet, but a couple of owls and some Wood Ducks make up for it.

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Many Great Egrets were in the marshes.

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This Great Egret was feeding at Quiet Waters.

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Many Ospreys are nesting at Possum Point.

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Wood Ducks are doing well.

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We found this American Kestrel as we left Bombay Hook.

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A single Common Merganser showed up at Bombay Hook.

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Green Winged Teal were abundant.

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This Red Winged Blackbird was looking for a mate.

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Mute Swans regularly breed at Bombay Hook.

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We saw over ten Bald Eagles.

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I counted fifteen Black Crowned Night Herons.

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These Great Horned Owl chicks are doing well.

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Look Closely to see this Barred Owl.

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All t he birds in the heronry seem to be incubating.

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This barnyard Mallard is nesting at Quiet Waters.

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The Trumpeter Swans disappeared into the reeds, where they appear4ed to be making a nest.

Great Egret at Quiet Waters Park.

In ten years of watching I had never seen an egret of any kind at Quiet Waters, so this was a surprise. They’re marsh birds, and not really expected at QW which is more woodsie.

It’s the season of Wood Ducks, Gadwalls and Great Blue Herons so far. I’m still tracking the heron nests, and I found an owl nearby.

My only small migrant so far is an Eastern Phoebe, but the warblers will be here soon .

Ring Billed Gulls squabbling over a morsel.

 

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A friend found this Great Horned Owl and two chicks.

This distant Red Throated Loon was a bonus, as I haven’t seen many.

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Wood Ducks did very well here last year.

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Gadwalls seem to be thriving.

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Gadwalls seem to be thriving.

This Heronry has at least three active nests

Yellow Rumped Warbler 2022-2

Yellow Rumped Warblers have been consistently hanging around the pond.

Carolina Chickadee 2022-25

Carolina Chickadees were very active.

Eastern Bluebird 2022-102

Eastern Bluebirds seem abundant this year.

Osprey 2022-104

Osprey returned to the area around the first of March.

All the Hooded Mergansers seem to have left the pond.

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A half dozen or more Northern Rough Winged Swallows are hanging around the pond.

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Great Blue Heron 2019-68 Bald Eagle 243a Bald Eagle 2019-26a Bluebird 43 Fox 122a

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A fanciful Heron.

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First Hermit Thrush of the year.

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I saw 10 Horned Grebes at Thomas Point.

This Great Egret stopped briefly at Quiet Waters.

Heronry Near Jonas Green Park.

I discovered this heronry last year, but Covid kept me from monitoring it, so I’m going to keep a watch this year.  Right now I’ve seen three nests and as many as 7  Great Blue Herons. Gadwalls, Wood Ducks and Red Winged Blackbirds are numerous.

I dropped Photoshop a month ago and switched to GIMP, the Open Source, free photo editing program. The cloud version of PS had slowed my system to a crawl and cost $10.00/month. I’m including a few images created from the G’MIC (“Gimmick”) filter suite made for GIMP

Wood Ducks abound, Ospreys have returned and people are reporting warblers, so all is well. A Great Horned Owl and a Screech Owl made an appearance as well.

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I found this Pied Billed Grebe at Beach Road.

 

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Wood Ducks are thriving at Quiet Waters.

 

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A friend found this Great Horned Owl.

DSC_6103 Fox 87a

Great Blue Heron 1

My sister approved of this one.

Bald Eagle 243a

I found this Bald Eagle at Blackwater.

Bufflehead 2022-5

A recent Bufflehead.

Diamondback Terrapin 8

The reptiles aren’t exempt.

 

Trumpeter Swan 1

A fanciful Trumpeter Swan.

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This Screech Owl has been at Quiet Waters for a while now.

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This Heronry is very active at the moment.

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Long Tailed Ducks at Jonas Green Park.

Since my rant about gas over $4.00. it’s gone over $5.00 and I’ve acquired a bicycle. That kind of money will seriously cramp my style as far as traveling is concerned. I’m guessing it’s much worse for people who don’t have any choice but to drive.

Bird-wise it’s been pretty good. Lots of Swans and Ducks, including the Long Tails, Ring Necked,  Gadwalls and Wood Ducks.  A couple of Trumpeter Swans have appeared occasionally.  Bald Eagles  are appearing and I saw the season’s first  Osprey yesterday.

The warblers are coming!

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Small flocks of Cedar Waxwings feed on berries in the Winter.

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Double Crested Cormorants are here in large numbers.

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Redheads are very striking.

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Horned Grebes have been scarce this season.

 

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It’s a good year for Wood Ducks.

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Eastern Bluebirds may be making a comeback.

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Mockingbirds are common, but I don’t often photograph them.

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I saw fewer Hooded Mergansers this year.

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This Barnyard Mallard has been hanging out at Quiet Waters for months.

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Canada Geese are nesting everywhere I go.

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This Great Blue Heron was fishing at Quiet Waters.

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Canvasbacks and Lesser Scaup are here in large numbers.

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Buffleheads were very common this year.

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About 200 Tundra Swans spent the Winter near Thomas Point.

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Long Tailed Ducks are a favorite.

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Hooded Mergansers at Quiet Waters.

Yesterday I put $52.00 worth of gas in the car. First time I’ve ever gone over $50.00 on a fill-up. $3.47/gal. That’s slowing me down a bit, but there’s plenty of good birds close to home.

The main attraction has been waterfowl, of course, with  the Thomas Point Swans and ducks in big numbers, but we’ve gotten some thawing recently, so other ducks are showing up in the coves.  The Canvasbacks were largely driven out by the ice for a while.

Possum Point has been largely non-productive, which  is consistent with other places in this too-warm season. Maybe February will bring us some sea ducks.

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Gadwalls at Jonas Green Park.

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Redhead 2022-8

A dapper Redhead.

Canvasback 2022-16Canvasback 2022-15

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Canvasbacks in the South River.

 

 

Black Duck 2022-5

A Black Duck was mixing with the other ducks.

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A hundred or more Tundra Swans are regulars in Winter.

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Bufflehead 2022-12

It seems to me there’s more Buffleheads than usual this year.

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A few Lesser Scaup always seem to mix with the Canvasbacks

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Mallards can be very enthusiastic at times.

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There are numerous Crows in every park.

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Bluebirds were picking up pebbles off the beach at Jonas Green Park.

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This Wood Duck pair seems to be early.

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Several Hooded Mergansers are sojourning at Quiet Waters and Jonas Green Parks.