American Pipit at Possum Point.

We had a couple of days of cold, snow and wind, so it was nice to get out today in warming weather. Still too windy, but tolerable.

I started at Possum Point, which was slow except for the Pipit, which is a life bird for me. There were other birds around, but too far away.

Quiet Waters was also slow, but I did get a couple of OK images.

Horned Grebe 2018-15

I found this Horned Grebe at Quiet Waters a few days ago.

Great Blue Heron 2018-15

I also startled this Great Blue Heron.

Osprey 2018-2

My first decent Osprey of the year.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-27

I spooked this Red Breasted Merganser, and was lucky to get any image at all.

Mallard 2018-18

This Mallard was also at Quiet Waters.

Chickadee 2018-2

Chickadees are easy to hear at Quiet Waters.

Bald Eagle 2018-27

Bald Eagles aren’t rare at Quiet Waters, but I’ve only photographed a few.

Eastern Phoebe 2018-1

First Eastern Phoebe of the season.

American Pipit 2018-1

This is my first American Pipit, and I had to get help with the ID.


Dark Eyed Junco at Lake Artemesia.

Graeme and I met at Lake Artemesia this morning in search of Wood Ducks, and did well. We had a bright day of sunshine with a light breeze and plenty of birds.

We were met by an Eagle, a relatively rare species at the lake, then Ring Necks and Pied Billed Grebes. Geese, Mallards and Wood Ducks followed. My first good Junco of the season will please my sister.

I made a brief stop at Quiet Waters in the afternoon and found a nice Pileated Woodpecker.

Spring is coming soon!

Bald Eagle 2018-26

This Bald Eagle flew overhead as we entered the park.

Pileated Woodpecker 2018-4

This Pileated Wood pecker is excavating a nest at Quiet Waters.

Mallard 2018-15

Mallard 2018-16

A few Mallards seemed to be playing in the lake.

Wood Duck 2018-8

Wood Duck 2018-10 Wood Duck 2018-9

Wood Duck 2018-11

Sveral Wood Duck pairs were cruising the lake.

Pied Billed Grebe 2018-3

Three Pied Billed Grebes were fishing.

Canada Goose 2018-7

Canada Goose 2018-6

We found only a few Canada Geese.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-6 Red Winged Blackbird 2018-5

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-7

This Red Winged Blackbird posed in perfect light.

Bufflehead 2018-41 Bufflehead 2018-39 Bufflehead 2018-38

Bufflehead 2018-40

Only a few Buffleheads were swimming in the lake.

Dark Eyed Junco 2018-3

Dark Eyed Junco 2018-4

This Dark Eyed Junco was feeding rapidly.

Red Headed Woodpecker at Blackwater NWR.

Graeme and I looked for the Hooper’s Island Snowy Owl this morning without luck. Most of the waterfowl in the area seem to have moved on.

We then took a  tour of Blackwater and had somewhat better luck.  There were many Shovelers, Tundras, Geese and Eagles and a few passerines.

Very windy and cold weather probably affected the numbers of birds. It certainly affected our enthusiasm.

Bald Eagle 2018-25

We found this Bald Eagle on Hooper’s Island.

Great Blue Heron 2018-14

This Great Blue heron didn’t move for at least two hours.

Tundra Swan 2018-23

Many Tundra Swans are still at Blackwater.

Eastern Bluebird 2018-3

A few Bluebirds were feeding along Wildlife Drive.

Downy Woodpecker 2018-2

A Downy Woodpecker was near the observation tower.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-4

Many Red Winged Blackbirds were singing.

Northern Shoveler 2018-13

Northern Shovelers were more common than usual.

Horned Grebe 2018-14

We found this Horned Grebe at Hooper’s Island.

Redhead 2018-8

This Redhead was also at Hooper’s Island.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-1

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-2

The Red Headed Woodpecker barely moved at all.

Pied Billed Grebe at Lake Artemesia.

With nice weather promised, I took a chance on Lake Artemesia this morning, and it worked out.

There weren’t a great number of birds, but there was a good variety and they were close enough for decent images.

Most of the Geese are gone, but the Wood Ducks and Grebes have moved in, as well as a few Mergansers.

I made a stop at Quiet Waters on the way home, but didn’t see much.

Soon we’ll be seeing warblers and Spring will be here.

Horned Grebe 2018-12

This pair of Horned Grebes was at Quiet Waters.

Wood Duck 2018-5 Wood Duck 2018-4 Wood Duck 2018-3 Wood Duck 2018-2 Wood Duck 2018-1

Wood Duck 2018-6

I almost missed this pair of Wood Ducks in Indian Creek.

Northern Flicker 2018-3

Several Northern Flickers were foraging on the ground.

Double Crested Cormorant 2018-8

A lone Double Crested Cormorant flew in while I was circling the lake.

Cardinal 2018-2

Several Cardinals were feeding near the water’s edge.

Mallard 2018-12

A few Mallards were swimming in the lake.

Hooded Merganser 2018-25

Hooded Merganser 2018-26

A single pair of Hooded Mergansers were serenely paddling about.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-26

I found this mis-matched pair at Quiet Waters yesterday.

Pied Billed Grebe 2018-1

Pied Billed Grebe 2018-2

These Pied Billed Grebes are in breeding plumage.


Snowy Owl Magic

Hooper’s Island, MD.

I had pretty good directions to the Snowy Owl site the other day, and parked a couple of hundred yards short of the spot.
As I walked along the roadside, a school bus puled up alongside and the woman driver opened the door and asked, “Have you seen the Snow Owl yet”?
“No”, I said, and she wished me luck and drove off. All this at 7:00 AM.
There was a pickup parked near the spot, and I walked up to it, hoping to get some insight, and saw the owl about the same time. He was perched a hundred or so yards away on a small tree near the water. Then I met Ray.
Ray must be about 60. He looks more like a banker than the waterman he is. He was dressed neatly (Much neater than me) and had a neatly trimmed beard. He then proceeded to detail every move the bird had made for the last two weeks or more.
Ray is enamored of this owl. He pointed out each tree and piece of ground the bird occupied, listed his schedule and told of the other birders he’d met, and their reactions. I was able to give him some insight to the life and behavior of Snowy owls, and he was eager for every detail, including the recorded songs.
I’ve watched birds and fished for a very long time, and I know that connecting to nature is a large part of the attraction. Watching and listening to Roy’s animated story-telling reminded me of how amazing the whole experience can be, and was as rewarding as finding the owl at all.


Ray, the Owl man.

Snowy Owl 2018-3 Snowy Owl 2018-2 Snowy Owl 2018-1

Snowy Owl 2018-4

Snowy Owl.

Snowy Owl at Hooper’s Island.

I got a better location on the Hooper’s Island Owl, so I made the 80+ mile trek this morning and got a decent look. Not as good as I wanted, but ‘twil do.

There were many waterfowl in the water along the road and the bridge as well.

I made a couple of rounds at Blackwater also, but there wasn’t much to see.

Northern Shoveler 2018-10

Northern Shovelers are still present in good numbers.

Snow Goose 2018-22

Snow Goose 2018-23

There’s still a few hundred Snow Geese at Blackwater.

Canvasback 2018-20

This Canvasback was at Hooper’s Island.

Horned Grebe 2018-11

Many Horned Grebes were feeding near shore.

Horned Grebe 2018-10

This Horned Grebe is in breeding plumage.

Common Loon 2018-1

Several Common Loons were nearby as well.

Bufflehead 2018-32 Bufflehead 2018-31 Bufflehead 2018-30 Bufflehead 2018-29 Bufflehead 2018-28Bufflehead 2018-28

Bufflehead 2018-33

Many small flocks of Buffleheads were around.

Snowy Owl 2018-1

Snowy Owl 2018-2

I didn’t get as close as I wanted to this Snowy Owl.




Pileated Woodpecker at Quiet Waters Park.

We’ve had 3 days of high winds, which has kept me mostly at home. I did get out for a few hours, but it was hard to get decent images until today.

I was really hoping to see the season’s first Osprey, but that hasn’t happened yet.

I’ll settle for Pileateds and a few Waxwings.

Horned Grebe 2018-8

I found this Horned Grebe at Quiet Waters yesterday.

Cedar Waxwing 2018-1

A small flock of Cedar Waxwings was raiding the berries on this evergreen.

Red Breasted Merganser 2018-25

A small flock of Red Breasted Mergansers was cruising in the cove.

Pileated Woodpecker 2018-2 Pileated Woodpecker 2018-1

Pileated Woodpecker 2018-3

I heard at least two Pileated Woodpeckers today,.