Short Billed Dowitcher at Bombay Hook.

It’s still the slowest time of year, and I’m not having much luck, so I braved the bugs at Bombay Hook this morning. They actually weren’t too bad. I’m sure the bug spray helped, but I’ve seen more bugs in other places.

It was really quite birdy this morning. I found some Glossy Ibis, but they were too far off. The Skimmers were more cooperative, and my Willet was still hanging out in Bear Swamp Pool. There were hundreds of Egrets and Herons, but not as many Sandpipers as I expected. No Eagles at all, which is surprising.

A very good morning indeed.

Bombay Hook 8

Bombay Hook 9

Sunrise at Bombay Hook.

Great Egret 2018-33 Great Egret 2018-32 Great Egret 2018-31

Great Egret 2018-34

I saw well over a hundred Great Egrets.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-14

Several Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching along the roadside.

Black Skimmer 2018-29 Black Skimmer 2018-28 Black Skimmer 2018-27

Black Skimmer 2018-30

Black Skimmers showed up early.

Forster's Tern 2018-4 Forster's Tern 2018-5 Forster's Tern 2018-3 Forster's Tern 2018-2 Forster's Tern 2018-1

Forster's Tern 2018-6

Many Forster’s Terns were fishing in the pools.

Great Blue Heron 2018-28

Dozens of Great Blue Herons were scattered through all the pools.

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-4

I think this is a Greater Yellowlegs.


Willet 2018-5

This may be the same single Willet I saw a few weeks ago.

Blue Grosbeak 2018-3

I often see Blue Grosbeaks at the road’s edge.

Goldfinch 2018-8

It’s easy to find Goldfinches by the side of the road.

Wood Duck 2018-47

This juvenile Wood Duck was at Lake Artemesia a couple of days ago.

Mallard 2018-31

I thought these were nice looking Mallards.

Short Billed Dowitcher 2018-1

Short Billed Dowitcher 2018-2

Theses Short Billed Dowitchers were just barely in range.

Roseate Spoonbill at Walton Beach

There have only been 5 Roseate Spoonbills recorded in MD, and  I got to see the fourth one a few days ago. I actually went to find it several times, with varying success. There were many people doing the same dance, probably a hundred or more. In any case, North Beach looks like a good birding area and I’ll be back.

There wasn’t a lot of variety to be found at this time of year, so I haven’t posted much. I made a trip to Blackwater today, so I’m going to combine several day’s images in this post.  Blackwater wasn’t exactly overrun with good birds either, but I managed a few decent shots.

Blackwater Dawn 52

Blackwater Dawn 51

Blackwater Dawn.

Great Egret 2018-29

Great Egret 2018-30

A few Great Egrets were feeding in the marsh. There will be many more in a few weeks.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-32 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-31 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-30 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-29 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-28

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-33

Red Headed Woodpeckers were very active.

Barn Swallow 2018-12

This Barn Swallow was resting near Wildlife Drive.

Purple Martin 2018-25

A few Purple Martins were looking for insects.

Great Blue Heron 2018-26 Great Blue Heron 2018-25 Great Blue Heron 2018-24

Great Blue Heron 2018-27

This Great Blue Heron let me get very close.

Mallard 2018-29 Mallard 2018-28 Mallard 2018-27

Mallard 2018-30

This is probably a young Mallard.

Catbird 2018-4

This Catbird was very vocal.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-27

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-28

Many Red Winged Blackbirds were foraging in the marsh.

Osprey 2018-32 Osprey 2018-31 Osprey 2018-30

Osprey 2018-33

These Ospreys were feeding two chicks.

Tree Swallow 2018-43

A few Tree Swallows were resting by the side of Wildlife Drive.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-13

I saw several Eastern Kingbirds.

Herring Gull 2018-1

Laughing Gull 2018-1

These gulls were at Walton Beach.

Green Heron 2018-4

This Green Heron flew overhead at North Beach.

Snowy Egret 2018-5

This Snowy Egret was very intent on his fishing.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-3

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-2

This Roseate Spoonbill stayed on the same piling for two hours or more.

Fox 103 Fox 102 Fox 101

Fox 104

These Foxes found some roadkill.

Black Crowned Night Heron at Kiwanis Lake.

Graeme and I and Prayoon set out early for Wildwood Lake in Pennsylvania and Kiwanis Lake in York. It’s a 2 hour ride, but it turned out well. I think once a year would be worth it.

Wildwood lake wasn’t as prolific as it’s been in the past, but we found many chipmunks, an animal that has eluded me until now. A Baltimore Oriole was cooperative, but we didn’t find much else,

Kiwanis Lake was much better, with nesting egrets and herons, as well a lake full of Canada Geese and Mallards. I haven’t seen many rookeries, so it was a treat.

Roseate Spoonbill 2018-1

This very rare Roseate Spoonbill is only the fourth ever recorded in Maryland.

Mallard 2018-24

This Mallard was at Lake Artemesia a few days ago.

Great Egret 2018-27 Great Egret 2018-26 Great Egret 2018-25

Great Egret 2018-28

This young Great Egret Heron is trying out his new wings.

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-7

This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.

Mallard 2018-25

This seems to be a domestic Mallard.

Baltimore Oriole 2018-9 Baltimore Oriole 2018-8 Baltimore Oriole 2018-12 Baltimore Oriole 2018-11 Baltimore Oriole 2018-6 Baltimore Oriole 2018-5

Baltimore Oriole 2018-10

This Baltimore Oriole and her mate were feeding their chicks.

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-6

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-9

I seldom get this close to a Black Crowned Night Heron.

Chipmunk 2 Chipmunk 3

Chipmunk 1

I see very few chipmunks, but Wildwood Lake is home to dozens.

Eastern Box Turtle 7

This Eastern Box Turtle was crossing the path at his own speed.

Turtle 81

Many Turtles were soaking up the sunshine.



Tree Swallows at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

I started at Sandy Point this morning, hoping for a decent sunrise, but it was not to be.

I was at Terrapin right after dawn, and it was almost deserted. A lone Osprey and a couple of Egrets were all that was on offer. A lone Wood Duck hen made brief appearance.

CBEC was next, and the usual Tree Swallow flock was present and very active. I managed a few good shots.

Another single Osprey allowed a few good looks. I made another stop at Sandy point on the way home, but even the gulls were scarce.

Osprey 2018-26 Osprey 2018-27 Osprey 2018-28 Osprey 2018-25 Osprey 2018-24

Osprey 2018-29

I found this early morning Osprey at Terrapin.

Barn Swallow 2018-9

The CBEC Barn Swallows nest under the blind.

Barn Swallow 2018-10

Tree Swallow 2018-36 Tree Swallow 2018-37 Tree Swallow 2018-35 Tree Swallow 2018-34 Tree Swallow 2018-33 Tree Swallow 2018-31 Tree Swallow 2018-32 Tree Swallow 2018-30 Tree Swallow 2018-29 Tree Swallow 2018-28 Tree Swallow 2018-27 Tree Swallow 2018-26 Tree Swallow 2018-25

Tree Swallow 2018-38

If you spend enough time, you can get a few good flight shots of the elusive Tree Swallow.

Wood Duck 2018-42

This lone Wood Duck didn’t stay long.

Sika Deer at Blackwater NWR.

“The sika deer is a small, brown elk that lives in quiet marshes and forested wetlands on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.” I have known of these elk for some time, but my few sightings produced no decent photo opps. Today’s encounter was much more fortuitous. These animals usually run off at first sight, but today’s animal was hardly concerned at all with out presence, and Graeme and I got several decent images.

We found many distant herons and egrets, a few eagles and a nesting pair of Red Headed Woodpeckers as well.

We spent a fair amount of time looking for other species, with minimal success. It’s still early, though, and I expect better luck soon.

Graeme Simpson 18

Graeme brought along a portable chair.

Bald Eagle 2018-47

This Bald Eagle was in the usual tree along Wildlife Drive.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-24 Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-23

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-25

These Red Headed Woodpecker parents were busy feeding their young.

Barn Swallow 2018-7

Barn Swallow 2018-8

We found this Barn Swallow at the observation tower.

Wild Turkey 2018-1

Wild Turkey 2018-2

Graeme spotted this Wild Turkey at the end of Wildlife Drive.

Great Blue Heron 2018-22 Great Blue Heron 2018-21

Great Blue Heron 2018-23

Many Great Blue Herons were feeding in the marsh.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-25 Red Winged Blackbird 2018-24 Red Winged Blackbird 2018-23 Red Winged Blackbird 2018-22 Red Winged Blackbird 2018-21

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-26

This Red Winged Blackbird seemed to be carrying food for her young.

Red Tailed Hawk 2018-1

Red Tailed Hawk 2018-2

We spotted this Red Tailed Hawk along Key Wallace Drive.

Great Egret 2018-24

Only a few Great Egrets were close enough for images.

Orchard Oriole 2018-12 Orchard Oriole 2018-11

Orchard Oriole 2018-13

This Orchard Oriole posed in a very nice setting.

Sika Deer 2018-3 Sika Deer 2018-1

Sika Deer 2018-2

We found this Sika Elk along Key Wallace Drive.



Black Skimmer at Bombay Hook NWR.

Back to Bombay Hook because that’s where the birds are. I’ve been checking my local spots with very little luck, so it’s worth the trip to get a chance at some good birds.

There were more egrets and herons than last time, but fewer eagles. The second pool was virtually empty, and Bear Swamp Pool had the most action. I kept a close eye on the vegetation bordering the road and found a couple of good birds that way.

The Skimmers were the highlight. They’re so spectacular as they fly within inches of water, and I was lucky enough to be in a spot they flew quite close to.  A nearly tame Fox added to the mix.

Purple Martin 2018-23 Purple Martin 2018-22 Purple Martin 2018-21

Purple Martin 2018-24

There’s a large Purple Martin colony at Bombay Hook.

Common Yellowthroat 2018-4

Common Yellowthroat 2018-5

If you watch the shrubs near the road carefully you’ll find birds like this Common Yellowthroat.

Great Egret 2018-22 Great Egret 2018-21 Great Egret 2018-20 Great Egret 2018-19

Great Egret 2018-23

There were many Great Egrets in the marsh today.

Black Necked Stilt 2018-14

Black Necked Stilt 2018-15

I found only a few Black Necked Stilts today.

Yellow Warbler 2018-4

This Yellow Warbler was a surprise.

Goldfinch 2018-5

Goldfinch 2018-6

There are many Goldfinches at Bombay Hook.

Blue Grosbeak 2018-2

This is a female Blue Grosbeak.

Willet 2018-4

I believe this a Willet.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-12

Several Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching along the roadside.

Wood Duck 2018-40 Wood Duck 2018-39 Wood Duck 2018-38 Wood Duck 2018-37

Wood Duck 2018-41

These may be first year Wood Ducks.

American Avocet 2018-10

I found only two American Avocets today.

Black Skimmer 2018-24 Black Skimmer 2018-23 Black Skimmer 2018-22

Black Skimmer 2018-25

It’s fun to watch these fast Black Skimmers slice through the water looking for fish.

Fox 88

Some Foxes seem to be nearly tame.

King Rail at Blackwater NWR.

Some days you wonder why a grown man would wander around in the heat, the mud and the bugs looking for birds who don’t give a damn about you. Other days, however, make you wonder why everyone isn’t doing it.

Today was a good one. The King Rail is a life bird for me;in 6 years of frequent jaunts into the marsh I haven’t seen one, or even come close, yet two crossed my path and posed nicely this morning.

In addition, several nice birds and a couple of mammals took advantage of the very nice weather to be out in front of my lens  and made my day several times over.

Blackwater Dawn 47

Blackwater Dawn.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-9 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-8 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-7 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-5 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-6 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-4 Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-3

Ruby Throated Hummingbird 2018-2

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds were very active today.

Purple Martin 2018-20 Purple Martin 2018-19 Purple Martin 2018-18 Purple Martin 2018-17 Purple Martin 2018-16 Purple Martin 2018-15 Purple Martin 2018-14 Purple Martin 2018-13

Purple Martin 2018-12

The Purple Martin Colony at Blackwater is thriving.


Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-9

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-10

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-8

Red Headed Woodpeckers were easy to find today.


Osprey 2018-20

I was surprised to see these Ospreys mating so late in the season.


Osprey 2018-21

These Ospreys were feeding at least one chick.


Catbird 2018-3

A lone Catbird was singing at the visitor center.

Carolina Wren 2018-2

A Carolina Wren was singing also.

Great Egret 2018-18

Only a few Great Egrets were present.

Bald Eagle 2018-45

Bald Eagle 2018-46

Several Bald Eagles were foraging in the marsh.

Turkey Vulture 2018-2

I don’t often see Turkey vultures drying their wings on the ground.


Eastern Kingbird 2018-11

Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching along the drive.

Orchard Oriole 2018-9

You’ll usually hear an Orchard Oriole before you see him.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-17

This Red Winged Blackbird has found a nice bug.

King Rail 2018-5 King Rail 2018-4 King Rail 2018-3 King Rail 2018-2 King Rail 2018-1

King Rail 2018-6

The secretive King Rail is hard to photograph.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel 32

It’s not always easy to photograph a Delmarva Fox Squirrel.

Fox 100

This Fox was hanging out at the visitor center.



Woodpecker v. Crayfish at Blackwater NWR.

Occasionally, I run into a situation that’s so extraordinary that it needs  its own post, and that’s what happened today.

I was looking for Red Headed Woodpeckers when one landed in the grass quite nearby. He was immediately engaged with some kind of prey in the tall grass, but I couldn’t see what it was. As I moved closer, I was able to get better images, but things were moving quickly, and I didn’t really have a good overall picture of the situation until I looked at the images in the camera.

I’ve edited some of the images and uploaded them with captions to add some clarity to a special moment.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-10

This is just after the bird (A Red Headed Woodpecker) has landed on the road.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-17

The woodpecker has spied the crayfish.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-18

He takes a closer look at the crayfish.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-13

The crayfish isn’t going to go easily.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-12

Who’s going to win the battle?

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-11

Another attack by the crayfish.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-14

Up and away.

Red Headed Woodpecker 2018-15

Here, the battle has ended and he’s taking his prize home.


Mute Swan at Bombay Hook NWR.

It’s that time of year when birds are getting scarce, so I took a chance on Bombay Hook this morning. The bugs were held down by a relatively low temperature and just enough breeze.  It was the right place to be to find birds, also.

The pools were actually relatively sparsely populated, but there were enough birds in close to get a few decent pics. A snapping turtle and a leopard frog helped out also.

Now, if they’d just move Bombay Hook closer to Annapolis.

Purple Martin 2018-15 Purple Martin 2018-14 Purple Martin 2018-13 Purple Martin 2018-12

Purple Martin 2018-16

There is a large Purple Martin colony at Bombay Hook.

Black Necked Stilt 2018-12 Black Necked Stilt 2018-11

Black Necked Stilt 2018-13

I found only a few Black Necked Stilts this morning.

Bald Eagle 2018-44

This Bald Eagle was enjoying a sunny morning high in a tree.

American Avocet 2018-9

A flock of American Avocets was foraging in the marsh.

Tree Swallow 2018-24

Many Tree Swallows nest at Bombay Hook.

Barn Swallow 2018-6

I found this Barn Swallow on the boardwalk trail.

Catbird 2018-2

I found this Catbird on the marsh boardwalk.

Least Sandpiper 2018-8

Least Sandpipers were not as numerous as last week.

Least Sandpiper 2018-7

Least Sandpiper 2018-8

Least Sandpipers were not as numerous as last week.

Eastern Kingbird 2018-9

Eastern Kingbird 2018-10

Several Eastern Kingbirds were feeding in the high grass near the road.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-16Red Winged Blackbird 2018-15

Wood Duck 2018-36

I saw two Wood Ducks this morning.

Orchard Oriole 2018-8Great Egret 2018-16Great Egret 2018-15Great Egret 2018-14Great Egret 2018-13

Great Egret 2018-17

This Great Egret stayed in one place for quite a while.

Goldfinch 2018-3

Many Goldfinches feed along the roadside.

Black Skimmer 2018-19 Black Skimmer 2018-18 Black Skimmer 2018-17 Black Skimmer 2018-16 Black Skimmer 2018-15

Black Skimmer 2018-20

Only a few Black Skimmers were present this morning.

Bald Eagle 2018-43

Snowy Egret 2018-4

The Snowy Egrets stayed quite distant.

Mute Swan 2018-6

A single Mute Swan was cruising in the marsh.

Snapping Turtle 34

I found two Snapping Turtles crossing the road.

Frog 16

This Leopard Frog was quite cooperativve.

Black Skimmer at Bombay Hook NWR.

I don’t usually go to Delaware this late in the year because the bugs can be ferocious. I took a chance anyway, as it’s been very slow around here. I’ve also been cooped up with a bad wheel bearing, which took a few days (And $266.00) to fix.

Bombay Hook was well populated with birds, including the first Skimmers I’ve seen there. My first experience with these birds was years ago in Florida. They’re fun to watch. There were also a few other interesting birds, so it was a worthwhile trip. It’s likely to be Fall before I go again.

Black Necked Stilt 2018-9

Black Necked Stilt 2018-8

Black Necked Stilt 2018-7

This Black Necked Stilt appears to be nesting.

Bald Eagle 2018-41 Bald Eagle 2018-42

Bald Eagle 2018-40

Several Bald Eagles were resting near the road.

American Avocet 2018-7 American Avocet 2018-8

American Avocet 2018-6

A few distant American Avocets were foraging in the marsh.

Snowy Egret 2018-3

I saw only a few Snowy Egrets.

Wood Duck 2018-35

Black Crowned Night Heron 2018-3

This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.

Red Winged Blackbird 2018-14

You can’t fo far without seeing a Red Winged Blackbird.

Crow 2018-4

This Common Yellowthroat was reluctant to turn around.

Black Skimmer 2018-3Black Skimmer 2018-4Black Skimmer 2018-5Black Skimmer 2018-6Black Skimmer 2018-7Black Skimmer 2018-8Black Skimmer 2018-9 Black Skimmer 2018-2

Black Skimmer 2018-1

It’s fascinating to watch these Black Skimmers slice through the water in search of fish.


Snapping Turtle 32

This Snapping Turtle was crossing the road at the refuge.