Long Tailed Duck at Thomas Point.

We’ve had another period of bad weather and scarce birds, but things are starting to look better.

I found a few birds at Blackwater yesterday, and did well at Thomas Point this morning. The better ducks are just starting to get here and I expect things to pick up soon.  In the meantime, I’m paying more attention to the local birds, as I should be in any case.

Blackwater Dawn 57

Sunrise at Blackwater.

Bird Feeder 2018

Very cool bird feeder at The Visitor Center.

Wildlife Drive 1

Part of Wildlife Drive.

Bufflehead 2018-59

Bufflehead 2018-60

I’m starting to see Buffleheads everywhere I go.

Eastern Bluebird 2018-13

This Eastern Bluebird was showing off at Thomas Point.

Lesser Scaup 2018-25

This Lesser Scaup was at Oakley Street.

Song Sparrow 2018-25

There are many Song Sparrows at Thomas Point.

Mallard 2018-50

Mallard on the left, Northern Shoveler on the right.

Mallard 2018-52

I found this Mallard at Truxtun Park.

Mallard 2018-51

This Mallard was a flyby at Thomas Point.

Great Blue Heron 2018-92

I’m seeing only a few Great Blue Herons.

Northern Harrier 2018-9

Northern Harrier 2018-10

I was lucky to see this Northern Harrier at Blackwater.



Bald Eagle 2018-84

It’s still easy to find Bald Eagles at Blackwater.

Ring Billed Gull 2018-4

This Ring Billed Gull was at Blackwater.

Northern Pintail 2018-24

There were many Northern Pintails.

Tundra Swan 2018-34

Tundra Swan 2018-35

The Tundra Swans have settled in at Thomas Point.


Goldfinch 2018-24

This Goldfinch was foraging at Blackwater.

Long Tailed Duck 2018-7 Long Tailed Duck 2018-6 Long Tailed Duck 2018-2 Long Tailed Duck 2018-5 Long Tailed Duck 2018-4 Long Tailed Duck 2018-3

Long Tailed Duck 2018-8

I saw very few Long Tailed Ducks last year.

Fox Sparrow at Patuxent NWR.

Graeme has a very nice exhibit in place at Patuxent NWR, so I met him there early this morning and we went looking for birds before the Visitor Center opened at 9:00.

We spent a couple of hours walking in the soggy woods, but we didn’t have much luck until we were almost back at the Center.

There were quite a few Sparrows around, but they spook easily and we didn’t get many opportunities to get decent images. A Chipmunk crossed our path, and a Fox Sparrow paused long enough for a decent picture.

We spent an hour in the Visitor Center looking at his exhibit and the other displays, which I confess I hadn’t visited before. They are excellent and very professional.

Goose Pond 3

Goose Pond can be very attractive in the Fall.

Blue Jay 2018-4 Blue Jay 2018-3

Blue Jay 2018-5

There were several Blue Jays in the area.


Eastern Bluebird 2018-12

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds were foraging near the marsh.

Chickadee 2018-7

Chickadee 2018-8

A single Chickadee was searching for breakfast.

Fox Sparrow 2018-1

Fox Sparrow 2018-2

This is the first Fox Sparrow I’ve seen all year.

Song Sparrow 2018-24

We saw several Song Sparrows.

Graeme Simpson 26 Graeme Simpson 24

Graeme Simpson 25

Graeme, standing in front of the exhibit.


Redhead at Thomas Point Road.

It was seriously cold this morning, but I tried for some sunrise images at Sandy Point anyway. It was a waste of time.You really can’t tell what’s going to happen until you’re there, and even then you may have to wait a while to see if a good sky will develop. I’ve wasted a lot of mornings this year when the sky remained gray from horizon to far overhead.

I stopped at Possum Point after Sandy Point, and found a few ducks, but nothing worth spending time on. Thomas Point wasn’t really much better, with just a few birds close enough for pictures.

I then stopped at my friend’s house on Thomas Point Road, where there was a good variety, with most  of the birds being fairly close.

Tundra Swan 2018-32 Tundra Swan 2018-31 Tundra Swan 2018-30 Tundra Swan 2018-29

Tundra Swan 2018-33

Many Tundra Swans were hanging out at the dock.

Canvasback 2018-21

Canvasback 2018-22

This pair of Canvasbacks will remain most of the Winter.

Bufflehead 2018-56 Bufflehead 2018-55 Bufflehead 2018-54

Bufflehead 2018-57

Buffleheads are getting more numerous.

Mallard 2018-48 Mallard 2018-47

Mallard 2018-49

Many Mallards were in the area.

Ruddy Duck 2018-12

I found this Ruddy Duck at Possum Point.

Redhead 2018-9

I saw only a few Redheads.


Hairy Woodpecker at Bombay Hook NWR.

The doldrums have struck again, at least locally, so I made the trip to Bombay Hook again this morning.  It’s about an hour and a half, which is about my limit for road trips these days.

The water us still high in the pools, which limits the variety of birds, especially Sandpipers, who prefer foraging on mud flats and shallow water. Even the ducks were limited, but that will change as the season progresses.

A thousand or more Snow Geese flew over, and a small flock of American Avocets, but there weren’t any decent photo ops.

The Hairy Woodpecker was a nice find, as I don’t see many.

Tundra Swan 2018-28

Only a few Tundra Swans were in evidence.

Red Tailed Hawk 2018-13

Red Tailed Hawk 2018-14

This Red Tailed Hawk flew over as i was leaving.

Northern Pintail 2018-22

Only a few sleeping Northern Pintails were around.

Dark Eyed Junco 2018-6

This Dark Eyed Junco is for my sister.

Yellow Rumped Warbler 2018-8

A few Yellow Rumped Warblers were foraging on the boardwalk trail.

Savannah Sparrow 2018-5

This appears to be a Savannah Sparrow.

Swamp Sparrow 2018-8

This Swamp Sparrow was in the field across from the visitor center.

Great Blue Heron 2018-91

I found only one Great Blue Heron this morning.

Northern Shoveler 2018-25

This is a Northern Shoveler, probably a juvenile.

Black Duck 2018-10

I see more Black Ducks at Bombay Hook that anywhere else.

Mallard 2018-46

I seem to be seeing a lot of Mallards this year.

Hairy Woodpecker 2018-1

Hairy Woodpecker 2018-2

The long beak and lack of red on the head identifies this as a female Hairy Woodpecker.

Ring Necked Ducks at Lake Artemesia.

It’s been slow birding and crummy weather for nearly a week, so it was nice to have a decent morning for a change.

I got to Artemesia early, and there wasn’t much to see for over an hour. Canada Geese started arriving, and a few Wood Ducks and Grebes got active.

Early on, I found a few Buffleheads and Ring Necked Ducks, as well as a couple of Great Blue Herons. A decent morning, all things considered.

I’m throwing in a few images from other brief recent trips.

Cove 21

Quiet Waters Cove.

Lake Artemesia 108

Lake Artemesia.

Wood Duck 2018-58 Wood Duck 2018-57 Wood Duck 2018-56 Wood Duck 2018-55 Wood Duck 2018-54 Wood Duck 2018-53 Wood Duck 2018-52

Wood Duck 2018-60

Wood Duck 2018-59

A pair of Wood Ducks was cruising the lake.

Bufflehead 2018-50Bufflehead 2018-49Bufflehead 2018-48

Bufflehead 2018-51

A few Bufflehead were feeding near shore.

Great Blue Heron 2018-89

Great Blue Heron 2018-90

I just barely got a look at this Great Blue Heron.

Mallard 2018-45

I found this Mallard at Thomas Point.

Tundra Swan 2018-24

The Tundra Swans have returned!

Bald Eagle 2018-82

This Bald Eagle flew over just as I arrived at Thomas Point.

Ring Necked Duck 2018-14 Ring Necked Duck 2018-13 Ring Necked Duck 2018-12 Ring Necked Duck 2018-11

Ring Necked Duck 2018-15

There were 20 or more Ring Necked Ducks cruising the lake.

Buffleheads at Lake Artemesia.

I met Graeme at Lake Artemesia this morning, and we circled the lake several times in hopes of finding a few good birds.

We can’t really complain, as I got a couple of first of season birds, and the weather was quite good for November.

There could have been more variety, but the light was perfect, the weather was excellent and we nearly had the place to ourselves.

Lake Artemesia.

Graeme Simpson contemplates the next shot.

I found this Cardinal yesterday at Quiet Waters.

Several White Throated Sparrows were forging near Indian Creek.

A single Pied Billed Grebe was swimming in the lake.

Starling 2018-1

Starlings can be very attractive in the right light.


This juvenile Bald Eagle circled the lake for several minutes.

We saw only a few Mallards.

A large flock of Canada Geese spent the night at the lake.

Bufflehead 2018-46 Bufflehead 2018-45 Bufflehead 2018-44

Two flocks of Buffleheads were hanging out near shore.

A few Ring Necked Ducks were foraging near the Buffleheads.


A single Great Blue Heron was fishing.


This Belted Kingfisher was fishing yesterday at Quiet Waters.

Northern Shoveler at Bombay Hook NWR.

We had a couple of days of rain, so It was good to be able to get out again.

I’ve hard of some nice bird at Bombay Hook, so I left Annapolis around 5:00 AM and got to Bombay Hook at 6:30. There’s very little traffic at that hour.

The morning was quite sunny, but the resident birds were staying well out in the marsh and it was tough to get good images.

Most of the ducks (Shovelers, Pintails, Teal, Mallards) were young or females. I suppose that’s standard for Fall migration. There were very few Sandpipers, which is probably because the water was quite high.

Hopefully, there’ll be more variety soon.

Bombay Hook 19

A lake at Bombay Hook.

Northern Pintail 2018-21

Northern Pintail 2018-20

Northern Pintails were in every pool.

Turkey Vulture 2018-3

This Turkey Vulture seemed to be drying his wings.

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-23

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-24

I found only one Greater Yellowlegs.

Bald Eagle 2018-79

Bald Eagle 2018-80

This Bald Eagle is probably in his first year.

White Crowned Sparrow 2018-5

Many juvenile White Crowned Sparrows were in the field across from the visitor center.

Great Egret 2018-103

Only a few Great Egrets are still hanging around.

Black Duck 2018-8

Black Ducks seem to favor Bombay Hook.

American Avocet 2018-26

Most of the American Avocets were too far away for photos.

Mallard 2018-43

Many Mallards were feeding in the marsh.

Northern Shoveler 2018-23

Northern Shoveler 2018-22 Northern Shoveler 2018-24

Most of the Northern Shovelers were females or juveniles. 


Bald Eagle at Blackwater NWR.

It’s still a bit slow around here, so I journeyed to Blackwater this morning. It was quite nice for early November, and a few birds are trickling in. It’s not exciting yet. A few Pintails were around, but too distant, and only a few Sandpipers. Plenty of Mallards and Canada Geese, but not much else.

Sandy Point 531

Dawn at Sandy Point.


Northern Pintail 2018-19

Several Northern Pintails were feeding in the marsh.

Great Blue Heron 2018-85

This Great Blue Heron flew right across my path.

Canada Goose 2018-36

Many Canada Geese were moving around the refuge.

Mallard 2018-40

I saw 100 or more Mallards.

Cardinal 2018-17

This might be the first Cardinal I’ve ever photographed at Blackwater.

Double Crested Cormorant 2018-18

The usual Double Crested Cormorants were at the Key Wallace bridge.

Greater Yellowlegs 2018-22

Two Greater Yellowlegs were foraging along Wildlife Drive.

Bald Eagle 2018-76 Bald Eagle 2018-77 Bald Eagle 2018-75 Bald Eagle 2018-74

Bald Eagle 2018-78

I found only a few Bald Eagles.