Greater Yellowlegs at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

I’ve been sticking with the CBEC routine for several weeks now, and it’s interesting to watch the cast of characters change as the water level drops and it gets warmer. Some birds have raised this year’s family, and are out searching for new areas to feed in.

Many Sandpipers have appeared, I’ve seen Avocets, Ibises and a single Little Blue Heron. Will a TriColored Heron be next?

A few sunrise photos also turned out well this week.

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CBEC 334

Morning in The Marsh.

Starling 2020-2

I think this is a Starling with a nice bug.

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This nest contains two Osprey chicks.

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Snowy Egrets near dawn.

Killdeer 2020-8

Killdeer have just begun appearing.

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Lesser Yellowlegs 2020-23

Lesser Yellowlegs are feeding in the flats.

Least Sandpiper 2020-6

Least Sandpipers are regulars.


Canvasback 2020-34

20 or more Canada Geese seem to be spending the Summer.


Returning Terns at CBEC.

The first time I saw Terns feeding in a flock, diving headlong into a school of small fish, I was hooked.  Master flyers, master fisherbirds, what’s not to like?

I’ve spent a lot of time since then trying to get good images, and it ain’t easy. Terns don’t understand straight lines, and they are quick! Anyway, here’s my latest efforts.

A few other birds were around as well, and CBEC might be getting much better soon if the water level keeps dropping and there’s some mud for the Sandpipers.

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Sunrise in the Marsh.

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Wood Duck 2020-13

I’ve heard a lot of Wood Ducks at CBEC, but I don’t see them often.

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Many Egrets dine all summer at CBEC.

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Chipping Sparrow 2020-9

There are many Chipping Sparrows at CBEC.

Bald Eagle 2020-6

I saw this bird out of the corner of my eye, and snapped a shot while I was watching the Terns. It was a surprise to see later that it’s a Bald Eagle!


Forster;s Tern 2020-56

I spent way too much time with these Forster’s and Least Terns who were just a little too far away.

Diamondback Terrapin 13

Diamondback Terrapin 12

Diamondback Terrapins are laying eggs now.

Eastern Box Turtle 20

CBEC is a good place to find Eastern Box Turtles.


Snowy Egrets at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

Egrets to the left of me… Great Egrets outnumber Snowys about two to one at Lake Knapp. I’ve seen as many as 9 Great Blue Herons at one time, which Ebird says is unusual. Mallards and Canada Geese make up the rest of the lake birds. The usual Blackbirds, Cardinals and other passerines make up the rest in the warm months.

On most days I circle the lake clockwise from the parking lot, usually pausing to try for a sunrise image at the North end of the Lake. I walk from the parking lot to the end of the trail in darkness, accompanied by birdsong. Cardinals, Chats and Mallards are noisy at this time.

When I figure out where the birds are congregating,  I move to the location and start taking pictures. I’ve been using a tripod lately to  get better shots and perhaps get a video or two. When the Swallows are active, I’ll stop on the entrance road to try for a flight shot.

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CBEC 303

CBEC Sunrise.

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When a single bird finds a good spot, he may be joined by others.

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Red Winged Blackbird 2020-111

This young Red-winged Blackbird was looking for a handout.

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Great Egrets are much bigger than Snowy Egrets.

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Eastern Box Turtle 18

CBEC has always been a good place to find Eastern Box Turtles.

American Avocets at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

I’ve continued the routine: CBEC, occasionally Greenbury Point or Kent Narrows and one trip to Schoolhouse Pond, which was a total waste.

Lake Knapp continues to be the source of the action. Lots and lots of Egrets and Herons, and today, American Avocets! I’ve never seen them there before, but regular readers know we see them at Bombay Hook.

The Egrets are sometimes close, sometimes far, and I’m learning to deal with both. I like to get close, but you can get some nice compositions at a distance, as well.

I expect to start seeing Wild Turkeys soon,  and maybe last year’s Yellow Throated Warbler will visit again.

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CBEC 300

CBEC Dawn.

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I saw 18 Great Egrets this morning.


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Every MD marsh has hundreds of Red Winged Blackbirds.

Forster;s Tern 2020-3

Forster;s Tern 2020-6

Forster’s Terns have just returned to the area.

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A few Snowy Egrets are hanging out as well.

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American Avocets! I could hardly believe my eyes, and I quickly moved to get a better look.

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Osprey nest repair.