Monday, July 30, 2012

Swan Harbor Farm - Harford Cnty.

A very friendly group of 8 people--representing a large range of birding experience--had a great time this morning at Swan Harbor Farm in Harford County. 2 bobolinks in the middle of the new/right/vegetation-covered impoundment were the highlight. Some other particular favorites included many bald eagles (of varied plumage), 4 shorebird species (least sandpiper, killdeer, lesser yellowlegs, solitary sandpiper), a green heron, a double-crested cormorant, and indigo buntings. Bees, wasps, and butterflies were active. We saw a cicada killer with a cicada drop down and go into a tunnel, and we had 4 species of swallowtail: tiger, spicebush, zebra, and black. A good time!

At the pier spotting Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, DC Cormorant, Bald Eagle, and Forster's Terns.

We observed most of the shorebirds and the Mallards in this impoundment.

The flower garden along the barn was filled with butterflies.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Patterson Park Audubon Bird Walk

Patterson Park Audubon led their monthly "Urban Birding" walk this morning led by Maryland/DC Audubon's Director of Bird Conservation Dave Curson.

The group meets at the fountain and then winds its way around the community gardens and down to the pond.  Here we're looking at Great Crested Flycatchers which nested in the park this season.  Chimney Swifts were plentiful, and we also spotted a juv. Carolina Wren.

At the duck pond, we noticed the mallards were going through their yearly molt, and the males look very similar to the females except for their bill color.  They are flightless during this time.

Black-crowned Night Herons call the park home - this one is preening itself on the island.
A few Canada Geese were mixed in with the Mallards.  One Black Duck had recently arrived.

Marsh Hibiscus was blooming.

A migrant Northern Parula was in the trees by the boardwalk - a nice surprise.  Other birds noted were Flicker, Osprey, Red-winged Blackbird, Goldfinch, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Robin, and House Finch.  The next scheduled walk is Saturday, August 25th - binoculars are available to borrow if you don't have any.  Early migrants should be passing through then - please join in!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pickering Creek Audubon Center

Our Saturday canoe trip was cancelled due to rain, but here are some highlights from the previous week.  We will reschedule the trip in the fall - there should be plenty of ducks in the wetlands to view.

Our first stop was the platform overlooking the wetlands.  It was already filling up with shorebirds - Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Least Tern, Least Sandpipers, and Short-billed Dowitchers. 

The Pickering Creek dock has a classroom area for students.
This Osprey may have fledged by now.

Barn Swallows were on every dock.

There were many shoreline scenes like this one.
Nice birds spotted were Bald Eagle, Black Vultures, Kingfisher, Green Heron, and many  Great Blue Herons.  See you in the fall!