Sunday, July 28, 2013

Birding and Canoe Trip at Pickering Creek Audubon Center

Unlike the last two times we tried to plan a canoe trip at Pickering, the rain stayed away and we had a terrific time.  We started out walking the trail to the wetland overlook where we spotted Eastern Bluebirds, Song Sparrows, a Bald Eagle, Mockingbird, many Killdeer and Tree Swallows.  A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were in the first pond, and we passed many dragonflies and butterflies.

Common Wood-nymph

Black Swallowtails
From the wetland overlook, we saw Least and Forster's Terns, Mallards, Canada Geese, and a Bobwhite loudly called out from the grasses. 

Time to launch the canoes!  The water was calm, and we slowly paddled around Pickering Creek observing the many grasses and tree skeletons that sometimes hid the numerous Great Blue Herons.

At times we would paddle right next to a Great Blue Heron without realizing it.  We also observed a Green Heron, Barn Swallows, Turkey and Black Vultures, and an Eastern Kingbird.

Samantha enjoying the quiet waters

One of the two Ospreys that kept circling us. 
Pickering Creek Audubon Center is located in Easton on the Eastern Shore, and has 400 acres of mature hardwood forest, fresh and brackish marshes, meadows, and tidal and non tidal wetlands.  It is open every day of the year and is free!  There is a canoe/kayak launch area, and many trails for birding and hiking - it's great place for families to explore together.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Patterson Park Friday Bird Walk

No one showed up for the walk this AM due to the rain, but since I had driven all that way - I decided to walk the "route" and see what I could find in this beautiful urban park.  Swifts were already soaring overhead,  Mockers were scolding, and numerous juvenile and adult Robins were pulling up worms left and right.  As I headed down to the pond, I spotted an Eastern Phoebe, House Wren, and the usual pesky Starlings.
The famous Boat Lake.
A Red-winged Blackbird taking shelter.

A bad picture, but the 4 Moscovy ducklings are much bigger, and actually look like gigantic Mallard ducklings.   The best birds of the day were 3 adult and one juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons!

Some scenes from the butterfly and wetland gardens: