Monday, April 27, 2015

Sweet Air Bird Walk

Cold temperatures and overcast skies held down the bird activity a bit but none the less a good trip with some nice birds. Most activity was in the field edges and hedgerows. The forest was very quiet. The surprise of the trips was several flocks of very high migrating Common Loons. Also great scope looks at singing Eastern Towhees. 
Eastern Towhee

Gunpowder Falls SP--Sweet Air, Harford, US-MD
Apr 25, 2015 8:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Comments:     40 degrees and overcast. Calm winds.  
 27 species

Canada Goose  3
Common Loon  11
Turkey Vulture  10
Cooper's Hawk  2
Mourning Dove  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  4
Downy Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Pileated Woodpecker  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  15
American Crow  1
Carolina Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
House Wren  2
Carolina Wren  3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2
American Robin  X
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  2
Pine Warbler  2
Eastern Towhee  3
Chipping Sparrow  X
White-throated Sparrow  15
Northern Cardinal  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
American Goldfinch  5
Hugh Simmons

Monday, April 20, 2015

Photographing Nature at Cromwell Valley

Led by Fred Brundick and John Landers - April 11

Red-tailed Hawk
photo by Victoria
Photo by Victoria
Eastern Bluebird
photo by Victoria

More photos are available on our Meetup site:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Wildflower Walk at Susquehanna State Park

I had a small (but elite and companionable) turnout for my CAS wildflower
hike in Susquehanna SP this morning.  Six of us enjoyed early spring
wildflowers on the alluvial flood plain.  Peak bloom is about a week to 10
days away, late this year.  Thanks for coming Tom, DJ, Mary Lynn, Alex and



Trout Lily
Red Trillium
Dutchman's Breeches

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Walk at Patterson Park

Despite the drizzles, we encountered lots of newly arrived migrants.  Beginning from the fountain, we spotted Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pine Warbler, Juncos, and many Brown Creepers.  I'm always glad to see creepers north of the city - that means they have dodged the glass and buildings on their way to their breeding grounds.  Numerous Brown Thrashers were seen throughout the park.

Can you see the female Eastern Towhee?  She was searching for a meal in the leaves and mulch
near the community gardens.   Hint - she's on the board.
What a nice welcome at the Boat Lake - three Black-crowned Night Herons!

Notice the difference between the bills in the male and female Mallards.  Did you know only the females "quack"?
A Double-crested Cormorant glided quite close to us.
Yes, it's a terrible picture - but you can see the ruby on the Ruby-crowned Kinglet!
Merlin on the left - Kestrel on the right.  Thank you!
Red Maples flowering

It was a fun morning at the park.  The next walk is Saturday, April 24th, led by Patterson Park Audubon staff.

Species list: 29 species

Mallard  30
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  3
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Mourning Dove  2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Northern Flicker  2
American Kestrel  1
Merlin  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  3
Brown Creeper  5
Carolina Wren  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  35
Brown Thrasher  10
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  10
Palm Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  1
Eastern Towhee  3
Song Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  6
Red-winged Blackbird  9
House Sparrow  1

Saturday, April 4, 2015

North Point State Park - Bird Walk for Beginners

We knew it was going to be an exciting day of birding -  23 species were counted just from the parking lot!   A majority of the participants had just started birding - a few others had only been birding for a few years.  North Point is a perfect place for birders of any level - there are woods, wetlands, fields, and the Chesapeake Bay shoreline.  It's very easy walking, and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a visitors center is open.

Along the marsh trail we added Gadwall, Mallard, Canada Goose, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Hooded and Common Mergansers, and a Little Blue Heron was tucked in the corner.
Blue--winged Teal 
photo by Marisa Galitz

We got great looks at two Eastern Phoebes - they put on a good "tail pumping" show. 

photo by Marisa Galitz
We also saw migrating Northern Harriers - including the "gray ghost" (male)!
Black Vulture
photo by Marisa Galitz

Doris remarked how beautiful this area was -- blue sky, pale tall trees, and green evergreens

Scat from ?


The Chesapeake Bay!  Buffleheads and Double--crested Cormorants were spotted from here.  Unfortunately my recently repaired spotting scope is stuck in a California port so we couldn't see what other ducks were floating in the distance.

The refurbished jetty is beautiful.  Wind gusts were so powerful Doris thought we should link arms so we wouldn't be carried off.  A Red-breasted Merganser flew by us here, and Great-blacked Gulls were close by.

Thanks all for a fun morning of birding.  Here is our bird list - 44 species:
Canada Goose  6
Wood Duck  2
Gadwall  4
Mallard  4
Green-winged Teal  6
Blue-winged Teal 3
Bufflehead  12
Hooded Merganser  4
Common Merganser  2
Red-breasted Merganser  1
Double-crested Cormorant  6
Great Blue Heron  1
Little Blue Heron  1
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  8
Osprey  4
Northern Harrier  3
Bald Eagle  5
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Downy Woodpecker  4
Northern Flicker  2
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  5
Tree Swallow  15
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
Carolina Wren  2
American Robin  8
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  7
Eastern Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  3
Dark-eyed Junco  5
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  9
Also - lots of Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers calling
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
? Snake