Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Bird Walk at Patterson Park - Great Backyard Bird Count

Where was everybody?  Did the 18 degree temperature keep you at home?  It was a crisp morning at the park, almost every dog was sporting a fashionable winter coat.  The birds were hidden too - so every one that I saw was very special.   Enjoy some photos.
No birds here, but this Sweet Gum is an important winter food source for birds.
On my way to Boat Lake.

Merlin!  Same tree we saw him in last time.  Head tucked in for warmth.
Frozen at the lake.

The ice was up to the boardwalk, I could hear it breaking as I passed over.
The male Red-winged Blackbirds were calling frequently - no females were around.  I saw a flock of about 50 pass over earlier, and then another dozen at the lake.

This is where you wish I had a better camera - two Carolina Wrens were flitting about the boardwalk.  I was wishing I had brought some sunflower hearts with me.
A cold and puffed up robin did not move as I walked by.
One of four goldfinch.
A small pocket of open water held Mallards and Canada Geese.  Some Ring-billed Gulls were skating nearby.

The next bird walk at Patterson Park will be Sat., February 27, I hope it will be warmer. 

Bird list in no particular order:

House Sparrow - 2
Mourning Dove - 2
Red-winged Blackbirds - 62
Merlin - 1
Robin - 3
American Goldfinch - 4
Ring-billed Gulls - 60
Mallard - 15
Canada Geese - 7
Downy Woodpecker - 1
American Crow - 2
Carolina Wren - 2

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blackwater NWR

We've had to cancel this trip the last few years because of snow, sleet, or sub-zero temperatures.  But Sunday was a perfect day in Cambridge and the refuge was full of birds.

One of three Kestrels
A few Bald Eagles were perched on the Osprey platform.
Hundreds of Canada Geese, Mallards, and a few Shovelers were tucked in here.
Brown-headed Nuthatches and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet were found here.
Tim Houghton leading the way.
A few Bald Eagles.

Tundra Swans
White Pelicans!
Snow Geese taking off.
Bird Species List:
Snow Goose  300
Canada Goose  X
Tundra Swan  400
American Wigeon  2
American Black Duck  6
Mallard  50
Northern Shoveler  30
Northern Pintail  70
Green-winged Teal  6
Ring-necked Duck  2
Hooded Merganser  3
American White Pelican  40 
Great Blue Heron  10
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  20
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
gull sp.  X
Mourning Dove  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Downy Woodpecker  4
American Kestrel  3
American Crow  6
Fish Crow  2
Horned Lark  2
Carolina Chickadee  10
Tufted Titmouse  5
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Brown-headed Nuthatch  6
Brown Creeper  1
Carolina Wren  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  8
American Robin  1
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  X
Pine Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  2
Field Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  8
White-throated Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  4
Swamp Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Eastern Meadowlark  3
Common Grackle  X
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  6
After the field trip, we stopped at the Cambridge Diner for some delicious food and fun conversation.  Thanks everyone for the perfect day - and thank you Blackwater NWR!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Walk at Patterson Park

It was a bit gray at the park this morning.  We walked through the fog and mist without seeing more than Ring-billed Gulls until we spotted the resident Mockingbird guarding his holly berries.  Highlights include two Great Blue Herons, a Red-tailed Hawk eating a rat (hopefully not a poisoned one), and  four Ring-necked Ducks at the pond.
The water at the pond was quite high.
Interesting fungus.
Bird list:

Canada Goose 
American Black Duck 
Ring-necked Duck 
Great Blue Heron 
Red-tailed Hawk 
Ring-billed Gull 
Mourning Dove 
American Crow 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
Northern Mockingbird 
European Starling 
Dark-eyed Junco 
House Sparrow 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Day Hike at Soldier's Delight

Happy New Year!

Photo of hike led by Bryan MacKay.  A few birds spotted include turkey vulture, black vulture,  american crow, carolina chickadee, eastern bluebird, hairy woodpecker.

Photo by Debi MacKay

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Friday Bird Walk at Patterson Park

The active Merlin and Cooper's Hawk kept the number of birds spotted to a minimum.

Merlin - a possible second Merlin in the lower left area of the photo.
A few Ring-necked Ducks
A late Common Yellowthroat was spotted near the boardwalk

Bird list:
Mallard  35
Ring-necked Duck  3
Cooper's Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  5
Mourning Dove  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Merlin  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
European Starling  4
Common Yellowthroat  1  
Dark-eyed Junco  5
Red-winged Blackbird  2
American Goldfinch  3

The last bird walk of the year will be this Saturday, Dec. 19th.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kayaking at Mariner Point Park (Harford Cnty)

The rain kept a few paddlers away, but it stopped before the four of us launched our boats.  What a terrific area for bird watching and to view fall colors.  Here are some photos from the trip:

On the channel just after launching.
Our leader, Jack Dettner, an expert paddler.
After turning into Foster Branch
One of many Great Blue Herons
Mallards were the only ducks spotted.
The tide isn't always high enough to go through here.
It was very narrow on the other side.  We had a great look at an immature Red-tailed Hawk.
Of course the fall colors were fantastic from the Black and Sweet Gums, Red Maples, and Oaks.
Jack admiring a Red Maple.
 Bird list:
Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning  Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Thanks everyone for a fun paddle!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bird Walk at Mt. Pleasant Farms (Howard County Conservancy)

Seven of us enjoyed a morning of birding in Ho County at Mount Pleasant Farm. Chilly at first, but for the most part a beautiful sunny day. We had 9 species of sparrow and a nice variety of birds overall. Some highlights:

Sharp-Shinned Hawk (1)
Cooper's Hawk (1, great looks)
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (2)
Raven (1, maybe 2)
Hermit Thrush (3)
White-Crowned Sparrow (5)
Lincoln's Sparrow (4)
Junco (1)

Tim Houghton
(Glen Arm)