Monday, March 31, 2008

Great Egret

Monday Morning March 31st

Meadowbrook Park, Howard County, Maryland

Cold and wet and drizzling. Opening day at OriolePark ( bet that will be fun, 40 degrees wet and windy. Just the way you want to a Baseball Game).

As I emerged from the car and started down the path I looked up and spotted a large white bird. My first reaction was "sea gull", then I realized that this was a LARGE white bird. My first Great Egret of the year. They are not uncommon, but not plentiful and this is just about the time of year they start arriving.

I also spotted a Chipping Sparrow (70). There really wasn't anything else of note, as usual lots of LBJ's (little brown jobs - which covers a wide variety little brown birds that hop from tree to thicket to bush and back) and water fowl.

Go Orioles

Sunday, March 30, 2008

No doubt about. God created it.

Sunday, March 30th 7 am

Nothing is quite like being near a body of water at sun rise. This morning as I started around Lake Kittamaqundi. The sun was just peaking through the tree line across the lake and from the south side a Great Blue Heron took off from the cat tails, immediately followed by a second GBH. A light mist raising from the lake's surface with two Herons flying through alternating shade and sun light cast by the trees at lake side. What a beautiful way to start a day. It is times like these that just reaffirms that the fact that God created a awesome universe. It is inconceivable that any of this is just by chance.
As I began my walk feeling very uplifted by the fact there seemed to be a lot of activity around the lake. After the GBH, I spotted a Belted Kingfisher, always a treat, and then a Killdeer (65) working its way along a mud flat. this was another first of the year (FOY).

Other birds were Redwinged Blackbird, Fish Crow, American Crow, lots on Northern Mockingbirds, Song Sparrows, White breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Blue Jay, Ring billed gulls, Canadas, Mallards, and just as I was about to leave, a bald Eagle arrived in a tree on the far side. Time elapsed was may 15 minutes. I was next off the one of my favorite lakes, Wilde Lake just across the hwy. 5 minutes west.

Just the highlights for Wilde lake, Black Crowned night heron, 12 Double crested Cormorants, Northern Flicker and several other woodpeckers and the first swallows of the year for me, Barn Swallows (66), Tree Sparrows (67) and a Northern Rough Winged Swallow (68). I know I am missing some of the peeps and warblers along the shores of these lakes, but hopefully I can get some help when I go on a walk with the local Howard County Bird Club the leaders are always fantastic

My photo was terrible so I picked this off the Internet. Photographic Credit to Alan D. Wilson

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Beautiful Day to be Outside

American Kestrel

Today is Saturday March 29, . It is unreasonably cold this morning 29+ compared to yesterday temps in the high 50's to low 60's. But as I am finding out; cold, miserable weather is good if you want to go birding. Birds are more active because they need to find plenty of nourishment to keep up their body temperature. There is not much body under all those feathers and therefore they need a tremendous amount of food in order to stay warm this time of year. Their quest for food has a more immediate urgency, it is not as plentiful . Most of last year's readily available food, fruit, seeds, insects, etc. is depleted. Because of the still cool to cold temps not much is available yet.

So keep your feeders full for all of our year round residents as well as the immigrants that are passing though.

Today, as I said is Saturday, and therefore I was able to take my lovely wife along. She is a great companion and I love our time spent walking around the paths and trails in our area. We decided to go to the Howard County Farm Conservancy out on Rt.99. It is beautiful countryside. We were a little disappointed in the lack of wildlife but we enjoyed our time immensely.

Here is the list: American Robin, Caroline Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Turkey Vulture, American Goldfinch, House Finch, House Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, Common Grackle, Eastern Towhee (63) American Kestrel (64), Eastern Bluebirds, Red Winged Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, Canada Geese, Red bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Northern mocking Bird, Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, White breasted Nuthatch, Song Sparrow, European Starling, and White-throated Sparrow.

I am sure that we also Spotted some kinglets, but since i could not positively ID them they won't count. But if was go to get the Easter Towhee and the American Kestrel (She had a small snake in her talons). Mmm m'good.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Number Sixty-One & Sixty-Two

March 29, 2008

On my morning walk at Centennial Lake, along with all the usual waterfowl , Mallards, Canada Goose, Hooded mergansers, Buffleheads, and 3 Horned Grebes (61) was also a LESSER SCAUP (62), only two scaup species indigenous to North America, the Greater and Lesser. The Greater prefers saltwater and the Lesser is a freshwater bird, and number 62 on my list. This is also a life list bird for me.
In addition to the Lesser and the Horned Grebes there were, Northern Mockingbirds, Northern cardenals, Red-winged Blackbirdds, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, AMerican Crows, Fish Crows, Common Grackles, Starlings, House finches, American Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, Hooden Mergansers, Mallards, Canada Geese, Buffleheads.

61 - Horned Grebe - CL Mar-29
62 - Lesser Scaup - CL - Mar-29
That is all for now, and it is still morning

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The list continues........

Since I am working from behind with three months of data, I am going to catch up the list as quickly as possible by posting everything over two or three posts. This is going to be in chronological order as best as I can with a site/location noted.
Legend for the birding sites are:
Centennial Lake = CL
Lake Elkhorn = LE
Jackson Pond = JP
Sewell's Orchard Ponds = SO
Wilde Lake = WL
Lake Kittamaqundi = LK
Forebay Cove = FC
My backyard = BY
Tridelphia Resovour = TR

I generally walk one or more of these lake each day.

15 - Red tailed Hawk - LE - Jan-02
16 - Mallard - LE - Jan-02
17 - Canada Goose - LE - Jan-02
18 - European Starling - LE - Jan-02
19 - Turkey Vulture - LE - Jan-02
20 - Great Blue Heron - LE - Jan-02
21 - Bufflehead - LE - Jan-02
22 - Red bellied Woodpecker - LE -Jan-02 w/photo
23 - Red winged Blackbird - LE - Jan-02
24 - Red shouldered Hawk - LE - Jan 02
25 - Hooded Merganser - LE - Jan-02
26 - Song Sparrow - LE - Jan-02
27 - Ring billed Gull - LE - Jan-02
28 - Eastern Bluebird - LE - Jan-02
29 - Ring-necked Duck - LE - Jan-02
30 - Northern Flicker - JP - Jan-03
31 - White breasted Nuthatch - BY - Jan-03
32 - Yellow bellied Sapsucker - LE - Jan-05
33 - China White Goose - Daniels - Feb 18
34 - Canvas back Duck - CL - Jan-05
35 - Belted Kingfisher - LK - Jan-07 and again at WL & CL w/ Photos
36 - Ruddy Duck -WL - Jan 07
37 - American Robin - BY - Feb-10
38 - Bald Eagle - TR - Feb-17 w/ Photos. Seven counted this day.
39 - Common Mergansers - TR - Feb-17 w/ Photos. Hundreds on the water
40 - Fox Sparrow - LE - Feb-24
41 - Brown headed Cowbird - BY - Feb-24
42 - Common Grackle - BY - Feb-24
43 - Pied billed Grebe - TR - Feb-24
44 - Hairy Woodpecker - FC - Feb-25
45 - Red Necked Grebe - WL - Feb-25 w/ Photos- A rare bird for Howard County, MD. and
still at Wilde Lake as of Mar 26th
46 - Black Vulture - Everywhere everyday.
47 - Sharp-shinned Hawk - LE - Mar-03 w/ Photo
48 - Herring Gull - WL - Feb-27
49 - Cedar Waxwings - CL - Feb-28
50 - Rock Pigeons - Everywhere
51 - Eastern Phoebe - WL - Feb-27 and again on March 26th
52 - Common Golden eye - CL - Feb-28
53 - American Coot - CL - Mar-04 later on WL (3-26) and SO (3-24)
54 - Fish Crow - CL - Mar-4
55 - Hermit Thrush - CL - Mar-4 w/ Photo and again w/HCBC on Mar-09
56 - Cooper's Hawk - CL - Mar-09 w/HCBC
57 - Yellow Rumped Warbler - CL - Mar-09 w/HCBC
58 - Great Horned Owl - Snowden River PKWY - Mar-10 w/HCBC w/ Photos and story
see this link
59 - Double Crested Cormorant - WL - Mar-26 w/Photos
60 - Black crowned Night Heron - WL - Mar-26 w/ Photos

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Every good list starts at the beginning. I started with January 1, 2008 in my back yard with the first visitors to our feeders hanging off our deck at the rear of the house.

1 - Mourning Dove
2 -Tufted titmouse
3 - House Finch
4 - American Crow
5 - Carolina Chichadee
6 - American Gold finch
7 - Dark-eyed Junco
8 - White thoated Sparrow
9 - House Sparrow
10 - Northern Cardinal
11 - Blue Jay
12 - Downey Woodpecker
13 - Northern Mockingbird
14 - Carolina Wren

I was hoping for a more fruitful day, but it was not to be. Last year I was able to count 34 without leaving the comfort of my family room.

An American Coot

I have set this blog up to track my birding activities starting with Jan 1, 2008. to see how many birds I can add to my list in one year in Howard County Maryland and a second list that will be cumulative. I may be adding other lists if I take any trips that will allow me to do any birding.

When possible I will post photos that I have taken of each species. My equipment is not high end and I am not an accomplishes photographer. I do get lucky once in awhile. If possible I will post available photos of better quality.