Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2 Life List birds for me. Woo Hoo

====================> Eastern Kingbird

At Centennial Lake this morning I took an abbreviated walk with the intent to find the Spotted Sandpiper that was reported to be along the bank on the deep end of the lake near the dam.
As I started out I immediately spotted several Purple Martins(91). Shortly thereafter the Spotted Sandpiper(92) walked out from behind a rock along the shore.

With that done I started back to the car to get and early start on the work day. But on the way back to car ,and there in a field of blooming mustard, was an Eastern Kingbird(93). It was a very striking bird with beautiful tail feathers.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Forgotten Bird

Red-breasted Nuthatch - left & Chipping Sparrow - right.

This weekend had little in the way of birding activity. My middle son and I did go fishing. This is one of his favorite hobbies. We spent a wonderful morning tramping along the Patapsco River. We didn't catch anything worth keeping accept the memory of spending time together. BTW, Happy Birthday Blake

Sunday, morning was the start of some very very wet weather but I was able to get out early, before Church. BTW,our Pastors are doing an 8 part series from Psalms. This Sundays topic - Guilt. I needed to be there for that. Here is the link for any other guilty people out there. http://www.covlife.org/sermons/ The entire series has been very convicting. If is well worth listening.

Oh, the birds, Chimney Swifts(87), Chipping Sparrow(88) Red-Breasted Nuthatch (89) at our feeder, very cool. And, Snow Geese (90) that I saw in a fly over back on March 17th and over looked in my list earlier

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The long and short of it.

Lake Elkhorn produced several new birds. Unfortunately I only actually saw two of them. I missed the Chimney Swifts and the Purple Martins that someone reliable walking by had spotted. There will be other opportunities for these fellows as the are just starting to arrive in our area and will stay for the summer.

What I did see were are opposite ends of the size spectrum. A House Wren (85) 4 1/2 inches long with a seven inch wingspan, and a pair of nesting Barred Owls (86) 21 inches long (or tall) with a wingspan of or around 43- 44 inches. Quite a contrast.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's Starting to Warm Up

Green Heron

Sadly, I am in my office instead of being outside and recreating. Today I had a specific purpose of locating a recently cited Green Heron(84). I was pleasantly surprised to locate them quite easily. Yes, them there were two, side by side in a quite neighborhood pond. And, last night, as I watched our feeder, number 83 showed up, a Purple Finch.
The Green Herons I saw this morning were not this striking, but beautiful none the less.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It was a Warbler kind of day.

I arrived lakeside late this morning 7:40 am, but couldn't seem to venture much past the bumper of my car. In a small stand of trees next to the boat ramp/dock, where I always park, the trees were teeming with Pine Warblers, Palm Warblers, Yellow Rumped Warblers, Tree Swallows and Northern Rough Winged Swallows.

With all that activity I was hoping for maybe one new arrival. But if something new was there I didn't see it.

After about 10 minutes of watching all these little guys hoping from branch to branch I was struck that it was much like watching popcorn through binoculars while standing in the kitchen, very challenging.

After that everything was pretty bland until I, quite by chance, came across a Ruby Crowned Kinglet (82) on the far side of the lake. That put a bounce in my step.

After I had completed the circle of the lake and I was again watching the "popcorn", I was blessed with a prolonged view of a searching Osprey. She was magnificent. So enthralled I forgot to snap what would have been a beautiful shot.

What I found interesting was that while the Osprey circled back and forth looking for breakfast, it is primarily a fish eater, the birds in the trees right below were unperturbed by his close proximity. If it had been a Red Tailed Hawk there would not have been a warbler in sight. Is God's design awesome?

BTW, Number (81) was actually viewed last Friday morning at Centennial Lake. A Swamp Sparrow.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A clarification

Lately the pictures have not been mine. We have had several days running of cold, foggy, rainy and generally overcast days here in Maryland. All the photos I have taken lately look something like brown blobs on a gray background. Sometimes the little guys don't hold still long enough .

The header with deer is the only one left that I snapped, most of the earlier photos were ones I took. When the sun shines again I will use my own when possible. Otherwise I will "post" that I used a free non copyrighted photo from the US Fish & Wildlife Service or Wikipedia. Sorry to disappoint, but thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


A Savannah Sparrow at Centennial Lake is number 80 for the year.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Quest Continues

Wednesday, April 9th.

Very foggy here in Columbia, Maryland.

There seems to be a bit of a lull in the migration process. Today saw only one new sighting, a Common Loon (79) peacefully bobbing in the middle of Lake Elkhorn.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Brown Thrasher

Sunday, April 6th

On a walk around Centennial Lake very early on Sunday morning 6:45 am. I was out before the fishermen. Netted just one new sighting, a Brown Thrasher(78). He is a handsome bird with a wonderful vocal range when it is trying to impress the ladies and declaring his territory. This guy was in the tree top singing his own praises and calling out his warnings. But, usually you will find them literally crashing around in the under growth and brushy parts on a wooded area, hence, the name "thrasher".

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Saturday Afternoon, April 5, 2008

Wifey and I decided to take a walk because it was shaping up to be a beautiful morning.
Our first stop was Wilde Lake. Once around the lake netted a Brown Creeper (75) located close by the little bridge at the back of the lake. Also a striking Gold-crowned Kinglet (my wife's first).

Then it was off to Meadowbrook Park because of a second report of the Great Egret being back. I had the first posted sighting back on March 30th

Wifey was able to see the GE and in addition to that we spotted a Pine Warbler (76) and a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (77)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday PM.

As a storm rolled in from the southwest. I hopped over to Lake Kit. lots of activity but only one new bird. A Black-backed Gull (74), Laying low with several Ring billed gulls and a Herring Gull

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Good Morning at Centenial Lake

Thursday Morning April 3,

This was a very productive morning for finding new birds for the year. I was greatly aided by an experienced birder that walks many of the lakes I do. She pointed me in the right direction for the Golden Crowned Kinglets(71).

Then on her 2 nd pass around the lake, (my first) we saw a pair of Osprey (72), Pine Warblers, Palm Warblers (73). I didn't actually see the pine warbler so I will wait until I actually get a glimpse before recording it here in my journal
l. I would like to just add a quick note about the fellow birder that helped me with several IDs. She usually walks around this particular lake 3 times and then heads over to other birding spots before calling it a morning. Centennial lake is 3 miles around. I thought I was being active by walking it once around every couple of days. I guess this was a reality check. Starting tomorrow I am stepping up the pace.

Other birds worth mentioning were: several Yellow-rumped Warblers , Barn Swallows, Tree Swallows, and Rough Winged Swallows skimming over the water and another Chipping Sparrow and possibly a Blue-headed Verio.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New sighting.
My walk this morning netted one new bird for my list. I believe it to be a First of the Year (FOY) in our area,Howard County, Maryland. It must have soared in on a easterly blowing wind last night. The California Condor., (pix on the right). Its a very docile, seed eating bird that frequents back yard feeders. The great thing about having one of these in the back yards is that it makes the squirrels a little nervous, they tend to stay away while this fellow is noshing on the black oil sunflower seeds.