Saturday, November 19, 2016

Late Fall Lake Scenes; Recent or Current Visitors


Lake Kittamaqundi yesterday, looking toward the north end from the Sheraton. Fifteen buffleheads stopped on the lake last Sunday.


They left one behind on Monday...




Wood ducks usually seek the seclusion of secret ponds around the county, but the male in the photo above has been mixing with the mallards at the north end of Lake Kittamaqundi this week.



Meanwhile at Centennial Lake (photographed above), among hundreds of Canada geese bird-watchers have been spotting a pair of rare greater white-fronted geese (photos below).






Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Nice Fall Day at the Beach

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Thursday at Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County: I was after the Say's phoebe like many other local bird-watchers. A rare bird in the eastern United States, it's more common further west. (The eastern phoebe is our local "default" species of phoebe, now headed south for the winter.)

view of Sandy Point Lighthouse with phoebe on the fence

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

hundreds of starlings

herring gull

greater black-backed gull

Friday, November 4, 2016

Lake Scenes This Week -- First Creeper. Last Phoebe?


Here are a few views around Lake Kittamaqundi during more warm fall days this week and some humidity yesterday.

one of the five visiting ruddy ducks -- a female or immature?

the last phoebe of the year?

brown creeper: first documentation at this eBird hotspot



Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Cormorants; Random Lake Scenes


Photos during bird-watching yesterday: A total of six double-crested cormorants were on Lake Kittamaqundi. They should be migrating south soon.

Double-crested: the "default species" of cormorant for this location. The double crests are visible on the heads of adults during the March-May breeding season. Larger, all-black individuals are adults. The birds with the buff-colored fronts are younger.







Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ruddy Ducks in the Rain


Migrating ruddy ducks started appearing on the local lakes last week, and a group of three showed up on Lake Kittamaqundi last weekend. Two more ruddies have joined them since then. There are four adult males and one adult female or immature, the latter being the latest to arrive and the one on the left end in the above photo taken today at the south end of the lake. Before today, they were spending most of their time near the lakefront and the central section. They are diving ducks, so when they are feeding you will see them popping in and out of sight on the water. As the photo shows, they seem to like resting all at the same time close together, their tail feathers typically sticking up.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lake Scenes; More Warblers and a Brown Thrasher -- new species at Lake Kittamaqundi


The fall warbler parade continued at the lake this week with a couple of species new for me: a black-throated green warbler and a Cape May warbler. This was the first documentation of Cape May warbler on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird for the Lake Kittamaqundi hotspot. Another new species for the hotspot -- on the same date and in the same area by the lake -- was brown thrasher. I've seen thrashers before, but this was my first sighting at this location. It's a larger member of the mockingbird and catbird family, and it's always a fantastic bird to see. All three birds in this post were found along the shore by the Sheraton Hotel and the neighboring office building. Photos follow.

Black-throated Green Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Grassy Splendour; Sparrows, Warblers, Kinglets, Bluebirds



Here are some of the small songbirds which showed up around Lake Kittamaqundi over the past week. The warblers and kinglets are passing through on fall migration. Song sparrows are summer residents, but after an absence of the species for a few weeks, I'm guessing that the ones seen recently are part of a wave passing through from further north. White-throated sparrows arrived at the lake, signalling the coming of winter. (The photo above shows some of the pink muhly grass now blooming in plantings along the lake's east shore.)


Song Sparrow


Blackpoll Warbler


Golden-crowned Kinglet


Ruby-crowned Kinglet: The ruby crown isn't always visible, but I think the tip of it can be seen on this bird. Both kinglet species were in the trees and bushes along the shore by the Sheraton Hotel and the neighboring office building.


Eastern Bluebird


White-throated Sparrow


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Palm Warbler


Magnolia Warbler, earlier this month in a wooded area near the lake