Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cedar Waxwing in Town Center

I have seen photos of cedar waxwings taken at Centennial Park in the county, and I've photographed a pair at Bombay Hook in Delaware. Yesterday, one showed up mixing with the American robins in the holly bush outside my window and feeding on the berries. I had never seen waxwings in the neighborhood before.

Above is the first photo I managed of the bird after it flew away then landed on a branch nearby.

The waxwing was moving with a huge number of American robins that came through the neighborhood yesterday. Robins and any of their friends mixing with them, like the waxwing, are not interested in most bird feeder fare. They were here for the fruit on hollies and other trees and shrubs. A couple of them did come to my heated bird bath for a drink.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weather and Eagles at the Lake

Yesterday at Lake Kittamaqundi

Below: Bald eagles can be found at Lake K. taking a break from the continuing activity at Wilde Lake.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Back in early December, the Howard County Bird Club made its annual trip to Blackwater NWR and nearby points on Maryland's Eastern Shore. We were looking for migratory waterfowl in particular, and although we saw some, more experienced members remarked on the low numbers because of the unusual warm weather. However, we were not disappointed by the waterfowl species that were present and the large number of bald eagles and several sightings of harrier hawks working the marshes for prey. Although I did not spot any of the Delmarva fox squirrels, I did get a glimpse (and photos) of the introduced sika deer.

Here is a link to my Flickr album of the Blackwater trip.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bald Eagles at Wilde Lake

A fish kill, reportedly caused by a sudden drop in oxygen level in the water, attracted more than the usual number of bald eagles to Wilde Lake over the past couple of weeks. (Some of the birds have been wandering over to Lake Kittamaqundi.) The eagle activity in turn attracted more than the usual number of wildlife watchers and photographers. I am shooting photos with a fancier point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot SX60) and getting some nice views. Above is one of the more striking views, taken this past Wednesday.

This is a link to my Flickr album of the eagle activity.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Ross's Goose in Howard County

The Howard County Bird Club sent out notice on its rare bird e-mail list yesterday of a Ross's Goose at a pond in the county. I was able to find the bird mixing with Canada geese. (The bird is harder to spot when it mixes with the closely related snow geese.)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lake Kittamaqundi scenes today / Wilde Lake Eagles

Three pied-billed grebes continue their long fall and winter stay on the lake today. They might be visiting Wilde Lake, too. As it gets colder and if ice closes up the open water which they require, they probably will move further south.

Finally, a pair of male and female hooded mergansers has arrived. (I photographed one lone male a few weeks ago.)

Bald eagles can be seen at all of the lakes in the area at this time of year, but they seem to prefer Wilde Lake. Local nature photographers have been getting a group of adults and juveniles at Wilde recently. Here are my own photos, taken yesterday at Wilde:

For more work by the local nature photography network, look for the MD Birding and the Maryland Nature Photography groups on Facebook and the Maryland Birders group on Flickr.