Saturday, April 30, 2016

Paddle boats Return to L. Kittamaqundi ~~ other spring birds

Migrating paddle boats returned from their winter homes to Lake Kittamaqundi this week.

Here are a few other birds which showed up around the lake:

Mallard ducklings -- Two or three broods appeared recently, but expect their numbers to be culled by predators.

Male common yellowthroat (a warbler species, not to be confused with yellow-throated warbler)

Eastern kingbird


Spotted sandpiper on the Little Patuxent River next to the lake

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Recent Birds and Scenes around Town and the County

Birds are on the move for spring migration, and some are in breeding plumage. Here are a few at locations around Columbia and Howard County. Above: A palm warbler in breeding colors at Howard County Conservancy.

A bald eagle at Lake Kittamaqundi

A common loon on the pond in the Stanford Boulevard business park in east Columbia earlier this week. The bird is on its way north but is already in breeding plumage. (It was still there last night -- see photo at the end of this post.) We also had four common loons together on Centennial Lake.

Northern parula, a warbler, at Centennial Lake

Skunk cabbage in morning light in the Marriottsville section of Patapsco Valley State Park

Wood ducks, two males here, on a secret woodland pond

An osprey at Lake Kittamaqundi

Butterflies are appearing now -- an orange sulphur near Lake Kittamaqundi. (I am counting for Howard County's annual butterfly survey again. Howard County Bird Club's website in this blog's Nature and Wildlife Links has a section on butterflies and the survey.)

A classic mallard drake

A green heron at the Stanford Boulevard pond yesterday evening

The common loon and Stanford Boulevard pond viewed from the Mango Grove Indian restaurant yesterday evening

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Marriottsville ~ Louisiana Waterthrush

I was looking for the Louisiana waterthrush which has appeared in this section of the Patapsco Valley State Park recently. On this visit yesterday, I heard the bird and eventually saw it, but I didn't get good photos. The above scene appealed to me while the bird was moving around and letting me hear its song from various points. It's the prominent bird song in this video: Marriottsville with Louisiana waterthrush song

Friday, April 8, 2016

Common Loons on Centennial Lake Today

 eBird had reports of a common loon at Centennial earlier this week. Today, local birders found four of the birds, in breeding plumage, stopping at the lake on their way north. (The smudge in the top photo is one of countless swallows whizzing around over the water.)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Back River Scene: Great Egret in Flight; Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant

From a birding trip to points east of Baltimore yesterday. I understand that the Back River plant used to allow birders onto the grounds until recently.

More photos from the trip are in this Flickr album: East of Baltimore

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Oxbow Lake -- a nature preserve in Laurel

The local birding network led me to Maryland's only natural lake earlier this week. Oxbow Nature Preserve is in Laurel and is a joint effort of the adjacent Russett community and the Nature Conservancy. I have included the Nature Conservancy's Maryland/DC page in my Nature and Wildlife links in the blog margin. More information about Oxbow and other sites in the region can be found in the page's Places We Protect link.