A Variety of Birds This Week

What a busy week with that thing called life!  But I tried to not let that stop me from finding a few minutes with my camera here and there on either my balcony or enroute to work, just finding time to sit still to compose was the difficult part. 😉  But I’m glad I kept snapping, I hope you enjoy what turned out to be a nice variety of birds for me this past week.  🙂

Eagles, both adult and immature, are very active in the skies now, it’s quite enjoyable!  It’s easy to see one or two early in the morning at sunrise, soaring high in the sky.  I even watched the two CBEC resident bald eagles chase away another pair that had ventured over from Kent Island.  There wasn’t any aggressiveness, but the resident pair just continued to stay behind the other pair, forcing them back to their own territory, before turning around and head back to theirs.  Here’s a shot of an immature eagle heading towards the sunset Monday evening.

Immature Bald Eagle

As previous posts, we continued to have rafts of migratory ducks hanging in the late afternoon/early evenings directly out behind our osprey nest, must be some darn good feeding out there!

Canvasbacks and Scaup

Canvasbacks flying in!

Canvasbacks

Canvasbacks

Scaup

A couple evenings we even had a raft of American coots.  The second evening, the raft was huge, the largest I’d ever seen of coots.

American Coots

Each morning there is song in the air to announce that spring is here!  The land birds are up and going about their business.  It’s not so easy to catch them in the act of singing though, without getting a lot of blurriness.  Got one!

Sparrow

Red-Winged Blackbird

American Robin

House Finches

Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves

Each morning, I also checked out the little marshy tidal pond by Lippincott Marina’s entrance next to our community’s entrance to see if the Great blue heron was still visiting that spot as I previously posted.  He was there every morning.  I stopped twice and the first time, I didn’t get but a couple photos before a truck passed him leaving the marina, scaring him into flight.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

He was always positioned with his back to the sunrise.  🙂 But finally, I spotted him facing it and stopped.  He was very cordial giving me several nice shots, before finally giving me a straight-on look to tell me to get on my way.  I obliged!

Just pass that little tidal pond, there’s another marshy inlet a bit further down that I’ve stopped many times to photograph waterfowl.  Tuesday morning a Great blue heron was there as well.  He was actively fishing so I stopped.  His turned his back to me before I was ready so I took only a few photos to leave him be.  Thought this one was cute with his stance, focusing on a moving target, his head lit up by the rising sun.

Great Blue Heron

I can’t forget the mallards who still come to feed at the berm.  Another bottoms-up shot, I like how their bright orange legs always give a nice contrast to their bodies.

Mallards - Dinner Date

I had to work yesterday but planned on stopping for anything that looked interesting in the sunlight.  Sky sightings were abundant but not too much just hanging around in the trees.  Finally came upon a turkey vulture that was just too perfect not to stop and photograph.  He obliged, while preening his feathers.

Turkey Vulture

Another chance came with a hawk.  He was busy searching the ground for movement and maybe breakfast!

With the warmer days/evenings, the sunsets haven’t been as spectacular as those cold winter ones.  But I did like this one from March 3rd.  A sunset can change so fast in just a matter of minutes.  There are only 3 minutes difference between the two shots.

Sunset over Kent Island - March 3, 2012

Sunset over Kent Island - March 3, 2012

I’d taken several photos of the full moon this past week, but didn’t think any were as pretty than this morning’s partial moon before sunrise.

March 11, 2012 @ 6:14 am

And now onto the osprey!  I am getting pretty darn excited on the anticipated arrival of our osprey, Oliver and Olivia. 🙂  Should be any day now to see our Olivia!  Usually the female returns first, she retakes back her nest from the winter’s visitors and any other arrived osprey that are looking at hers for a new or first home.  Then she will guard it and wait until her partner returns.  Then the pair will work together to repair and rebuild their home.  I had hoped Olivia would return today since I was around all day, but no sightings.  😦  But I’ve been reading reports that osprey sightings are occurring around the Chesapeake Bay; last week one was reported being seen in Easton, Maryland, just a hop, skip & jump from us!

I’m also excited to announce I’ve registered our Oyster Cove osprey nest to be a part of a program called Project OspreyWatch, through the Center for Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, Virgina.  Here is an excerpt from their website….

The Center for Conservation Biology has launched Project OspreyWatch, a project created to engage a global community to collect data on breeding osprey.  Linked by an interest in osprey and a concern for the health of the aquatic environments on which they rely, this community will for the first time provide a global perspective on this charismatic species.  The mission of Project OspreyWatch is to bring citizen scientists together in order to collect information on a large enough spatial scale to be useful in addressing three of the most pressing issues facing aquatic ecosystems including global climate change, depletion of fish stocks, and environmental contaminants. 

OspreyWatch is a user-friendly, internet platform that allows observers across the globe to map their nests, log observations, upload photos, and interact within an observer forum.  Information entered into the platform will be immediately accessible to users and will be summarized following the breeding season.  To join a growing community of global citizens, please visit http://www.osprey-watch.org and become an OspreyWatcher.

So if you have an osprey nest in your area that you regularly watch, think about joining this program and be a part of this research of a global community of osprey watchers.  As of today, there are 324 registered watchers watching 443 osprey nests from around the world.  Join today!

And with that I’ll end.  I’m hoping my next post is a photo of Olivia so stay tuned!

38 thoughts on “A Variety of Birds This Week

  1. Seriously, I cannot believe what you see around your home. I don’t see that many winged creatures in a year I don’t think. If I could only pick one, it would be the single red winged blackbird on the wire. So many stellar captures my friend. Margie

  2. Donna, you put together a wonderful variety of photographic subjects. The Mallard dinner date image made me chuckle, you chose a good title for it! I really like your sepia treatment on the canvasbacks, it works very well. Other favorites include the full GBH shot and the sunsets, which are lovely. And I’ve been trying to get a moon shot showing the texture of your’s, but haven’t been successful. Well done across the board!

    • Thanks so much Ken for all your kind comments! I worked on the canvasback shot to try & present their coloring which is such a pretty contrast instead of the dull whites/greys that is the usual because it’s late day/evening. You and I both favor the moon. 🙂 I photographed it couple other nights/mornings on my tripod, and they were nice but I wasn’t excited until I reviewed the posted one. The one I posted I shot hand-held…..go figure LOL.

  3. Wow! What to say. Well, first, a great collection of photos. All good composition, etc. I love that Red-winged Blackbird shot, by the way. Great close-up of the Great Blue Heron. The pair of finches is cute. Gee, I love them all. Also, I believe your hawk is a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. 🙂

    Great work, Donna. 🙂

  4. Another great collection of photos and facts. That is one majestic great blue heron! Know you will enjoy being part of Project OspreyWatch. Don’t think a more dedicated & knowledgeable volunteer could register. Have fun!

    • I really liked the great blue heron, I’m very glad I was watching that pond, thinking if he’d just be there the next time AND be facing the sunrise. I was softly saying as I got slowly out of the car and around to the grass, please don’t fly please don’t fly…… 🙂 Don’t know about other wildlife photogs, but I get excited every time I photograph wildlife as if it’s the first, have to tell myself to compose & calm down gal, you’ll miss the shot! heehee

    • Thanks Scott for your exploding comments! Appreciate them as always. Thanks to you and Bob for IDing the hawk. It seems I do have a bit of trouble on those juvenile hawks, don’t I, LOL. I was thinking you’d let me know if I didn’t figure it out first. 🙂

  5. The opening photo of the juvenile Bald Eagle against the golden clouds and sky is excellent. I really like its composition. The pose on the Turkey Vulture is also extremely good. I applaud you for seeing the beauty in the TV; eagles and ducks are great subjects but the TV deserves attention too. (Think about this- who would we miss first in our weekly lives? Why, it’s the sanitation worker, not the celebrity singer.)

    Nice run of photos. I really enjoy them.

    Paul Schmitt

    • Thanks Paul! A month ago I was reviewing some past photos, and a couple of my ‘bird silhouette’ shots against a sunrise or sunset backdrop caught my eye. With all the migratory flying going on, I thought I’d try to do some more. Never usually works that you see a bird AND he’s flying straight to your target of the rosey/orangey skies, without any sudden 90 or 180 degree turns, lol. You are absolutely right on the TV, he deserves his attention too, he is one of God’s creations AND an important part of our human lives!

  6. Donna, again, phenomenal pictures. Each one is breathtaking. Thank you so much for capturing! That moon shot could have been a NASA photo!?

  7. Donna,
    I have several friends who would find your blog interesting. My sister is crazy about birds and is at the top of my list. Do you want this site publicized or not? Thanks. I’d love to share.
    Mary

    • Yes you may share Mary. If you know anyone who is interested in wanting to follow my blog, there is an email subscription sign-up link on the right-side bar, it’s very easy, and it automatically sends an email from me to you each time I create a new post of photos. I’m looking forward to having your friends visit and follow!

    • Thanks Ed, I had mentioned to Paul how I had wanted to shoot more bird silhouettes, I do remember seeing the eagle passing by our nest and keep heading west, had to run out and then stand real still to try & get composed, then beg him to stay the course, stay the course. I’m kinda crazy sounding I know, LOL. I took nine photos of him, since Paul’s and your comments on the posted shot, I’ve relooked at the eight others and need to crop two more to see how they compose. They might work! 🙂

  8. Amazing, all of these. again, just wonderful to see so many different species : )

  9. Well Donna, this is a wonderful variety.Like the highlighted clouds and the sillouette of the eagle plus all the shots are well composed. Thanks for coming to my blog and I will follow yours. OOh can’t wait to get out there and find the the birds- so exciting to see them arrive again! Jane

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