Couple Visits to CBEC

The Blizzard of 2016 is bearing down on us as I write this.  Winds are up to 50 mph with snow accumulations of possibly 24″.  We may have over 12″ already.

We are all hunkered down, staying warm…..and writing blogs, not shoveling!  Right?  🙂

The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) is the island/peninsula across Marshy Creek from my balcony.  It is a 510-acre preserve under conservation easement consisting of trails, beach, and ponds; and it is an enjoyable local hot-spot for birders year-round.

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Sunrise over Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center from my balcony

Immediately driving onto the peninsula property across the marsh, there has been an active American Bald Eagle nest for years.  It has stayed well hidden within the loblolly pines, but I was happy to find it is finally becoming visible to visitors because of its growing size.

Eagle nests used for multiple years can reach enormous dimensions, typically 5-6 feet in diameter & 3 feet tall!  A famous Ohio nest used for 34 years measured almost 9 feet in diameter, close to 12 feet tall, and weighed over 2 tons,  Another St. Petersburg, Florida, nest was 9 1/2 feet in diameter & 20 feet tall.  That’s a big nest!

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Eagle Nest

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This time of year, it is easy to find the mated pair perching to the right of their above home.

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I had several cars stop and ask what was I seeing when taking the above photos.  When I showed them the Eagles and their nest, I made quite a few people very happy!  One gentleman told me there are four active Eagle nests on CBEC’s property.  I know where two are now.  🙂

The observation blind is a favorite spot of mine to hang out.  It overlooks a pond and an active Osprey platform that is directly behind the left of the blind.

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This time I found a lonely Great Egret who saw me first.

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Great Egret

There were Canada Geese and Tundra Swans arriving to settle into Marshy Creek.

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Canada Geese

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Tundra Swan

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Tundra Swan

An American Robin all puffed up in the cold air….

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American Robin

A Brown-headed Nuthatch who was faster than me and my focus.

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Brown-headed Nuthatch

A few grey squirrels were running around, finally captured one that stood still long enough.

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I need help with ID confirmation on the next bird, he was at a distance so if I crop too much more, I lose any clarity.  My blogging friend, Kathy at BackyardBirdNerd captures awesome close-ups of many birds including the Yellow-rumped Warbler that she recently posted, which I believe is what is in my next photo.  Or is he a Pine Warbler?  Either would be a newbie for me, but I’m leaning to the Yellow-rumped….  Kathy?  🙂

Update:  Per Kathy, it’s a Yellow-rumped Warbler!

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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The last visit I was excited to finally get better photos of the year-round resident, the Hairy Woodpecker, so he gets extra space this post.

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Both of my visits were short yet fulfilling to be one with nature.
A visit to CBEC is always worth it.


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