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.


32 thoughts on “Couple Visits to CBEC

  1. At first I was getting ready to say sell and get that RV south… no snow along the coast in Texas, but once you shared this beautiful birding area, I had second thoughts. How lucky to see this land off your balcony. And your eagle captures are wonderful. Stay warm!

    • Thanks Ingrid! I know I will surely miss my balcony and this area when we hit the road. But I just know what awaits in nature and adventure will make up for it! Besides, our kids live around here so I will always have a reason to come back to visit. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing these marvelous photos. Lucky you, to have such a great birding area so close.
    Wishing you well through this blizzard that is all over the news.

    • Thanks so much, Gunta! With all the marsh and wetlands, the Eastern Shore of Maryland is a birder’s paradise. Our blizzard conditions are almost over, tomorrow we’ll awake to a glistening wonderland. 🙂

  3. Hope you survive the blizzard well Donna, and keep snugly warm. I can’t imagine what it would be like to snow here, it would certainly be a change from all the heat. I guess its great for blogging, but it must be hard on the birds and other wildlife. Hope the weather eases to allow you out and about again. Love your photos, and that grey squirrel does remind me of Kathy’s posts, and also of my London experience mid last year. By the way Donna, is our ‘observation blind’ what we would call a bird-hide’?

    • We survived, Ashley! 🙂 Actually, I’m thankful we didn’t lose our power with hours of 30-50 mph winds. News says we got 12-14″, but we have drifts 5′ & taller. I just shoveled my balcony so I could get out and take photos of the water birds that hung out in our cove through-out the storm. They’re busy eating now that the tide is going out. Yes, I believe our blinds & your hides are the same. Our observation blinds usually have many holes at all heights cut out to the viewing area. 🙂

  4. Stay warm and safe in the blizzard! Like you, I’ve pointed out eagles and their nests to other people, it’s amazing to me that they can’t see things as large as they are. Congratulations on the yellow-romped warbler, it’s always good to add another species to one’s life list.

  5. Loved the photos and I enjoyed your info of the bald eagles. I live about 50 miles from the Skagit River which is one of the largest breeding grounds in North America; December and January bird watching is such a treat.

      • yes for dear Suzanne’s squirrel, it was one of my unforgettable memories on this blogging world. She is so nice one as you dear Donna, Thank you, love, nia

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