Great Horned Owl

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At dusk two evenings ago, I happily give credit to my husband for spotting a large dark bird sitting on the ground under the trees at the back of our yard.

With my binoculars, I saw the bird had its back to me.  Then it spun its head.

A gorgeous face and two big yellow eyes of a Great Horned Owl was staring right back at me!

We were both startled! 😉  The owl quickly flushed up into the trees.

Camera ready and in-hand, I stayed partially hidden and waited.  Would it return?

It did!  🤗😊🤗

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Great Horned Owl

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The owl flushed again as I was clicking off the shots.

I patiently waited a few more minutes….maybe, just maybe….

Yes!  The owl dropped back to the ground, this time closer to us!  I got a few shots before the Great Horned Owl flushed up again and flew off.

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Great Horned Owl

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Great Horned Owl

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What an awesome, memorable visitor!  You might remember, several months ago I had another unique visitor in our little over one-acre yard, a Bald Eagle.  Lucky me!

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Sunset on Chester River

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We finally had a reprieve in our hot temperatures this past Friday to the low 80s F. 🤗

After getting done what was necessary, we took advantage of the gorgeous late afternoon and went for a boat ride, did a little fishing, and toasted the peaceful sunset.

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Sunset over Eastern Neck from Chester River

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Once the sun had disappeared, a cloud formation to the south produced a spectacular pink glow.

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With the day done, we headed back up the river, then our creek, back to our dock….

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Sunset BWhaler01 8-12-22

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Once secured up against the T-dock, the night began to settle in.

Before departing our boat, I saw this next composition and had to take ‘one more photo’.  😊

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Looking east

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More Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

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Some more photos of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that are still hanging around a retention pond less than a 1/4 mile from my daughter’s home in Delaware.

They are considered a rare sighting for the mid-Atlantic, so naturally I check on them each time I go see my grandson.  🙂

On one occasion, there was a ruckus going on between three ducks which was interesting.  They used their feet and claws when attacking each other.

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck “martial arts”

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Also biting.  Ouch!

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck biting another

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These four had the rest of the flock a bit upset, putting some into flight to circle and reland.  Which I was thrilled to say the least!  Here are my four favorite flight shots.

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Peek-a-boo!

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Butterflies at Eastern Neck NWR

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While seeking birds the past six weeks, I tried my hand at capturing our summer’s butterflies and skippers at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge’s Bayview Butterfly Garden and trail.

I’m sharing a photo collection of all the butterflies (15) and skipper (3) species I was lucky to capture and hopefully identified correctly.  If I’ve misidentified any, please, please let me know, butterfly experts!

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DSC_4552-1 071922 monarch

Monarch

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DSC_1144-1 060322 White Cabbage

Cabbage White

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DSC_2980-1 070622 summer crescent

Pearl Crescent

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DSC_1147-1 060322 Summer Azure

Summer Azure

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DSC_4990-1 072122 Var Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary

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DSC_2984-1 070622 Eastern tailed-blue

Eastern Tailed-blue

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DSC_6271-1 072822 HobomokorZabulon

Hobomok (or Zabulon?) Skipper

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DSC_4926-1 072122 Common Buckeye

Common Buckeye

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DSC_3712-1 071122 SilverSpottedSkipper

Silver-spotted Skipper

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Unidentified Skipper

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DSC_6249-1 072822 orange sulphur

Clouded or Orange Sulphur

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DSC_6283-1 072822orange or clouded sulphur

Clouded or Orange Sulphur

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Cloudless Sulphur

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DSC_4578-1 071922 RSP Admiral

Red-spotted Purple

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DSC_6030-1 072822 ETiger Swtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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DSC_4811-1 072122 Spicebush Swallowtail F

Spicebush Swallowtail (female)

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Black Swallowtail

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and finally, the last one….

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Zebra Swallowtail

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“Butterflies.…flowers that fly and all but sing.”  – Robert Frost

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A peek at the gardens and fields of flowers at the refuge where the butterflies love to hang out.

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ENNWR Butterfly garden 03 7-6-22

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I have more pretty shots of these butterfly species for another post.

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1-2-3 Medium Bird Jubilee – #8 & #9

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Just as I did with my last post, I am doubling up on this serie of medium-sized birds with two sets again.  I hope you’re enjoying the varieties!  🙂

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Eastern Bluebird (male)
Length 6.3-8.3 inches (16-21 cm)
Weight 1.0-1.1 oz (28-32 g)
Wingspan 9.8-12.6 inches (25-32 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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American Robin
Length 7.9-11.0 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)
Wingspan 12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm)
My backyard

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Killdeer
Length 7.9-11.0 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight 2.6-4.5 oz (75-128 g)
Wingspan 18.1-18.9 inches (46-48 cm)
Chesapeake Farms

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DSC_5196-1 072422 PectoralSandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper (my photographed lifer #266)
Length 8.3 inches (21 cm)
Weight 2.6-2.8 oz (73-79 g)
Wingspan 18 inches (46 cm)
Flooded farm field near Fairlee

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DSC_4673-1 072122

Northern Cardinal (male)
Length 8.3-9.1 inches (21-23 cm)
Weight 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)
Wingspan 9.8-12.2 inches (25-31 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Gray Catbird
Length 8.3-9.4 inches (21-24 cm)
Weight 0.8-2.0 oz (23.2-56.5 g)
Wingspan 8.7-11.8 inches (22-30 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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1-2-3 Cute As Can Be – #16 & #17

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Another addition to this series…..times two!  Posting two sets will help me catch up a little!  😉

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American Goldfinch (female or immature)
Length 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
Wingspan 7.5-8.7 inches (19-22 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Blue Grosbeak (male)
Length 5.9-6.3 inches (15-16 cm)
Weight 0.9-1.1 oz (26-31 g)
Wingspan 11.0 inches (28 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Carolina Chickadee
Length: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm)
Shipyard Landing

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Grasshopper Sparrow
Length 4.3-4.5 inches (10.8-11.5 cm)
Weight 0.5-0.7 oz (14-20 g)
Wingspan 7.9 inches (20 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Eastern Wood-Pewee
Length 5.9 inches (15 cm)
Weight 0.3-0.7 oz (10-19 g)
Wingspan 9.1-10.2 inches (23-26 cm)
Chesapeake Farms

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Indigo Bunting (male)
Length 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)
Wingspan 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Five On The Wing – #30

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These five bird species in flight are quite the acrobats!

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Barn Swallow

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Purple Martin

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Northern Rough-winged Swallow

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Chimney Swifts

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Tree Swallow

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Five On The Wire – #9

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It’s been a while with this series, here’s another five perched bird species enjoying their view!

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Eastern Kingbird

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House Sparrow immature
(this one’s more hoping s/he’s in the parent’s view 😉)

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Indigo Bunting

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White-throated Sparrow

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Purple Martin

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Great Blue Herons

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Our July has been hot and humid, with temps reaching the 90’s, making it feel like a 100°F plus.

Great Blue Herons got it right being by and in the water all day long.  Standing on the shore drenched in my own sweat, I feel tempted to join them!

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Great Blue Heron at sunrise
Eastern Neck NWR

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Great Blue Heron preparing to strike
Chesapeake Farms

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The Strike

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Good soaking but no success

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Shake it off to try again

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Great Blue Heron success
Chesapeake Farms

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Great Blue Heron trying to catch a breeze
Eastern Neck NWR

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Another tasty meal (eel, snake, or salamander)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Great Blue Heron
Eastern Neck NWR

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1-2-3 Medium Bird Jubilee – #7

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Adding to my post series of three medium-sized birds, with the added bonus these three are all females and one a new photographed species lifer for me.

Let’s hear it for the ladies!

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Scarlet Tanager (female, my photographed lifer #265 )
Length 6.3-6.7 inches (16-17 cm)
Weight 0.8-1.3 oz (23-38 g)
Wingspan 9.8-11.4 inches (25-29 cm)

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American Robin (female)
Length 7.9-11.0 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)
Wingspan 12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm)

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DSC_2479-1 063022

Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Length 6.7-9.1 inches (17-23 cm)
Weight 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g)
Wingspan 12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm)

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