Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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We’ve begun clearing our property where we’ll be building a house next year.  My husband told me he was seeing a lot of birds while he’s working; so when I ran over to take him lunch, my camera tagged along.  😊

As I walked back into the trees and thicket, a pretty little bird with a bold white eye-ring flew out and flitted around me from branch to branch, checking me out.

I just stood still and kept trying to stay with it…..because it sure looked like a new bird to me…..

And it was!  Welcome to my bird lifer list #244 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher!  💃🤗😊

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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – (new lifer #244)

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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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Thank you, HJ, for confirming the ID of this flycatcher for me!  👍 😊

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Belted Kingfisher

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This pretty female Belted Kingfisher sitting on an old post over the marsh at Chesapeake Farms was so focused on watching the water below her, that if she saw me, she didn’t seem to care.

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Belted Kingfisher (female)

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The background lighting of the distant trees made for an interesting crop of the above photo, so I’ll share it too.  🙂

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Belted Kingfisher (female)

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You can tell this is a female by the red bands on her chest which the male lacks.

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Great Egret Catches A Fish

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A Great Egret catches a nice fish.  Now the trick is getting it down with no hands and arms!

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With a little tongue and beak maneuvering…..

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To line it up….

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And a tip back of the head and a neck stretch…..

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Down the hatch!

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The Great Egret makes it look so easy!

Sometimes after the swallow, they get a little thirsty.

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A nice gulp helps wash everything down nicely.

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Ah, refreshing…..

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And then a figure-8 water shake-off!

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(Photos taken at Chesapeake Farms 9/21/21)

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Great Blue Heron Up In A Tree

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With the marsh flooded at Chesapeake Farms, I just had to look other places to find birds.

A-ha!  I spotted a Great Blue Heron resting up in a tree along the road.  I almost missed it as I passed by, s/he blended in so well.  Ever so slowly I was able to back up for a couple shots.

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Great Blue Heron

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Despite their impressive size, a Great Blue Heron weighs only 5 to 6 pounds, thanks in part to their hollow bones.  This is a feature all birds share.

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Greater Yellowlegs

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It’s been a while since I’ve seen Yellowlegs, so it was exciting to find them at Chesapeake Farms.  A week ago I found five Greater Yellowlegs foraging one of the small pond’s edge.

Two were close together so I worked with them.  One got a little airlift in jumping out of the way of the other, giving me some pretty wing shots.

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Greater Yellowlegs

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Greater Yellowlegs

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Greater Yellowlegs

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Greater Yellowlegs

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I got to return to Chesapeake Farms a few days ago and found the marsh flooded where I had seen and photographed six Eagles perched and flying.  All of the tree stumps and logs were submerged from the heavy rains a few days prior.  It was quiet at the marsh area.

The pond where the Yellowlegs above was also flooded enough to submerge their ‘walking’ space, so no Yellowlegs either.  I kept my eye on the ‘new’ areas of wetlands that now had been created in the fields.

And then I found them, at least 15 Yellowlegs, busily foraging.

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Greater Yellowlegs

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Greater Yellowlegs

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I noticed a smaller shorebird in the mix keeping off to itself and was able to identify it at download.  A wonderful surprise, a Least Sandpiper!

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Least Sandpiper

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Mallards

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Found across all of North America and probably the most recognized of all ducks is the Mallard.

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Mallard Ducks, Chesapeake Farms

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It is always fun to capture a pretty series of a Mallard doing a wing stretch!

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Male Mallard wing-stretch #1

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Male Mallard wing-stretch #2

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Male Mallard wing-stretch #3 with a handsome smile!
(these taken in Delaware at the pond with the Whistling Ducks)

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Did you know that when you hear all that quacking amongst Mallards, it is only the female Mallard?  Males don’t quack; they make a quieter, rasping sound.

Now you know who is giving the orders, and who is talking under their breath.  😂

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Eagles in Flight

I promised Bald Eagles in flight two posts back.  I am pleased with several pretty ones, so I decided to spoil you.  😉

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Bald Eagle (adult)

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Immature Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle pair

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Immature (bottom) soaring with it’s parents

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Immature Bald Eagle keeping playful pace with one of its parents

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Immature Bald Eagle keeping playful pace with one of its parents

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Immature Bald Eagles practicing their ‘chase’ skills with each other

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Immature Bald Eagle in ‘chase’ mode

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Immatures even practiced on their ‘attack’  and ‘locking talons’ skills!

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above slide show shows where the two immatures did make contact and locked one talon together, then cartwheeled down, breaking away before the tree line.  (wish photos were better!!)

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In the next two photos, you can see the difference in two immature Eagle’s mottled plumage.

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Immature Bald Eagle #1

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Immature Bald Eagle #2

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Immature Bald Eagle #2 above, crossing into some blue skies for even prettier shot!

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Immature Bald Eagle #2 again

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(All taken from my car window at Chesapeake Farms, Aug 20-21, 2021)

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Philadelphia Vireos

Before I get to those Eagle flight shots 😉, I’ve got to share some more excitement captured at Chesapeake Farms.

Welcome to my bird lifer list #243 Philadelphia Vireo!  🤗💃🤗

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Philadelphia Vireo (my lifer #243)

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Maybe a dozen or so Philadelphia Vireos were flitting about in a tree, then dropping to the grass to forage.

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Philadelphia Vireo

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Philadelphia Vireo

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I did not do so well with photos.  They were so fast, and I wasn’t haven’t the best of luck with shooting out my car window.  But, hey, it’s a lifer I’ve documented with a photo ID, so I’m very proud of that!

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Eagle Family and Their Marsh

The 40-acre marsh on Chesapeake Farms is filled with tree stumps and logs, perfect for wildlife perching to eat, rest or fish.

I’m not sure who outnumbered who at any given moment while viewing the marsh one morning, the Great Blue Herons or the Bald Eagles.

I even scored two shots of both in one frame, which was neat to show size comparison between the two species.

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Great Blue Heron stalking behind a Bald Eagle

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Great Blue Heron stalking behind an immature Bald Eagle

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My e-bird daily email had told me seven Eagles had been seen at once here.  That’s what drew me to want to visit to check out.  At one time, I was fortunate to see six Bald Eagles either perched or flying.  It was very exciting!

As I watched them flying during my two visits, I noticed several times one of the Eagles would fly down to land into the same area of pine trees.  I suspect there is a nest in there.

Here are more perching photos.

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Bald Eagles

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Bald Eagle (immature)

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Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle (immature)

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Bald Eagle

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I was also able to get lots of flight photos.  I guess you know what else I will be sharing soon!  😉

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Great Blue Heron

Chesapeake Farms includes a 40-acre marsh that is scattered with tree stumps and logs.  Perfect habitat perches for birds.

I came to a slow stop when I spotted this Great Blue Heron as he walked along a log.

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Great Blue Heron

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And then the sun broke through the clouds, yes!

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Great Blue Heron

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The heron departed the log and kept on with its slow pace, stalking the waters.

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Great Blue Heron

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Capturing the classic ‘one-foot up’ stalking pose is always a bonus!

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Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron

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This heron knew exactly where s/he was going, to a fishing hole to the right of the above photo.  Breakfast time!

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