"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Monday, April 16, 2018

Loons, Mergansers, Snow Geese and More



Snow geese take flight several times a day at the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge.  They are a spectacular sight, although a fraction of the numbers on other refuges...



We also encountered this Northern shoveler at Blackwater...



We stopped at the refuge after our failed attempt to locate a snowy owl on Assateague Island.  We did encounter some loons in the nearby Ocean City inlet...







Closer to home, common mergansers have been, well, common...






A pair of hooded mergansers visited for a day...




Like these birds, we are anxious to gain flight for our journey to the West...


Thank you for visiting, be well, and come back soon.  I hope you will follow our trek to the "shining mountains".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Eastern Towhee



The Eastern towhee is more frequently heard than seen.  It prefers the dense cover of the forest floor, but it's distinctive call of "drink your tea" is unmistakable...





Today I found this male, calling and displaying, trying to attract a female...







From the amount of songs and calls I could tell that there were a number of towhees in the area; but only this one was visible...





Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet



Kinglets are beautiful, tiny, birds.  Their frantic activities can easily be missed unless one is watching closely.

I was fortunate to have a male ruby-crowned kinglet flittering about at one of my favorite spots...





I first noticed it when it flew into some colorful flowers...



For several minutes it pursued the many females in the area...





With his attention in another direction, an errant gust of wind revealed his crest...



All of the frantic activity caught the attention of an inquisitive Eastern phoebe...




Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Who, Who, What Hoot Owl Is That?



Owls have always intrigued me.  As a youngster it was common to hear them calling, but rare to see one.  The eastern screech owl, pictured above, is small in size but it has a large vocabulary that often confuses those hearing one for the first time.

The largest owl in our area is the great horned owl.  We have had a pair using our yard for a number of years.  Being able to listen to them, and catch an occasional glimpse, is something we treasure...





Just a couple of days ago, I came upon a barred owl that was so intently scanning the ground for prey that I thought it had failed to noticed me...



When it looked up I was quickly relieved of that notion...



It went back to watching the ground for so long I thought it may have dozed off...





It suddenly snapped awake, and flew silently to a vole that only it could hear...



It then left with it's prize; likely to feed chicks or it's mate...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Catching Up On Local Birds



Sometimes my daily outings produce an image or two, but just as often I fail to take any photographs.  This carolina wren was fairly cooperative...



One of many eastern bluebirds in our area...



Chipping sparrows were the most common today...





This phoebe has taken up residence under a bridge...





A turkey gobbler wanders by early one morning...



Song sparrows were scratching in leaf litter...





This domestic rooster showed up far from any residences...



I hope it found it's way home...



There are plenty of predators that would like a chance at the rooster...





Finally, it is good to see the belted kingfishers returning to our streams...





Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

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