Saturday morning started chilly but clear. The weather folks promised 66 degrees, so Jim and I bundled up in layers and headed over the Bay Bridge to spend the day at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Horsehead Maryland. We saw some cool stuff (including forty-five bird species!) Here are some highlights in pictures and stories.
This past weekend, Jim and I went in search of a Brown-Headed Nuthatch. Now, if you live in the southeastern US, you might be thinking, “Ho, hum. I see those all the time. What’s the big deal?” But here in central Maryland, it is not a nuthatch we see often. They don’t stop by our house and aren’t usually found in our local woods, so we had to go just a little further afield to find one.
Maryland birders have been excited about Snow Buntings for the past week or so. They are not frequent visitors to our area, so when someone spotted four Snow Buntings along the pier at North Point State Park east of Baltimore, local birders began visiting the park in a steady stream to get a look at them.
This weekend we wound up spending a good chunk of Saturday and Sunday birding at Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract. Neither day turned out as we had hoped or expected, but we still saw something to excite us each day. It’s just that kind of place . . .
Over the past year, Jim and I have been gradually exploring birding spots in central Maryland where we live. Birds can of course be found just about anywhere, including your backyard, roadsides and area parking lots. But birds need food, cover, places to nest and water, so spots where these needs are met in abundance are going to be hot spots where you are likely to find more birds. In my immediate area, one of the best spots for finding birds is Patuxent Research Refuge which straddles Anne Arundel and Prince Georges Counties (just about mid-way between DC and Baltimore.) If you live in this area or are visiting and want to get in some birding, it is a great place to try.
My husband Jim and I went on a birding field trip yesterday. The local lakes have been mostly frozen over for weeks so most recent visits have resulted in seeing Canada Geese and Ring-Billed Gulls walking around on ice, but on Saturday the temperatures went up to around 60 so we had to get outside. I did some research on eBird to look at recent sightings to try and figure out where to go and we headed to Black Hill Regional Park in Montgomery County Maryland to see if we could find some interesting water birds.