Now that we’ve covered many of the land and water birds of the area, it’s time to move on to some of the trickier birds we can encounter.  As bad as sparrows are; as confusing as confusing fall warblers may be; as frustrating as those darned Empidonax flycatchers get – I find these birds to… Read More

Today, we’ll look at some of the waterfowl that share the area with the ducks we have already started with.  Our first bird, the American Coot, is sort of like a duck, but is not closely related at all – it’s actually related to the rails and gallinules, chicken-like birds of marshes (primarily),  This one… Read More

After some hemming and hawing by the weather forecasters, the Friday morning forecast called for a wintry mix overnight and freezing possibly beginning Saturday morning.  Since the main route to Blackwater is across the Bay bridge, I reluctantly decided to cancel the trip rather than risk anyone driving to or from the Eastern shore.  It’s… Read More

Today, we’ll finish off the common dabblers with two pairs of fairly common ducks that like small to medium-sized ponds and lakes.  The first pair are among our smallest ducks, with Mallard-like females, and the males of both pairs are very easy to identify.  Luckily they tend to hang out in mixed flocks, so you’re… Read More

Last time we covered green-headed male ducks, like Mallards.  This time we’ll take a look at the confusing female Mallards and ducks that look like them.  First of all, let’s look at the female Mallards.  These are the ducks that quite a few female dabblers look like, and even a few of the males. The… Read More

It was a very cold, and variably windy, morning at the reservoir, and when we gathered at the Morgan Mill Road gate at the start, the birds were pretty quiet where the sun didn’t hit. t. A couple of Carolina Wrens and some high-flying geese were the most active things around, but as we went… Read More

This time around, we move on from land feeder birds out onto the water, since the next few trips will involve at least some looks at the winter residents of the various ponds, lakes and rivers in the area.  In winter, the ducks which have nested in the more northern areas come down and visit… Read More

We’ve covered many of the tricky sparrows we’re likely to run into, so perhaps we should move on to the finches that can be a little confusing at first. The most common finch at feeders in our area is the House Finch.  This was originally a western bird, but early in the last century, some… Read More

This walk took place on a crisp (high 30s, after a solid frost), clear (not a cloud in the sky) morning, with a bit of breeze.  The birds were very quiet to begin with, presumably due to the recent drop in temperatures from relatively warm levels.  Mary Byers and her grandson Matt were the only… Read More

Three (well, four) more birds to look at today, but calling them “sparrows” is a little confusing!  One is a Real Sparrow, one is a sparrow but doesn’t have the word “sparrow” in its name, one is called a sparrow, but isn’t related to our North American sparrows, and one is a small grosbeak-ish bird… Read More