|I had forgotten what a wonderful vocalist Catbirds can be|
Visiting Maryland in summer is like visiting a tropical island — heat, humidity, dense lush foliage, and bird calls everywhere each morning. I had forgotten what songsters Grey Catbirds and Mockingbirds are and of course, the ubiquitous Northern Cardinals sometimes just take over the whole concert.
I birded with my grandson several mornings (prior post) but later in the week, the weather was just too hot for birders or birds. However, on Saturday, I went out quite early and ended up with a nice mix of species and two new life birds.
Greenbury Point, a 231 acre penisula at the mouth of the Severn River, is part of the U.S. Naval Academy land. Much of it is managed as a wildlife habitat but as you walk the paths and trails, abandoned buildings and the two 600 foot towers remind you that it once was on of the most far reaching radio transmitter complexes in the world. First built in 1918 the station was used to communicate with U.S. forces fighting in WW I. The station was used for all communications with the Atlantic Fleet in WW II, including the submarine fleet.
I was greeted by several Eastern Bluebirds and a House Finch as I parked the car. It was already hot at 6:30 A.M. as I started out and immediately, I heard several bird calls I couldn’t identify. The mix of wild grasses and trees was being crisscrossed by birds and within a few minutes, I saw a flash of yellow and was able to find the bird with my glasses in the heavy foliage. A Yellow-breasted Chat — a bird I’ve been looking for — gave me a couple of decent looks and then vanished. (Later, I saw two more flirting or fighting.)
I was also noticing butterflies as I walked, since it was T-shirt weather and they were flying early. A Viceroy and a beautiful Spicebush Swallowtail distracted me.
|This Blue Grosbeak is my 291st Life Bird|
As I finished my loop, I decided, even though it was uncomfortably humid by now, to take one more short trail I had missed. A bird, which I thought was a robin, flew in front of me and perched, very unrobin-like, on a stalk in the field. I got my binoculars on it and voila, a Blue Bunting posed for me. What a pretty bird — I was too far away for a good photo but I shot this one. It was a great finish to my birding during this Maryland trip.
Now, off to Massachusetts for a few days where I hope to bird the Parker River refuge again.