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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Birds, beer and crabs

I'm a little behind on my posts but I'll try to catch up by tomorrow.

Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica )

(Photo credit - Rob J)

My wife and I just returned from our annual long spring weekend in the Annapolis area. I realize that it's a little off subject for an urban nature blog but I thought you might at least enjoy some photos. We stayed with family outside of Annapolis in Edgewater. My wife usually runs in the "Governor's Bay Bridge 10k Race" but it was cancelled this year. That gave us more time to bird, and enjoy the local crab cakes and beer.

Royal Tern (Sterna maxima)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

There are dozens of great locales for outdoor activities relatively close to Annapolis. The weather was cold and wet over the weekend so we only visited a few of the close locations. We birded at Quiet Waters County Park, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Terrapin Park. We saw and heard a number of nice species but the migration was generally very slow over the weekend. After soaking in the birds (and rain) we warmed up by tracking down the best crab cakes. The hands down winner (as always) was G & M Restaurant & Lounge.

By late morning Sunday breaks in the clouds began to dry things out. At Terrapin Park a pair of Turkey Vultures found a unique way to dry their feathers. An old barn had a couple of large holes in its sheet metal roof. The vultures stood on the exposed roof rafters above the holes and held their wings open in the warm updrafts.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

- - - - -

Maryland various, 4/29 - 5/1
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Wood Duck
Greater Scaup
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
Forster's Tern
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Palm Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Yum, crab cake and beer

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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