Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Western Maryland Memorial Day Birding Expedition

Emery let me go birding for one last big 'end-of-migration' weekend this past Sunday and Monday. I did manage to get to the family BBQ/Birthday party on Monday night in Bethesda on time! I drove miles and miles and observed loads of birds. I had many LIFERS and several amazing encounters. Without going into it in too much details, let me show you some photographs. I promise to explain where ever necessary.BLACK CAPPED CHICKADEES occur in Maryland's Western Counties. There is a subtle distinction between this bird and it's Eastern Maryland relative, the CAROLINA CHICKADEE. One such field mark are these (above) slightly more prominent white edges on the secondaries (on the wings). I set my camera to 'blur' so as to illustrate this identification mark... not because I'm a bad photographer. Ok, mostly because I'm a bad photographer.An EASTERN "Western MD" BLUEBIRD. I liked this bird's burnt orange coloration on it's breast and how it matched the fence rust. Artsy, eh?A BROAD-WINGED HAWK with some feather issues. I saw quite a few of them out West. It is always a treat to see this raptor catching an afternoon thermal against a mountain's side.Two views of a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. For whatever reason, these warblers were much more locatable than their Eastern Maryland relatives. Perhaps it was because there were a lot of them? Yes... maybe.The CHIPPING SPARROWS are certainly more 'punk rock' than the conservative ones we have here in Annapolis. Notice the mohawk? Yes, and even it's song has more of a grundgy-quality to it.An UPLAND SANDPIPER that found me in Pleasant Valley. And what a pleasant valley it was...A SCARLET TANAGER at Swallow Falls State Park. After visiting this park, I've decided that it's long past time to get the wife, the boy and a few good friends to head out West for some camping. There is one thing I will always be watching for from now on...Western Maryland's Black Bears are so adorable. My bed head from getting up at 6AM probably was the main reason this bear skee-dattled into the woods right after he (or she) noticed my presence.Ok, you want the truth? Well, I'll tell you the truth. The bear and I wrestled for several minutes. It was a draw. A tie. We had nearly the same amount strength, classic Roman technique and cuteness. Afterwards, we sat and ate some berries. Laughing frequently, we talked for hours about how we missed our honeys, what we liked to eat, why it is that people are always wanting to snuggle with us, etc. I even told him about Lisa Strobel's HONEY BEES. Once BEAR learned about Lisa's bees, he broke out in hives (get it?) and started to drool. Drooling much like you can see here (below), as performed by my adorable son Declan.And so, after we'd become fast friends (MAN and BEAR), we parted ways. I'll always remember the morning I spent with my friend, the BEAR. If only you could've been there...

Hunting these black bears should be crime.

Enjoy your first real week of summer!

Dan

1 comment:

barbiepurl said...

Black bears are something that are more cute to look and are very less in number.Why do people hunt these too a strict law must be given with complete details about hunting animals.
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Barbie Purl
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