Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Barred Owl Family on the Eastern Shore

After work yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a trip to see the Dickcissel on Egypt Road just North of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. I arrived around 6PM and wouldn't you know it, the bird was a no show. Actually, all three birds I was looking for (Dickcissel, Black Rail and Whip-poor-will) were no shows! However, on Egypt Road there were some Northern Bobwhite, an Eastern Meadowlark, several Grasshopper Sparrows, a Blue Grosbeak and a Prothonotary Warbler who were all kind enough to have made appearances.I enjoyed seeing a family of Barred Owls perched all along the trees along Bestpitch Ferry Road. I snapped some photos of the two little ones with Mom (or Dad) closely watching over them from a tree further off into the woods. A mile or sp down that same road, two Northern Bobwhites sang a duet with a two Seaside Sparrows and a Marsh Wren.On Elliott Island Road, the Chucks were singing as well. Quite loudly, I might add. I counted seven, but there probably were more. No Whips sang, but I did enjoy an Eastern Screech Owl whistling it's trill in the last stretch of pine before the marsh takes over the landscape. Around 10PM, I heard 'part' of a Black Rail's call, but not the part that would lead me to conclusively identify it as such.Under last night's nearly full moon, the marshes were surprisingly quiet. It was still an enjoyable way to spend a Tuesday evening in Maryland.And in non-birding news, there were many of Maryland's famous Sika Deer foraging along the roadsides yesterday evening. They're actually non-native (like most all of us) to this part of the world.Sika Deer were brought here from Japan by a gentleman named Clement Henry. He released them on James Island in 1916. You can read more about these deer here. Personally, when I see a deer of any kind, all I can think of is ticks. Argh.

Good Birding,

Dan

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