Monday, November 24, 2008

Eastern Shore Weekend

So here are a few awful photos from my weekend on the shore. Chris Murray, his girlfriend Eliza (my wife's sister), Declan (my wonderful son), Emery (my lovely wife) and I spent Saturday night on the shore.At Vessey's Orchard in Somerset County, we found a pair of BALTIMORE ORIOLES. Here is one of them in flight with a butter butt (A.K.A. Yellow-rumped Warbler) as a PINE WARBLER watches from the grass below.It's like Noah's Ark down there at the watering hole. Two House Finches, drinking alongside two Bluebirds and two Balmer Oryuls... hon.The following day, Chris Murray and I thought we'd go for a hike. In soft, deep sand. For at least four miles! Oh, but the reward was worth the sore legs today. See it? Here, enjoy some closer looks at this magnificent first year SNOWY OWL!Just so you are aware, we must've been 200 or more yards away from this owl. It was just flying from mound to mound, probably due to our presence. This being such a beautiful bird, and us not wanting to disturb it more, we decided to not stay very long. The wing tips were more pointed than one would expect for an owl. The rounded flight feathers make the bird ultra quiet in flight. Stealth is the key to this bird's hunting success.We stuck around for maybe 10 minutes, and then moved back a nice distance to observe some more with our scopes.Other highlights included a trio of RIVER OTTERS in Berlin, MD.Lastly, here is a CLAPPER RAIL that decided to pop out and investigate us at Rumbly Point in Southern Somerset County, MD.The dang marsh hen ran out into the sun, so the photos are a bit... ugh. Answer me this: why is it that the more I 'tweak' my camera settings, the worse my photos become? I promise... 2009 I will become a better photographer.And one last thing. I really can't express how wonderful it is to bird with my son Declan. He is such an amazing character. He is quiet, observant, good-humored, patient and most of all, full of curiosity about his surroundings. I'm just delighted and thankful that he is my son.Good Birding All and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Dan

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