July-13-10

Bombay Beauty

Posted by Kim Steininger under Birds

I went back to Bombay yesterday hoping for some more Bald Eagle action and while that didn’t happen, I was treated to an incredible pre-dawn sky! When I first got to this area, the tree was full of egrets and herons but unfortuately most of them took off. Luckily one decided to stick around!
b-greg_L2D0109

b-gbhe_L2D0304

There were some beautiful pink clouds in the sky reflecting into the water!
b-gbhe_L2D0639

July-12-10

Bald Eagle Bonanza!

Posted by Kim Steininger under Birds

I was at Bombay Hook this past Sunday photographing the many herons and egrets that are feasting on all the fish at the refuge when I noticed a Bald Eagle flying around. He caught a fish and took it to a tree to eat and then another eagle appeared and did the same. During the next three hours or so, there was hardly a minute that went by when there wasn’t an eagle in the air! I’m not sure how many are currently at the refuge but I know there are at least nine because at one point I saw that many flying around at the same time!

As you can see, they’re all different ages…
b-baea_L2D9939

b-baea_L2D0693

b-baea_L2D0832

b-baea_L2D9966

b-baea_L2D0249

b-baea_L2D0019

b-baea_L2D0042

b-baea_L2D8397

Red-winged Blackbirds kept getting on their backs like they were going for a ride at an amusement park. It was pretty comical! Unfortunately I didn’t get any good shots but here are a couple…
b-baea_rwbl_L2D0045

b-baea_rwbl_L2D0116

July-6-10

more kayaking adventures

Posted by Kim Steininger under Birds

This past Saturday I took my kayak out in the Indian River Inlet Bay again. There are a pair of American Oystercatchers that appear to be nesting on the same island where some Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls are nesting. Unfortunately the likelihood of any of their kids surviving around those gulls is little to none.

I love the colorful eyes and bills of the oystercatchers. These pictures would have been better with a little fill flash to light up the bird but I still like the way the bill is illuminated by the backlighting.
b-amoy_L2D7397crop

b-amoy_L2D7474

This Laughing Gull isn’t happy because another gull is flying too close to her nest. I love how red their bills get when they’re in their breeding plumage.
b-lagu_L2D7680

Since the wind wasn’t bad, I decided to check out the man-made rookery on the other side of the bay. This is what it looks like…
b-rookery_L2D7860

At first I didn’t realize that there were a couple dummy birds built into the structures so the white bird on the left really had me going for a while when a Great Egret landed near it. I thought it was a giant Snowy Egret until I got out my binoculars for a closer look!

There are all kinds of birds nesting on this island. In addition to herons and egrets, there are American Oystercatchers, Willets, Common Terns, Clapper Rails and I saw a pair of Black Skimmers but I don’t know if they’re nesting or not. I saw one fuzzy black Clapper Rail chick.

I saw a Great Egret in the water and I thought maybe he was just cooling off like I’ve seen Great Blue Herons do but when he didn’t fly away after some boats and jet-ski’s went by fairly close I decided to check him out. At first he was in the water and had his head up.
b-greg_L2D7938

Right before I got over to him I saw a jet-ski either run over him or go by pretty darn close. Don’t ask me how you don’t see a large white bird in the water in a “slow, no-wake” zone! Anyway, by the time I got to the bird, he was totally immersed in the water…even his head. I thought for sure he was dead but I put him in my kayak and took him to shore to check him out. He didn’t move at all so I was going to leave him but then I saw his chest moving so I put him back in my kayak and paddled back to the other side of the bay.

The bird didn’t move at all on the trip back across the bay. When I picked him up to put him in my car he moved his head a little and by the time I got him to Tri-State Bird Rescue, he was moving his head and neck around fairly well! He had minor surgery on Sunday and seems to be doing fairly well all things considered. I’m hoping he’ll make a full recovery and I’ll get to release him back in the bay!

June-20-10

Delaware Seashore State Park

Posted by Kim Steininger under Birds

Yesterday I took my kayak out for the first time this year. I hit the water around 5:30 and started paddling to check out what was nesting in the bay. There are a lot of Laughing Gulls, some just building nests, some on eggs and some with chicks. I got a glimpse of some chicks but couldn’t get any good shots.

This guy kept landing here to get nesting material.
b-lagu_MG_0364

Here’s one coming in with nesting material.
b-lagu_MG_0111

I was surprised to see that they were nesting so close to each other. I’ve never seen one with the head feathers all fluffy like the one in the back.
b-lagu_MG_0506

Here’s one with eggs in her nest…
b-lagu_MG_0501

There were also some Greater Black-backed Gulls nesting in the bay.
b-gbbg_L2D5875

Here are two Greater Black-backed Gull chicks and a Diamondback Terrapin Turtle who had just laid her eggs.
b-gbbg_L2D6113

A Greater Black-backed Gull chick…
b-gbbg_L2D6267

There were also Herring Gulls nesting in the bay…
b-hegu_L2D4422

Two Herring Gull chicks…
b-hegu_L2D4206

This is the most unusual Osprey nest I’ve ever seen! Pine cones???
b-ospr_MG_0417

June-20-10

More Great Falls National Park

Posted by Kim Steininger under Birds

Here are some more images from Great Falls National Park.
b-gbhe_L2D1809

b-gbhe_L2D2739

b-gbhe_L2D1368

b-gbhe_L2D1785

b-gbhe_L2D2466

b-GreatFalls_L2D2621-