Today was a glorious day weather-wise. The temperature was in the high 70s F, the humidity was low and the skies mostly clear.
While we ate lunch on the deck, we were entertained by the birds at the feeder and by a couple of male autumn meadowhawks perching on the dead flowers nearby. After watching the odes for some time, I finally gave in and got the camera.
Later in the afternoon, Joan headed out for a kayak ride. She called from the beach parking lot to say that there were “brown headed ducks” down by the bridge but that she did not have her binoculars with her so that she did not get a good look at them. I stashed Big Bertha in the passenger seat, threw the tripod in the bed of the truck and headed down the road the mile to the bridge.
Those “brown-headed”ducks turned out to be a family of mallards. I watched and photographed them for about an hour.
Yesterday, I headed out to check on the nesting loons. I was last there two weeks ago and I was hoping that there would be some chicks. No luck… however, there was an adult still sitting on the nest, so there is still hope.
I first observed the loons on the nest on 10 June… 25 days ago. Their incubation period is cited as 26-29 or 26-31 days, so hatching should be any day now. I’m hoping to head back tomorrow!
The female mallard and her brood of four duckling were still in the same area, so I photographed them instead of the loons.
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This past Monday morning, Joan and I pointed the car south and headed to Maryland. Photographically, our destination was the Conowingo Dam. We also visited Katrina (our daughter) in Baltimore as well as my sister and her family and my parents, all of whom live in suburban Washington. We arrived back home early yesterday evening.
The Conowingo Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Susquehanna River just north of where the river enters the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace. The dam is ‘famous’ for the birds, especially bald eagles, which hang out there in the winter. The Harford Bird Club maintains the Conowingo Dam Site Guide with much useful information about the site.
We intended to arrive at the dam early enough on Monday afternoon to get in some photography then. However, complications of the dental kind conspired against us and we did not arrive until dusk. We spent a short while reconnoitering the dam and its environs before before heading off in search of dinner and a motel.
We were back at the dam a bit before 9 on Tuesday morning. The temperature was about 10 degrees and there was an intermittent breeze blowing… so much for heading south! Dressed appropriately things were not bad as long as the wind was not blowing. Conditions were good for photography with a light overcast diffusing the sunlight. We arrived at the tail end of a release of water from the dam and the concomitant flurry of activity.
Although we stayed until after 1 PM, we did not see another release. Thus, although there were plenty of birds around the action was somewhat subdued.
Here are the results:
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