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Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in the Czech Republic Getting off the bus after arriving in Český Krumlov, I thought, wh...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birdin' Baltimore

Time out for some birding this week, hosted by my Nephew Kirk. He did his birding homework and found some hopeful places to take me around the Baltimore area. We started out at North Point State Park. Although the shoreline was depressingly bereft of birds. The autumn color filled woods were full of hyper Hermit Thrushes, flashy Northern Cardinals, and loads of Dark-eyed (Slaty) Juncos and still-exotic-to-me White-throated Sparrows.

I thought I was done for the morning when surprise, an adult Bald Eagle hoovered over the trees, as I stared from the parking lot. By the time I called Kirk over to see it, the bird had floated out of view. Happily, a short walk toward the eagle's position revealed a juvenile eagle. Kirk got a nice look at the Baldie baby, probably hatched out earlier this year. Kirk told me he chose the park because he'd heard a pair of eagles nested at North Point.


I managed a few shots of the soaring adult Baldie

There was a remaining treat in store for me though. As we walked back from the baby Baldie viewing I spotted something skulking along in low lying shrubbery. At first, lost glance I assumed it might be a House Wren - then the bird popped into view - a WINTER WREN! I got my lifer Winter Wren! I'd hoped for one when I visited Baltimore last year but gave up on the idea. Figures - when you quit fretting, things happen. I'm at 3 lifers for 2011.


Winter Wren photo by Christian Artuso

Our second stop was a year overdue. Last year we couldn't find the park entrance but this year it just popped up: Robert E. Lee Park. As it turns out, even had we found the park last year it was closed. Recently it reopened, and as we drove in, the first thing we saw was a waterfall.


Jones Falls, your first sight in Robert E. Lee Park  

Lovely birding spot. Birds were everywhere; Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebirds, Chipping Sparrows, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-bellied Woodpecker that disappeared into a hole in a huge snag and a Red-tailed Hawk, overseeing everyone else's activities.

We had fun following the peregrinations of this little guy. You find the bird in this photo I took with my mini-digital?


It's just to the left of center... see it?


He's here but he's tiny.

It was fun watching this chuffy little Golden-crowned Kinglet.

One fun little sighting at Robert E. Lee was what I at first quick glimpse in flight, thought was a chickadee. The bird landed quite close and was an as yet undetermined species of Sparrow with a snowy white head, and pale-ish belly; a partial albino. Kirk and I were agog at the weird little flutterby. I was chagrined that what ought to have been a great shot of the bird was thrown by the reflectiveness of its white head. The bird managed to hold on to most of the coloring of its crown. What species? I'm guessing a White-throated Sparrow, but here's its photo, you tell me!

Partially albino sparrow

Hum... maybe the Leyba family has been infected with the birding bug?

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