Squeaky Toy

This morning I headed out to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in search of a Red Necked Grebe at Kent Narrows. I had never known that birds could be red necks. I did find the Grebe, and a few other charming ducks along the water.

It was quite chilly and the crab and oyster boats were frozen in at their docks. I hadn’t realized that the Grebe was something so special as shortly after I saw her, several more birders showed up in search.

Going with my good luck, I decided to return to Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in hopes of finding the Screech Owl I found over a week ago. Arriving, the place was quiet. Only the song birds were busy at the feeder near the visitors center.

Through, I saw that some Brown Headed Nuthatches have been seen at CBEC. I knew very little of this bird, and retrieved my iPhone with the iBird Plus app. Playing their song, I found that they sound exactly like a dog’s squeaky toy. No really..they do.

I started hearing them in the woods near the visitors center. Squeaky here..Squeaky there, Squeaky every where! Where oh where can Squeaky be? I walked a little in hopes of finding one of these squeaky toys. And then Flash! Something caught my eye on an evergreen tree. Quick on the draw, I managed to capture four frames before he took off. Seems these squeaky toys are quite elusive.

Brown Headed Nuthatch

Brown Headed Nuthatch

The rest of the woods were rather quiet, so I continued to explore, only to discover that CBEC has several raptor cages with birds that are unable to survive on their own out in nature. It was such a pleasant surprise and I had the owls all to myself.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

I never did find Screech. My guess is that he was burrowed in his box as it was a cold and overcast day.

I’m going to be brief tonight as my computer started to black out, then flicker rapidly. Not a good sign. My Lightroom with my years of edits opened up as if it was brand new. All of my work disappeared. Complete panic mode. I did manage to reopen the original catalog and am now doing a full backup of edited images without my watermark.

Hope you’re doing something fun this weekend. Bella

22 replies »

  1. Your photos are of birds, so of course I love them! It’s funny that you mentioned the sounds that the brown headed nuthatches make, as I spent the morning listening to the calls of long-tailed ducks, which are pretty cool!

    • These are the little magical things that you and I get to experience when we spend a lot of time out with nature on our own. No other distractions, just the lovely and unique sounds that the birds make.
      Scoters are also super awesome to hear. Funny, I saw lots of Old Squaws at Ocean City Inlet, but I don’t remember them making a sound.

  2. Really nice pictures! You guys have so many different kinds of waterfowl! I love it because you share but then I’m jealous because I want to see them. šŸ˜‰ I still really like the Canvasback. Your photos encouraged me a little while ago to seek out some ducks myself and I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of different ones mixed amongst the many Mallards. As I later found out they were a breed of domesticated ducks call the Khaki Campbell duck, they were pretty cute. But then yesterday, oh man, I stopped back by this park and caught some of their buddy Snow Geese mixed amongst the Mallards, Canadian Geese and perhaps some others in addition to the pair of Khakis (lol). I was pleased to catch many of them in flight.

    As soon as they all saw me the entire group became raucous, I’m pretty sure they made sure everybody heard the alert. It was a bit of a treat to hear all their calls at once though.

    You owl images are really nice; the Barred Owl looks so sweet and harmless! I have to say though I have never seen a brown-headed Nuthatch, that’s great! They remind me of a cross between one of our Nuthatches here in the Midwest and a Chickadee, at least that was the first thing I thought. šŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing as always. And in case you didn’t get my reply, Thank You Very Much for the awesome comment, it meant/means a lot!

    Take care,

    • I had never heard of a Khaki Campbell Duck. Love the “Pair of Khakis.” I wonder if your ducks would like it if you fed them. Bet they’d be great models for you.

      Its funny, I never spent time really looking at birds, and now that I do the huge variety that I see out there is truly amazing.

      • I’ve been thinking that, that I should feed them. On Day 21 when I went out some cross-country skiers stopped on a nearby bridge and dumped a bag of cracked corn. The Snow geese made a big production and beat everyone else to the punch. They had a lot of the ducks flying around which was a great opportunity for me. I saw the “pair of khakis” that day but they were a bit too far away.

        I would not have thought you haven’t always enjoyed watching birds! Huh…well you take some really amazing photos of them. Birds fascinate me, you’re right they are such a diverse group. I’m really looking forward to doing some birding and taking some birding related journeys this year.

        Take care,

        • Oh once you catch the birding bug, there’s no turning back. Birds are awesome and you begin to notice so many more once you start looking.

          Totally feed those ducks and geese, it’s super fun and tons of photo ops. I expect pics. šŸ™‚

        • And you will have some! I’ve not done the whole tripod thing yet but I would imagine that maybe setting up a tripod is the best way to go for a feeding frenzy? These ducks and geese get fed often I think as they frequent a pretty popular park. I’ll have to have a strategy because the Snow Geese moved in and pushed out most the others.

          Got any tips? Oh, the other day I spotted my first Hooded Mergansers! I couldn’t get many close or clear shots but I got what I could. They’re so pretty, what an awesome discovery.


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