A Common Loon in an uncommon situation. Loons frequently can be seen along the eastern coast where they migrate. It is a bit uncommon to see them on a suburban lake. This male has been here for about three weeks. He seams to be healthy i.e. fishing and moving around the lake. There has been some concern the lake is not long enough to provide a “runway” for him to take off. No one has reported observing any attempt by the loon to takeoff. Other extralimital bird species have visited the area and stayed for extended periods then, disappeared while no one was looking, perhaps the loon will, too.
Here at the Thompson WMA, the trillium (grandiflora) season coincides with the spring bird migration. Once in a while, you can capture a warbler enjoying the trilliums while looking for insects. I was on my knees photographing the trilliums when the redstart posed for me. At one point, this male redstart came so close to me I was not able to focus the lens!
Red Winged Blackbirds become very protective of “their” territory when it is breeding season. The birds build nests in tall grasses in wetlands. They will often perch on tree limbs and call out telling other RWBB’s they are there i.e females welcome, males stay away!
Seen in Maryland. The Painted Bunting is a rare visitor to the Northern Virginia/Maryland area. This one was found at Great Falls National Park. Hanging out in an area full of late season berries, the bird hardly paid any attention to all the birders and photographers across the canal.
This rare visitor to Northern Virginia has been quite an attraction. The Northern Shrike or also known as the Grey Shrike does not normally come as far south as Virginia. This bird has been hanging around the Woodlands park for a few weeks and is easy to spot. Getting good pictures can be a problem because it perches high up in the trees for a good look around for food. Over a period of a few hours though, I noticed there were a few favorite spots where he returned to often. I took advantage and got a few good shots using a 600mm lens with a 1.4 extender. Next time I go, I’ll bring along a crop sensor camera and maybe get a little larger image.