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Brit Birding in Maryland

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Old Sunday 25th October 2009, 17:45   #1
Nick French
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Question Brit Birding in Maryland

Hi Guys
Looking for some help in where to go birding in Maryland in November. I am visiting the DC area in a few weeks and will have the a Saturday for birding before flying up to Canada. Any suggestions as to the best places to go?

Cheers
Nick
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Old Sunday 25th October 2009, 18:53   #2
Jim M.
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A few questions: Anything in particular you are looking to see? Will you have access to a car? What is the exact date you'll be there?

One possibility is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge -- should be loaded with snow geese and Bald Eagle. Golden Eagle also a possibility. It's about a two-hour drive from D.C. though. Another possibility which is also good for waterfowl and Bald Eagles is Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, which is actually closer, just south of D.C.

Best,
Jim
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Old Tuesday 27th October 2009, 12:02   #3
Nick French
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Jim
Thanks for your advice - both suggestions sound excellent. I will have a car so both should be do-able. My trip will be on Nov 14th, so I would imagine the geese will be in by then.

As I am actually north of DC and need to be in Baltimore on Sunday, the Cambridge suggestion probably fits better.

Thanks for your help with this.
Nick
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Old Friday 6th November 2009, 02:50   #4
Jim M.
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Jim
Thanks for your advice - both suggestions sound excellent. I will have a car so both should be do-able. My trip will be on Nov 14th, so I would imagine the geese will be in by then.

As I am actually north of DC and need to be in Baltimore on Sunday, the Cambridge suggestion probably fits better.

Thanks for your help with this.
Nick
Cambridge would still be farther away than Occoquan even though it's in the same state as Baltimore. If you do go to Blackwater, side trips would be going down a dirt road called cedar ridge road for, e.g. short eared owls in the evening, also a drive down hooper island road. If you go to Occoquan, most of the birding is done by walking about the refuge towards and along the river. Roads are limited.

Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware would be another possibility with similar birds, plus possibly a fair variety of shorebirds. Not much farther.

Best,
Jim
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Last edited by Jim M. : Friday 6th November 2009 at 12:37.
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Old Friday 6th November 2009, 05:25   #5
stbear
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Not far from Baltimore probably less than an hour is Conowingo Dam. The Bald eagles concentrate there below the dam. There were 79 there the other day.
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Old Friday 6th November 2009, 12:23   #6
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Other places easy to get to from Baltimore would be:
Black Hills (State?) Park, near Germantown (sw of B'more) - should be good for waterfowl and woodpeckers.
Patuxent Wildlife Refuge (Laurel, just south of B'more by about 20 minutes) - the north tract (off Rt. 198) is mostly woodland - there are a few ponds but not usually alot of waterfowl. South tract has larger ponds so maybe some waterfowl - and lots of woodland also.
Lily Pons water gardens - over by Frederick - lots of small ponds. Can be very good sometimes.

You should have some good choices with what's been posted above - have fun! I'd offer to go with you but I'll be in England, starting tomorrow!

Jeannine
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Old Friday 6th November 2009, 12:35   #7
Jim M.
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Other places easy to get to from Baltimore would be:
Black Hills (State?) Park, near Germantown (sw of B'more) - should be good for waterfowl and woodpeckers.
Patuxent Wildlife Refuge (Laurel, just south of B'more by about 20 minutes) - the north tract (off Rt. 198) is mostly woodland - there are a few ponds but not usually alot of waterfowl. South tract has larger ponds so maybe some waterfowl - and lots of woodland also.
Lily Pons water gardens - over by Frederick - lots of small ponds. Can be very good sometimes.

You should have some good choices with what's been posted above - have fun! I'd offer to go with you but I'll be in England, starting tomorrow!

Jeannine
It's Black Hills Regional Park.

Best,
Jim
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Old Friday 6th November 2009, 21:38   #8
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Ft Smallwood Park is pretty close to Baltimore. While it is best known for its spring hawk watch, it is not a bad place to see other birds throughout the winter. Last winter it was reliable for waterfowl - I had scaup (both greater and lesser), gadwall, mallard, teal, bufflehead, canvasback, wood duck, grebes, cormorant and tundra swan - You could also expect to see gulls, terns, woodpeckers (redbellied, n flicker, downy) and the usual local birds which may be of more interest to someone from out the area.

If you are going to drive down to Black Hills Regional Park, you should also try to get to Hughes Hollow (McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area). It is good for waterfowl and sparrows in the winter and has resident red-headed woodpeckers that would be worth the drive from Baltimore all by themselves.

I would second the recommendation for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - we had 67 species there last Saturday and left by 1 PM. It has always been worth the drive from the DC area for us.

Jackie Cooper
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 16:37   #9
Nick French
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Hi Guys
Thanks for all your information and advice. Unfortunately I was already travelling when the later posts came in and so I was not able to pick them up.

I did go to Blackwater and the Cambridge area and had a very enjoyable day and a half birding. The weather was not the best, but I was still able to see plenty of Bald Eagles plus a good supporting cast of commoner birds. The duck were not very numerous but the geese were in good supply.

So thanks for your input and I hope Jeannine had a good trip to the UK - where the weather was just as wet and awful as in Maryland!
Cheers
Nick
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 20:30   #10
Jim M.
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Originally Posted by Nick French View Post
Hi Guys
Thanks for all your information and advice. Unfortunately I was already travelling when the later posts came in and so I was not able to pick them up.

I did go to Blackwater and the Cambridge area and had a very enjoyable day and a half birding. The weather was not the best, but I was still able to see plenty of Bald Eagles plus a good supporting cast of commoner birds. The duck were not very numerous but the geese were in good supply.

So thanks for your input and I hope Jeannine had a good trip to the UK - where the weather was just as wet and awful as in Maryland!
Cheers
Nick
Glad you made out OK. I was at Blackwater yesterday and was surprised the snow geese had not arrived yet. They have arrived in other parts of Maryland (saw a flight of 5000 near the coast, but heading inland, last weekend), but they seem late this year at this location for some reason. There was a fairly good variety of ducks, but numbers were low--duck migration has yet to begin in earnest.

Best,
Jim
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