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Mid- and late July in Maryland. Last updated: 7/20/2009.

Above and below: A comparison of Eastern and Western Willet on the Assateague Island ORV/OSV zone, Maryland (7/18-19/2009). Westerns are generally larger, grayer, longer-legged, and thinner-billed than Easterns. In spending more time staring at these birds, Westerns definitely look more godwit-like than Easterns. The image above really highlights the differences - click it for a higher-resolution version. Which (sub)species is shown in each image below?

(Above: All Willet above appear to be Western except the left bird in top photo, the single bird in the third photo, and the far right Willet in the photo above.)

Below: An adult Roseate Tern off of Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009). Mike Burchett picked out this beauty as it left a feeding flock and headed north up the coast. This was my first Roseate in Maryland and my 350th bird species photographed in Maryland. After a particularly painful miss this year, this bird was an extremely exciting and satisfying sight.

Below: There's no getting around it--lighting is tricky, and terns are tough. This Common Tern appears to have an orange bill and looked decidedly white-bellied in the afternoon light. Reviewing additional photos, it does indeed have a gray belly.

Below: A rare opportunity to view a Great Shearwater from shore - Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009).

Below: A Red Fox hunts among the dunes on Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009).

Below: A Brown Spiketail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/3/2009). A nice spot and quick ID by Steve Collins.

Below: A juvenile American Robin in Wicomico Co., Maryland (7/3/2009).

Below: A Carolina Wren in Dorchester Co., Maryland (7/3/2009).

Below: An Eastern Painted Turtle sunning at Piscataway Park, P.G. Co., Maryland (6/2009).

Below: A male Dickcissel in northern Dorchester Co., Maryland (7/3/2009).

Listen to audio

Below: Two Edwards' Hairstreaks, a rare and very local species in Maryland.

Listen to audio: Chuck-will's-widow at Weinberg Park, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/5/2009).
(The steady background hum is a distant ship in Baltimore Harbor.)

Below: A Familiar Bluet, presumably an immature male, in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/15/2009).

Below: A distant Gull-billed Tern in Worcester Co., Maryland (7/5/2009). I decided I had to post it because it was my first photo of the species in Maryland.

Below: An male Indigo Bunting photographed at dusk using high ISO and natural light, Carroll Co., Maryland (7/15/2009).

Below: A rare treat - we spotted this Least Bittern perched up in a water bush in coastal Worcester Co., Maryland (7/5/2009).

Below: An Eastern Red-bellied Tiger Beetle in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/3/2009).

Below: A third-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull on Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009).

Below: A Pipevine Swallowtail nectars on Common Milkweed in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/15/2009).

Below: Poison Ivy in the dappled light of a wooded edge in Wicomico Co., Maryland (7/3/2009).

Below: A female Purple Martin at Fort Smallwood, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/13/2009).

Below: A juvenile Ring-billed Gull completes its first trip to Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009).

Below: Three egret species - Cattle, Snowy, and Great - roosting in coastal Worcester Co., Maryland (7/18/2009).

Below: Sanderlings at sunset on Assateague Island, Maryland (7/19/2009).

Below: Dawn at Bayside, Assateague Island, Maryland (7/18/2009).

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