New Additions

Happy New Year! Last updated: 1/3/2012.

Above and below: A hen Redhead in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: A drake Redhead in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: Redheads vs. Ring-necked Ducks - Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: A Western Kingbird in Hurlock, Dorchester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012). Rare at any time in Maryland, it is especially so as it continues into January. It was found on 12/25/11 by Levin Willey and Gordon Jennings. It's well-chosen location was producing abundant tiny insects during the unseasonably mild weather.

Below: A close-up view of a Horned Grebe on the hunt off South Point, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: A continuing Loggerhead Shrike in Washington Co., Maryland (1/2/2012). Now rare and declining in Maryland, this individual appears to be back for another winter in the same area. Found originally and then relocated this year by Jim Green. Thanks, Jim!

Below: Northern Shovelers in coastal Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: A distant documentation photo of a Ross's Goose in Frederick Co., Maryland (1/2/2012). Rare on the western shore of Maryland, this individual was one of four birds documented here in the preceding days.

Below: The bill shape looks a tiny bit long in the above shot, but I think it's more related to the distance and exposure. Maybe it's bill is open or something. Here are a couple distant shots that to me shows a bill size and shape that looks fine for Ross's Goose (as opposed to showing hybrization with Snow Goose). My impression in the field was that it looked fine as well.

Below: A wintering Marsh Wren at Lilypons Water Gardens, Frederick Co., Maryland (1/2/2012). Uncommon.

Below: A Peregrine Falcon on the Ocean City water tower so popular in previous years, but neglected for the last couple (1/1/2012).

Below: A male Belted Kingfisher shows off its hunting skills in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

Below: This Pied Crow (Corvus albus) has been observed intermittently in southeastern Baltimore since at least March 2006. It is actually a raven (note the huge bill) and the species is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. My theory for its origins are that it must have been intended as a Baltimore Ravens mascot, but either escaped or was released. The area it seems to favor is only about six miles from the Ravens stadium, and of course non-native ravens are essentially the only legal option for mascots. The same species was used for a popular Windex commercial (YouTube video). When we photographed it (12/25/2011), it was drawn to a small feeding flock of Ring-billed Gulls and Fish Crows, and it seemed to specialize in ripping open large paper bags that probably proved difficult for the other species. Note the band on its right leg, confirming its earlier captivity. Whatever its story, it's an awesome bird.

Below: Drake Ring-necked Ducks in a variety of classic poses - Worcester Co., Maryland (1/1/2012).

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