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Nature In The ‘Burbs On a December Weekend

Here’s a quick photo tour of the nature “just outside my door” on a December weekend. Very exciting as I discovered two little gems nearby!!

Hiked through a “new to me” section of Gunpowder State Park with the local birding club. This spot is a 10 minute drive from my home. Isn’t it lovely?

Gunpowder SP_121413

A hawk has returned to our neighborhood. I think it scouts the uber flock of blackbirds commuting by in the morning and evening. Shortly after spying him in the tree, he took chase after two crows.

hawk

A loose house cat climbed the neighbor’s tree, peering at juncos above.

cat

A short drive to the local marsh. The pond is frozen over. No ducks to be seen.

frozen marsh

But the two resident mute swans are hanging near one of the beaver lodges.

mute swans

A 20-minute drive north on the interstate and I score a view of the Harford County snowy owl. Embarrassingly, my camera battery died. This is via my iPhone from a friendly birders’ scope:

Harford County snowy owl

A field walk, purportedly looking for birds, but actually just enjoying tromping through the snow on a sunny winter morning.

field

A coffee break to warm up and then one last stop to explore another birding hotspot. Tromping through more snow, I found a way to access the bank of Winters Run / Otter Point Creek. Finally, stream access close to home!

Otter Point Creek

Watched a hawk chase after two crows (bad day for crows ….), but no pic. Wandering around a pond, found signs of beaver activity

beaver activity

with the early stages of lodge-building.

starting a lodge

A lovely December day!

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