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Elizabeth River Bird Blog by David Gibson

I said these words in a previous blog: 'Birds are now settling in to their nest-building, egg-laying, and brood-raising responsibilities.' By now, the beginning of August, most of those brood members have left the nest, and are on their own (more or less), though some certainly remain. (Some species have multiple broods. And some are late breeders.) A Little Review Before we move on and cover what happens next, let's take a look at a few photos that recap the past season. Nest building... Read More
That's the title of an acclaimed memoir by author Chris Offutt, and the title of blog #13. You'll see why shortly. But first, a photo of the same river once, with a female Mallard aloft just above it.   female Mallard in flight Sandy's Story Sandy (with a 'y'), who now works at Deep Creek Veterinary Hospital in Chesapeake (a wonderful place to bring your healthy--and ailing--pets), was a 'much younger' 16 year old when she set out on a waterskiing adventure on the Elizabeth... Read More
We've covered some ground here. Thank you so much for reading. And thank you to those who have told me personally (Marjorie, Rebecca, Larry, Steve, Mickie the Master Naturalist, the two Sarah's, Bob S., CBG and others) and through your comments (Abby, Glenn, Phil, Marlene the nature writer, Katiegirl, Dii and others) how much you're enjoying the blog. I realize this is a well-worn expression, but this is a labor of love. I love doing this. And hopefully the labor is yielding results. Now, cue... Read More
I came across this scene the other day. I'd rather not disclose where it was, and I'd rather not divulge what I said when I saw it. Outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen search for vistas. Landscape photographers do the same. But no one--except for maybe the occasional nature blogger--searches for anything like this.  This jumbled mess of a trash pile was just feet from an Elizabeth River tributary. And that'll be its destination following a rainstorm, a higher than usual tide, or an... Read More
I also had the pleasure recently of meeting Dre. No, not Dr. Dre. But when Dre told me his name, that's how I remembered it--by associating it with the name of the famous rapper and producer. From Compton. I'd call Dre a master crabber. Boy was he good, not to mention that he seemed like a great guy.  When I arrived on the scene (same general area where I saw the night heron perched on a tire, and the otter), he'd already caught 2 dozen blue crabs, and was busy trying to catch more.... Read More
I had the pleasure recently of meeting a lady named Barb. She approached me as I was watching and photographing an active Osprey nest on the Southern Branch of the  Elizabeth. We struck up a conversation. I shared with her that I was with the Elizabeth River Project, that I monitor Osprey nests in the river and elsewhere, and that two nestlings were about to fledge from the nest I was watching. 'Any day now', I excitedly told her.  She expressed an interest in seeing the nest. So... Read More
That's the title of a well-known poem by American poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). And we are, of course, knee deep in June! Here are a few lines from one of the verses. Fitting lines for inclusion in a bird blog. Mr. Bluejay, full o’ sass,             In them base-ball clothes o’ his,     Sportin’ ’round the orchard jes’     Like he owned the premises! Hopefully some of you are smiling as you're all too... Read More
Before we answer that question, here's a fun sequence of  'arrival through departure' shots I took at the end of Inland Rd. and right on the river. This is an Eastern Kingbird looking for nesting material. Birds are now settling in to their nest-building, egg-laying, and brood-raising responsibilities. Perhaps a child had wrapped string around these cleats? The kingbird discovered the string and decided to use it as nesting material. It was a struggle at first, but the bird succeeded at... Read More
This photograph says it all. A picture worth ten thousand words--and more. A king-size mattress carelessly disposed of right in front of a can't-miss, equally king-size sign forbidding the action. The sign and mattress are just outside the ERP restoration site at Money Point, and very close to where I took the pictures of the Canada Geese.  Volumes have been written about the things that we have done and continue to do to pollute--and damage--the environment. This is a prime... Read More
The day is on the wing. Above is my favorite line in a children's poem about spring by N.M Bodecker. That line is followed by another great line: 'The kite is on the string.' Let me share the third verse of the poem with you: Right on to daffodils, Right on to whippoorwills, Right on to chirp-producing eggs, And baby birds and quills. I thought about that verse when taking this shot of newly fledged Canada Geese (and presumably their parents). This is yet another early morning... Read More