Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
100
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge :smile::smile::smile:

Directions:
Easton Maryland - Capitol Beltway to Rt 50 East. ~70 miles later, Rt 16 (right turn just past Walmart), 2 or 3 miles, left on Egypt Road at flashing light. ~10 miles, left on Key Wallace Drive, 1/4 mile right to enter Wildlife Drive.

The Wildlife Drive has many spots for action. Starting by taking the first left, and then right, you can go to the marsh edge trail/point, and see some gorgeous sunrises and during the summer see the resident Ospreys.

(January)
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(September)
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This Kingfisher was from the very first section just past the pay station.

(February)
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If you venture out to the Marsh Edge trail on foot (entrance, go left, enter parking lot), there's a small boardwalk and deck (under repair as of 9/2007), this is me:
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From here in the Winter you can see eagles catching fish and landing on the nearby ice to eat their catch.

(February)
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Heading down the main part of the Wildlife Drive, there are many things to see. There are Osprey nests that are active in the Summer, and Eagles nearby year round. The eagles will use the Osprey nests as perches in the Fall, and can be best found perched early in the morning (near sunrise)...

I spotted this bird on multiple days in the same exact tree just past the visitors center on WLD:
(March)
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(Feb)
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(Feb)
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In early March they have their Eagle Festival, and have many captive birds to show off which makes for some great close up chances on birds I've personally never seen before like this Eurasion Eagle-Owl.
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Along the WLD in the summer the Osprey are great:

(Juv's, Sept)
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Winter is one of my favorite times here, the wildlife hunkers down, and it's great.

(Feb)
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And all that's just the actual Wildlife Drive. The surrounding area is also amazing. Continue past the WLD enterance on Key Wallace Drive, and hit the T, and turn right on to Maple Dam Road. Here you need to be careful, and avoid all other traffic very carefully. There is not anyplace to stop or park, or pull over. However, I've stopped, put my flashers on, and taken a few quick shots here and there. But expect fast moving traffic, and be wise when you stop. I know someone that had their car totalled trying to make a U-turn here... Please don't get caught up in the moment, BE CAREFUL!

These are all from along Maple Dam Road...

Egrets (Sept)
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Great Horned Owl (Feb)
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Eagle over the Marsh (December)
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Northern Harrier (March)
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Osprey, Maple Dam Road, September:
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This is one of my favorite places to shoot. I live in the Silver Spring area of MD, and it's about 90 miles and almost a two hour drive, a little less, but with a food stop, it's close. Here's my Blackwater NWR set.

Here's their web site www.friendsofblackwater.org

-Jon

Oh, and here's one of my fav eagle encounters, there's a typo in the text, and I wish the shots were sharper, but I got 16 shots off through my open sunroof, and it was awesome. Taken near the start of WLD, at the "bird blind" area..
:biggrin:
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Cartwheeling Eagles!!! :smile:
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-Jon
 
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
3,925
Location
Owings Mills, MD
Jon,

Thank you for such an informative post. I am going to make this a priority trip this Fall or Winter. Looks like you have just help me justify my longer glass!! :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
1,033
Location
Randallstown, Maryland
I've always wanted to visit Blackwater...this destination is on my agenda too!!

Man...Conowingo, Great Falls MD/VA, now Blackwater! I even want to visit the Wolves of Speedwell (PA) and elk someplace else (??)

Paying for gas is really going our wallets big time! :mad:
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
6,727
Location
So Fla
great shots Jon
will be heading down, Thanksgiving weekend
hopefully a couple of baldies will be around
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
851
Location
College Park, MD
Real Name
Kristin Rutkowski
These are great pictures!! echoing everyone else's sentiments, they definitely make me want to get out there. and thanks for including the month each photo was taken. I like seeing the different opportunities that exist throughout the year.
-Kristin
 
M

mamabird

Guest
Jon

Thanks so much for the Blackwater photos and guide. Plan to go there over the winter.

Karen
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
100
Blackwater is happening now!!!

Last weekend saw snow geese, eagles, ducks, geese, etc. Was very good.

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And saw some eagles working on nest building both last and previous weekend.
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