February 2018
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DAJ Designs Photography
When you love to spend your spare time birding and live in the Mid-Atlantic area, the weather in January and February can be a bit challenging. Going out with a camera when wind chills are in the single digits does not sound very appealing to me. But then again, there are times when I am compelled to go out because I know something special awaits. For example: I have stood for hours at the base of the Conowingo Dam with temperatures in the teens and icy winds in my face just to watch the Bald Eagles. At their peak in late November, December, and early January, a good number of eagles gather in this spot to fish...and this is definitely one of those experiences that will draw me outside every time.
Dead Horse Point
Bald Eagle
By: Debbie Jordan
Or I am always excited to travel to Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware. Often rising well before sunrise, arriving in the dark, and then standing in the freezing cold to watch several thousand - and sometimes 50,000 to 100,000 - Snow Geese lift off in the morning light. The sound of their squawks and the beating of thousands of wings shatters the silence of the dawn. This  experience never gets old, and it is definitely worth a few hours in the winter temps.
Opening Of Antelope Canyon
Three on a Pond
By: Debbie Jordan
And then there are those unusual years (like this year) when Snowy Owls migrate to the area. For this sight, I could care less about the weather....  but then, you can read about that adventure in last month's newsletter.

For the most part, though, the cold of winter just does not appeal to me. So when the temperatures warmed to a balmy 60 degrees last weekend, I went to Codorus State Park near Hanover, PA. Although not known for its vast birding opportunities, I decided a nice short jaunt there might be the cure for my cabin fever and maybe yield a few interesting birds... if I was lucky. I spotted a nesting pair of Bald Eagles across the lake visible through binoculars and watched them for a while as one would occasionally leave the nest and return with a new branch -  or in bird terms, they were doing a little home remodeling. Unfortunately though, the Eagles were just too far away, even for my long lens. So, I set my sights on other birds of interest that were a bit more attainable.
There were Common Mergansers, Tundra Swans, Canadian Geese, and Ring-Billed Gulls scattered on the partially frozen lake. But it was the several Carolina Chickadees flitting about in the bushes nearby that presented the perfect opportunity to photograph their activity.
A Slanted View
A Slanted View
By: Debbie Jordan
Codorus State Park is alive with opportunities for folks to get outside and enjoy the fresh air in the summer. They have canoe, kayak and pontoon boat rentals; a campground; swimming pool; hiking trials; horseback riding trails; and an outdoor pavilion for concerts. One of the more popular activities at the park is disc golf, with a course that meanders across the hillsides near the lake. Although I cannot say that the wildlife and birding opportunities are what draws me there, the lake and surrounding are definitely beautiful. And I enjoy a relaxing day trip there often...even in the dead of winter.
Cute Chickadee
Cute Chickadee
By: Debbie Jordan
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Until Next Time....
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