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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Many times growing up in the DC area I would travel to Ocean City MD or Rehoboth Beach DE, but I’ve rarely explored the area known as Maryland’s Eastern Shore, that peninsula of land east of the Chesapeake Bay extending south toward Virginia and east to the Atlantic Ocean. Yesterday I visited one of the few National Wildlife Refuges there that are open to the public.

Blackwater NWR is located about 70 miles from Annapolis, or about 15 miles south of Cambridge MD. The quantity of birds wintering at this refuge will peak around December and January, but I still found a number of species to enjoy.

In fragile shoreline locations, the Refuge has put stakes in the shallow waters to keep fisherman from damaging the marsh vegetation that the birds depend upon.

Stakes keep boats from damaging the shoreline

Stakes keep boats from damaging the shoreline

Foster's Terns

Foster’s Terns

Foster's Tern rejoins the flock

Foster’s Tern rejoins the flock

Foster's Terns, Lesser Yellowlegs (lower center) and a Herring Gull

Foster’s Terns, Lesser Yellowlegs (lower center) and a Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Great Blue Heron stalks a meal amid fall colors

Great Blue Heron stalks a meal amid fall colors

Courtship Display of Great Blue Heron

Courtship Display of Great Blue Heron

Courtship Display of Great Blue Heron

Courtship Display of Great Blue Heron

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Mark Bobb

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