Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Say's what you will about birding... this weeking was fun!

I am not sure where to begin, so I'll just go chronologically.

I went to Poplar Island with the Anne Arundel Bird Club on Friday. That was a great trip and the island was loaded with birds. It's an incredible project that the State is undertaking. They are using the dredge spoils and rebuilding an entire island. They are restoring both upland (trees and forests) and lowland (marsh and wetland) habitats. Read all about it HERE!

We saw two very nice birds, a Red-necked Phalarope and an American Avocet. I met a lot of fine birders and som very nice folks.

I gave my eyes a rest on Saturday. I spent some time with my lovely Emery. We watched our baby grow in her belly and went sailing with our good friends Josh and Anne on their boat's first (would you believe it) voyage of the summer on the Chesapeake. I saw a Royal Tern while we were out on the bay, along with a plethora of Osprey, DC Cormorant and one Bald Eagle.

But Sunday... Sunday was intense birding. These are the kind of days I love. Up at 5AM, home by 10PM! I arrived to meet Bill Hubick and Tom Feilds in Bowie at 6AM. Emery made us some Blueberry scones. We ate and then drove South to visit the North Beach Marsh. We saw: SNOWY EGRETs (35), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (2), SOLITARY SANDPIPER (2), SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (8), WESTERN SANDPIPER (1), LEAST SANDPIPER (5), FORSTER'S TERN (10), and ROYAL TERN (1 on the pilings at the beach).

Bill, who is an extrodinary birder and photographer, was leading a tour at Calvert Cliffs later that morning. There we saw: RED-HEADED WOODPECKER (8), RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (3-4), BLACKBURNIAN, NASHVILLE, HOODED, BLACK & WHITE, YELLOW-THROATED, and other warblers, and BROWN PELICAN.The full list (with special thanks to Matt Tillett for keeping notes)
Brown Pelican (1), Double-crested Cormorant, Green Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Solitary Sandpiper, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-headed Woodpecker (8, including immatures), Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Summer Tanager, Chipping Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch.

When we got to the beach, there was a message on the wire about a very rare visitor in Montgomery County; a Say's Phoebe in a horse field of Hughes Road. So, we made it back to the cars in less than half the time it took us to get to the beach. Aside from a quick stop for gas and sustinance, we made it to the STATE RECORD BIRD in no time at all. Success! A lifer. The huge crowd made the bird very easy to find. I quickly realized that I am not alone with my passion. There are others like me. It was really great to meet the celebrities of Maryland birding. The American Kestrel hunting on the leafless tree was just a bonus that I got to enjoy. (I am a big fan of the falcons!)The rest of the day was spent cruising around Montgomery and Frederick Counties with Bill and Tom.
Polo fields on Hughes Road:
Killdeer and Horned Larks at around 3:00 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

Lilypons Water Gardens, Frederick Co.:
Solitary Sandpiper--1
Great Crested Flycatcher--1
White-eyed Vireo--1
Red-eyed Vireo--2
American Redstart--1--a bold looking male!

Greenfield Rd., Frederick Co.:
Eastern Screech-owl--1
Common Nighthawk--flyby at about 5:45 p.m.; nice spot by Tom that I missed!
Warbling Vireo--1
Philadelphia Vireo--1

Hughes Hollow, Montgomery Co (dusk into the night!):
Wood Duck--7
Great Egret--5
Common Nighthawk--1 hunting at dusk
Traill's Flycatcher--1

Emery, despite my arriving home at 10PM instead of 1PM like I had promised, was happy to see me and excited to hear about the day's adventures. It was so thrilling that on Monday, Emery, her sister Eliza and her boy'friend' Chris (who is an avid birder as well) and I went back to Hughes Road and Lily Pons on the way to delightful afternoon spent in Harper's Ferry.

Good Birding!

Dan



1 comment:

Larry said...

The Red-headed Woodpecker is cool! I've only seen one and it wasn't in that full black, white, and red plumage.

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