Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunday on the Eastern Shore

The weatherfolks called for rain and wind on Saturday and better weather Sunday. The paper they were reading from must've been upside down because they were wrong on both counts.

So after reading the forecast, I decided to spend Saturday in the garden. That decision produced a healthier plot for the spring's foliage to thrive and a nicer look for the neighbors who drive past. The yard looks nice now and the ache in my back reminds me of what I accomplished on the Haas Family Farm (1/8th of an acre in West Annapolis).

A very rainy, often times windy and certainly cold Sunday was spent birding Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico Counties on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It was worth the purple toes and rain-soaked clothing to see 100 species of birds. Matt Tillet, Bill Hubick, Tom Fields and I went out in search of the reported WHITE-FACED IBIS that was seen in Berlin and Ocean City on Saturday. Matt Hafner, Jim Stasz and Mark Hoffman found this misplaced Western bird with a flock of GLOSSY IBIS. There may have been other birders discovering this rarity, but I can't be certain. So if I missed your name, please accept my apologies.

We dipped, which in 'birder-speak' means that we did not see the bird. I wasn't upset in the least, as I numerous birds to my MD State Year List. I think, after careful consideration and input from experts, that 250 is a reasonable, achievable 'goal' for the year. We shall see about if that number is even remotely possible as migration commences. As I'm sure you know, life tends to get in the way on occasion.

In any case, THIS was one candidate for 'Bird of the Day'. Thanks to Matt for the photo of the WHIMBREL! My personal favorite was an AMERICAN BITTERN that flushed from the marsh on Deal Island. Very cool!

I hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy you week.


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