Monday, December 20, 2010

Maryland Birding Community Wins GOLD!

A winter hummingbird in Silver Spring! An EARED GREBE in Gaithersburg! A GYRFALCON flew past a hawk watch in PA (headed to Maryland perhaps?). An ICELAND GULL and probable CALIFORNIA GULL at Schoolhouse Pond! WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and EVENING GROSBEAKS are showing up around the coastal plain.Recently, there was a THAYER'S GULL and an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER spending their time down at the ocean. A PAINTED BUNTING stopped by a feeder in Calvert County. What's more, SHORT-EARED OWLS and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS are being reported in various locations in our region. It's getting hard to concentrate.A GLAUCOUS GULL was keeping company with two ICELAND GULLS this weekend at Northeast Community Park in Cecil County! What could possibly top these sightings? I have an idea, but...Yesterday, a truly incredible bird showed up in Kent County. Was it a winter BLUE GROSBEAK? That's wild to think that a bird that should be in Central America is still here... but nope, that's not the bird. A lingering LINCOLN'S SPARROW? Awesome too, but nope. A SHORT-EARED OWL and a BARN OWL enjoying an overgrown field? Fun? Yes, but that's not the bird I'm referencing. How about a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK perched on a farm? Just superb. Nah... not the jaw-dropper.Oh, but that's not the real star of the show. Nope, that honor goes to this GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. A State-record means that I don't have to explain just how rare and amazing it is to have this bird in Maryland.Discovered by Bruce Peterjohn, this bird was relocated and photographed by several of us. If you get the chance, make plans to go to Chesapeake Farms, just North of Rock Hall in Kent County, MD. But DON'T GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. It's frowned upon by those who own the property.In the meantime, enjoy this photo of a NORTHERN HARRIER departing. Think of it as inspiration as you plan your birding adventure to Kent County, Maryland!Merry Christmas Maryland Birds and those who chase, feed or enjoy them!

-Dan

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