Date: 4/15/17 9:09 am From: 'Clive Harris' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> Subject: [MDBirding] Great Egret Colony - White's Ferry, field birds
I went driving some of the back roads around and past Poolesville this morning.
Hughes Rd had a Grasshopper Sparrow, newly arrived I imagine, singing from the field opposite the polo field. Vesper Sparrows were acting like they were on territory at the "traditional" spots of Budd Road and West Offutt Road. The latter site had a nice group of Savannah, Field and Chipping Sparrows and a bit further down the road some White-crowned Sparrows were singing. I did not see or hear Vespers at some of the other spots they usually are e.g. Westerly Road but hopefully they are here or will arrive soon. Also new for me this year was a Praire Warbler near the Patton Turf Farm.
The biggest surprise was seeing as many as 10 Great Egrets on nests in the heronry on the island downstream from White's Ferry - and in total I counted 18 Great Egrets in total. I used to cover this area for the breeding bird survey and hen doing that one year I did see one egret take a stick to the island. At that time it had around 15 or so Great Blue Heron nests visible from the boat ramp. Now however the Great Egrets seem to be taking over - I could only count 4 Great Blues on the nest. Of course you can only see part of the island from the ramp so perhaps there are more birds of both species on the nest further down the island.
Clive HarrisCabin John, MD
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