Date: 9/7/17 12:36 pm
From: Rick Borchelt <rborchelt...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Ferry Neck, Blackwater, and (mostly) Eastern Shore of Virginia, August 31 - September 5, 2017.
I also hope everyone's had a chance to see the nice shout-out about Harry
in the current ABA Birding magazine, in the Milestones column of the
(August) issue. Terrific piece!

On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 2:46 PM, Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...>
wrote:

> FERRY NECK, BLACKWATER, AND (mostly) EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA, AUGUST 31-
> SEPTEMBER 5, 2017.
>
>
> ABBREVIATIONS: C.B.B.T., Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia.
> C.V.W.O., Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory. ESVA, Eastern Shore of
> Virginia. ESVNWR, Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge.
> K.S.P., Kiptopeke State Park, Virginia (esp. the hawkwatch platform).
> RLAn, Bob Anderson.
>
>
> C.B.B.T. CLOSURE effective the end of September, Island 1, the fishing
> pier, the restaurant … everything. Making room for equipment involved with
> the creation of additional tunnels. Could be years???
>
>
> AUGUST 31, THURSDAY. Arrive at RIGBY’S FOLLY, Ferry Neck, Talbot County,
> MD, at 5:20 P.M. 1.65” in our rain gauge fallen since Aug. 22. mostly
> overcast, humid, WSW 5, 82-78. Wild turkey 5 in Field 4, cedar waxwing 5,
> Forster’s tern 5, green heron 2, brown thrasher 1, red-tailed hawk 1, snowy
> egret 1, great blue heron 1, barn swallow 5, European starling 25, bald
> eagle 3 adults (incl. 1 on the Field 4 pole), osprey 7 (with one on the
> Field 2 pole), and double-crested cormorant 8 plus a doe and her fawn in
> Field 2, 3 gray squirrels, 1 Fowler’s toad, 1 monarch, 3 unIDd frogs at The
> Pond, and 2 eastern cottontails. The ponds and Woods 2 vernal pool are
> full of water. The lawn and trails have been mowed today.
>
>
> SEPTEMBER 1, FRIDAY. Take off for Virginia. EGYPT ROAD, DORCHESTER
> COUNTY, MD, 10:30-11 A.M., mostly high overcast, NE15+, 65-67, cool (real
> cool, Man). Pretty empty, verging on devoid, not much on the wires: blue
> grosbeak 2, bald eagle 1, eastern kingbird 2, eastern bluebird 4, American
> kestrel 1, turkey vulture 4.
>
>
> BLACKWATER N.W.R., 11 A.M. - 2:10 P.M., overcast, 67-64, NE 10, waters
> high. Forster’s tern 165, Caspian tern 11, laughing gull 78 (only 2
> immatures), osprey just 2, blue-winged teal 14, Virginia rail 2, mourning
> dove 21, rock pigeon 2, gray catbird 1, eastern wood pewee 2, chipping
> sparrow 2, double-crested cormorant 26 (all immatures), bald eagle only 5,
> spotted sandpiper 1, great egret 3, great blue heron 4, European starling
> 35, barn swallow 8, eastern bluebird 4, eastern kingbird 6, blue grosbeak
> 1, red-headed woodpecker 1, bobolink 21, BLACK TERN 1, ring-billed gull
> 13, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN 3, house sparrow 9, Canada goose 4,
> ruby-throated hummingbird 1, red-winged blackbird 38, and brown-headed
> cowbird 4 plus 6 painted turtles.
>
>
> GARGATHA LANDING, ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA, 5:10-5:45 P.M., NE 15, 64 degrees
> F., overcast, tide c. 1.5’> normal high tide and still rising; clapper rail
> 1, tricolored heron 1, laughing gull 95, bald eagle 2, great egret 8,
> double-crested cormorant 12, osprey 1, great blue heron 2, ruby-throated
> hummingbird 2, American kestrel 2, Forster’s tern 1, and bobolink 1 plus 7
> deer incl. a fawn.
>
>
> SEPTEMBER 2, SATURDAY. ESVNWR (RAMP LANE), a brief visit in the early
> morning: laughing gull 180 (just 8 of these immatures), tricolored heron 3,
> snowy egret 2, great egret 2, and mallard 1 plus a baby box turtle. Run
> into Steve Thornhill and his friend here.
>
>
> CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE-TUNNEL, Island 1, 8 A.M. - 1:30 P.M., overcast, NE
> 20 - E or SE 15 declining to 5, 71 degrees F., occasional light drizzle,
> high tide becoming low tide. Bob Anderson, Thuy Tran, HTA. A good, slow,
> thorough look-see. 29 species, complete list:
>
>
> *GREAT SHEARWATER 1* (not THAT rare, but the bird-of-the-day for me, a
> long way from Tristan da Cunha, eh?; seen at 9:42, just off the tapered end
> of the rocks, hence c. 100 yards away, and looking down on it, flying UP
> the Bay; beautiful view; sorry the other 2 folks hadn’t arrived yet), ROCK
> PIGEON *202* (my personal high for here;’ a careful count; 145 initially
> on Island 1, then a series of small flocks arriving out of the north [how
> odd] from the other islands presumably), American oystercatcher 1 (Bob has
> seen as many as 13 here), ruddy turnstone 14 (3 still in breeding plumage),
> sanderling 7, semipalmated sandpiper 2, western sandpiper 1, spotted
> sandpiper 1,
>
>
> LARIDS: laughing gull 315 (steady flight coming out of the north and
> keeping going), ring-billed gull 10, herring gull 9, great black-backed
> gull 25, Caspian tern 9, BLACK TERN 5, common tern 66, Forster’s tern 1,
> royal tern 21, sandwich tern 44 (most hunting in the channel).
>
>
> double-crested cormorant 10, brown pelican 18, great blue heron 1,
> yellow-crowned night heron 2 (1 bedraggled adult, 1 immature), osprey 6,
> belted kingfisher 1, an apparent *Myiarchus* flycatcher 1 (tantalizing;
> not seen well; brief look; RLAn,TT), purple martin 2, tree swallow 31, barn
> swallow 55, and *CAROLINA WREN 1* (singing !!).
>
>
> Also: 2 Loggerhead turtles, 7 dolphins, a large black butterfly, 11 big
> dragonflies. Ships seen: ‘CSL Virginia’ with Limassol (Cyprus) registry
> headed out; ‘Maersk Vallvik’, Singapore headed in; ‘Mol Bravo’, Hong
> Kong, headed out; ‘USNS Gordon’ (U.S. Navy) going out; a trawler ‘Ocean
> Prowler’ going in.
>
>
> Love to see the big ships. Takes me back to 1959 when my classmate Lars
> Egede-Nissen and I were deckhands on the Norwegian freighter ‘Thorsahl’
> (probably I spell this incorrectly; sorry, Lars) going to Tahiti, New
> Caledonia, American and British Samoa, Lae New Guinea, Newcastle and Sydney
> Australia, and Fiji. $44 a month plus 3 squares and a flop. What a trip
> that was!
>
>
> KSP Hawkwatch platform, I’m here 2-5 with Bob, Thuy, Tim Berry, Joe Beatty
> & the inimitable C.V.W.O. hawkcounter, Anna Stunkel. So glad she’s
> returned. Summer tanager, yellow-billed cuckoo, and, best of all, a
> YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER that chooses to forage (doesn’t have to be a
> sycamore or pine) up and down the hawkwatch platform ramp at close range.
> A beauty. Anna counts 52 ospreys today plus 337 eastern kingbirds, and 152
> yellowlegs (bet they are lessers).
>
>
> ESVNWR - RAMP LANE, 5:30-7:30, Bob, Thuy, Anna & me. overcast, rain at
> the end, SE15+, 75 degrees F. A productive visit. A great end to a red
> letter day: eastern kingbird 500 (my confreres think this number is
> considerably too low, but, it’s what I’m gonna go with), clapper rail 4,
> laughing gull 225 (39 are immatures), tricolored heron 20, great egret 60,
> not-so-great egret 40, white ibis 144, merlin 1, American black duck 2,
> Caspian tern 2, osprey 4, northern harrier 1, northern flicker 1, bobolink
> 2, bald eagle 2, great blue heron 3, peregrine falcon 1, seaside sparrow 1,
> brown pelican 12, red-winged blackbird 1 male, and semipalmated plover 1
> plus 3 deer.
>
>
> SEPTEMBER 3, SUNDAY. Start off at the K.S.P. boat ramp where there are at
> least *680 BROWN PELICANS* on the concrete ships at 7:40 A.M., the most
> I’ve ever seen there. Rest of the day on the K.S.P. hawkwatch platform
> with Joe, Bob, Thuy & Anna, 8 A.M. - 5 P.M. Not a lot of hawks this early
> in the year but the company, conversation, and interspersed periods of nice
> silence, are good. Osprey 73, red-breasted nuthatch 1, glossy ibis 17, the
> yellow-throated warbler again, 10 blue-gray gnatcatchers. An osprey lands
> on the T-pole with a small red drum and proceeds to devour it starting with
> the areas around the mouth and head. Pileated woodpecker 1. blue grosbeak
> 2.
>
>
> SEPTEMBER 4, MONDAY (Labor Day). ESVNWR, Ramp Lane, 3 imm. black-crowned
> night herons, laughing gull only 8, clear, calm, a cool 65 degrees F.,
> great egret 1, i.e., not much. Up at the CITGO STATION (Route 13 X
> Townsend Drive), strangely productive c. 100 yards to the west: glossy
> ibis 29, black vulture 18, turkey vulture 14, bobolink 1, herring gull 30,
> and laughing gull 115. These all back by the seafood company on the S side
> of Townsend Dr. No cars here but 7 at Royal Farms, 4 at Sting-Ray’s.
>
>
> Most of the rest of the day at K.S.P. hawkwatch platform with the usual
> crew: Anna counts 30 ospreys, 204 chimney swifts, and 19 RED-HEADED
> WOODPECKERS (but cf. 43 here on September 25, 1966, as listed in the Gold
> Book p. 180). c. 200 barn swallows.
>
>
> RAMP LANE, ESVNWR, a somewhat unproductive visit (as compared with
> September 2), but, let me tell you, so nice to see the nearly full moon
> rising over Smith Island, and looking at the island’s lighthouse through
> the grove of loblolly pines, an adult Bald Eagle sitting on its nest.
> white ibis 34 (only 3 adults), tricolored heron 1, clapper rail 5, green
> heron 1, belted kingfisher 1, snowy egret 15, tree & barn swallow combo c.
> 200, EASTERN KINGBIRD 0, Canada goose 6, great egret 16, ruby-throated
> hummingbird 1, semipalmated plover 1, double-crested cormorant 14, osprey
> 1, royal tern 2, great blue heron 2, peep unIDd 2, laughing gull all of 8,
> and brown pelican 22. 6:45-7:45, clear, SW5, 75 degrees F.
>
>
> SEPTEMBER 5, Bob Anderson keeps me company as I decompress from my
> KIptopeke high by brief visits to several of my ESVA favorite places on the
> way back to Pencil-vain-eye-A. Gull-billed tern singletons at all 3
> spots. BOX TREE (Machipongo): 10:05-10:40, SW15, 79, fair, hazy, mid-tide
> and letting out: - gull-billed tern 1, willet 15, peep unIDd 1, laughing
> gull 165 (all of them adults), herring gull 8, snowy egret 5, spotted
> sandpiper 2, Forster’s tern 3, turkey vulture 1, blue-gray gnatcatcher 2
> (RLAn), eastern kingbird 1. Some nice little patches of joe pye weed in
> the lovely saltmarsh near the tiny little tidal gut just before one gets to
> the road’s end. NASSAWADOX: 1 gray squirrel.
>
>
> WILLIS WHARF, 11:05-noon, 82-84, SW15, clear, tide going out with mud just
> starting to become exposed but a lot of mud by the time we leave.
> Gull-billed tern 1, willet 33, semipalmated plover 1, snowy egret 2, great
> egret 1, Caspian tern 3, Forster’s tern 6, double-crested cormorant 2,
> laughing gull 135, ruddy turnstone 18 (resting on a dock), bald eagle 1
> adult, killdeer 1, belted kingfisher 1, little blue heron 1 immature, rock
> pigeon 2, eastern bluebird 1, green heron 1, and diamondback terrapin 1.
> No marbled godwits yet. A big cinderblock structure going up w/ no
> trespassing signs in front of the post office makes it hard to check out
> the prime areas. Usually I look over the fresh water pond off of Ballard
> Road but not this time.
>
>
> GARGATHA LANDING (NE of Accomac): SW15+, 85-89, fair, low tide and still
> falling, fair. 12:50-1:30. Gull-billed tern 1, clapper rail 6 (good views
> of 2 of these interacting right out in the open), black skimmer 1, barn
> swallow all of 2, spotted sandpiper 2, peep unIDd 1, snowy egret 6, great
> egret 3, semipalmated plover 9, bald eagle 2 (1 ad., 1 imm.), laughing gull
> 30, double-crested cormorant 2, great blue heron 2, tricolored heron 1,
> black-bellied plover 1, greater yellowlegs 1, willet 3, Forster’s tern 1,
> Caspian tern 6, royal tern 1, and little blue heron 1 adult plus buckeye 1
> and red-spotted purple 1. TREHERNEVILLE, the Tyson chicken plant: 2
> immature bald eagles right over the plant. THE BLUE ROUTE outside of
> Philadelphia, a Cooper’s Hawk standing on the paved shoulder within feet of
> thousands of cars roaring by, probably hit and stunned. I should have
> stopped.
>
>
> PLUS CA CHANGE the more it AIN’T the same. RECENT CHANGES AT KIPTOPEKE.
> The huge ROYAL FARMS has been open for a several weeks. Has 12 service
> bays (= 24 sets of gas pumps). A selection of food/drink that makes
> Sting-Ray’s look like a gourmet’s delight. I’m afraid it may “walmart”
> some of the smaller, establishments such as the nearby CITGO station
> (Lankford Truck Plaza) and perhaps even Sting-Ray’s. Loads of cars out
> front in contrast to none at Citgo about the same time and just a few at
> Sting-Ray’s. I stopped in, but who wants to wait behind 6 others at the
> cashier just to get a copy of the Virginian-Pilot? I get mine at Citgo
> since Sting-Ray’s no longer has a V-P dispenser.
>
>
> In recent years 3 defunct motels have re-opened. At Sunset Beach Resort
> there are now 100s of trailers. There’s now an obnoxious commercial food
> and I-don’t-know-what-else establishment at the entrance to Kiptopeke State
> Park on the little triangle of land there, apparently for sale. I’m
> apprehensive about what may happen next in this area to further despoil
> Kiptopeke’s bucolic qualities.
>
>
> CLASSICAL MUSIC STATIONS. My poor impression with how such stations
> report weather is not improved today when I hear “… the overnight high on
> Wednesday will be 50.” The … high? I’ve also heard recently: “We will
> keep you apprised on Hurricane Irma”, and then nothing, instead of just
> saying what is then known about it. In Philadelphia they are even worse
> with traffic reports. I can’t stand Fred Childs’ delivery, sounds so
> patronizing and condescending. Peter Van de Graaff is very precise, often
> playing stuff I’ve never heard by composers I’ve never heard of, sometimes
> with 3 consecutive French pieces. But that’s O.K.
>
>
> When you hear someone identified as being from a specific country and/or
> century you KNOW it will not be a major composer. Some other announcers
> speak in such hushed, sepulchral tones, as if their mere presence might
> offend the listener. Others are in love with the sound of their own voice
> as much as the music. Hard to strike a balance, I guess.
>
>
> Don’t get me wrong … I like Leadbelly, Johnny Cash, the MJQ, Mose Allison,
> Bob Dylan, Brubeck, and others just as much as the high tone stuff.
> Classical stations often say: “Remember, all music was once new.” In the
> case of classical music my response is: “Unfortunately, some of it still
> is.” Give me the old warhorses every time.
>
>
> Best to all. - Harry Armistead, Philadelphia.
>
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--
Rick Borchelt
College Park, MD
preferred personal email: rborchelt |AT| gmail |DOT| com

http://leplog.wordpress.com

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