Date: 4/26/18 9:41 am
From: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Ferry Neck & Route 481, April 21-24, 2018.
FERRY NECK & ROUTE 481, APRIL 21-24, 2018. Shad Bush, resurgent cottontails, 4 tern species.

APRIL 21, SATURDAY. Queen Annes County, Route 481, a nice group west of Route 481 & south of Hope: ring-billed gull 550, laughing gull 10, Bonaparte’s gull 12, Caspian tern 1 (resting on the ground with the gulls), and an adult bald eagle nearby, also on the ground.

Rigby’s Folly, Ferry Neck, Talbot County, arrive at 4 P.M., clear but hazy, 63-55 degrees F., SW 5 m.p.h., low tide, visibility excellent, out at Lucy Point, 4:30-7:00 P.M.:

surf scoter 620, bufflehead 45 (compare with 400 as late as April 20, 1984), horned grebe 8, common loon 8, osprey 6, bald eagle 1 adult, ruddy duck 19, Bonaparte’s gull 1 immature, Forster’s tern 7, Canada goose 2, lesser scaup 70, double-crested cormorant 11, herring gull 9, gull unIDd 22. Nice scoter count, but compare to 2,250 on April 15, 1990 and 2,560 on April 13, 1990.

Northern gannet 0 the entire visit, the first year since 1986 I haven’t seen them here in the spring, no doubt because I was overseas during their wheelhouse period of March 26-April 13. The late date here is April 27 so there’s still a slim chance. It WAS nice to see some gleaming white adults on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in southwest Iceland, back on April 13 near their breeding colony offshore on Eldey rock.

From our dock c. 7:15 P.M.: horned grebe 7, common loon 1, ruddy duck 24, Forster’s tern 2, greater yellowlegs 1 (hunting from the little point west of the dock, that I hereby designate, for the first time, as Poplar Point). There are 2 osprey nests on very rickety structures in Poplar Cove. The Taj Mahal platform we had erected at great expense has an, ugh, Canada goose incubating on it.

Ten deer in Field 1. Two gray squirrels. There is 2.2” in the rain gauge; I doubt there has been much evaporation in the interim since we were last here March 19. It’s SO good to be back.

APRIL 22, SUNDAY. Fairly good effort all day on the place. 50 species. Clear becoming mostly overcast, 54-68, E5 becoming SW 10-15. Complete list:

common loon 8, horned grebe 14, double-crested cormorant 15, snowy egret 1, green heron 1, great blue heron 0, Canada goose 4, surf scoter 200, ruddy duck 4, bufflehead 4, turkey vulture 13, black vulture 4, red-tailed hawk 3, osprey 18, bald eagle 6, killdeer 1, greater yellowlegs 1, laughing gull 4, Bonaparte’s gull 5, herring gull 4, Forster’s tern 7, mourning dove 3, chimney swift 4, red-bellied woodpecker 1, downy woodpecker 1, northern flicker 1, hairy woodpecker 1,

eastern kingbird 1 (breaks previous earliest date here by 1 day), tree swallow 3, barn swallow 5, purple martin 2, American crow 4, fish crow 1, Carolina chickadee 2, tufted titmouse 1, Carolina wren 2, brown thrasher 3, northern mockingbird 1, eastern bluebird 2, European starling 2, blue-gray gnatcatcher 1, ruby-crowned kinglet 1, myrtle warbler 3, common grackle 12, red-winged blackbird 4, brown-headed cowbird 2, American goldfinch 1, swamp sparrow 2, chipping sparrow 1 (seen and heard singing), white-throated sparrow 11, northern cardinal 4.

NON-AVIAN TAXA: gray squirrel 4, eastern cottontail 5, raccoon 1 at dusk feeding on the corn on the driveway out front. In the past couple of years rabbits have once again become a common sight. For an extended period prior to this they were hardly ever seen. Before that at least as common as they now, happily, are.

Two turkey vultures in Field 1 joined by 6 others. huddled together, apparently drinking.

Bellevue, 3:45 P.M., common loon 2, least tern 3, gray squirrel 1.

APRIL 23, MONDAY. asterisk, *, indicates species not seen yesterday. From the dock, 9:15-9:45, house sparrow* 2 (investigating an osprey nest; often they nest within an osprey nests’s sides), American robin* 1, blue jay* 4, bald eagle 4 adults, common loon 3, bufflehead 6, green heron 1, snowy egret 1, barn swallow 4, common grackle 6, laughing gull 1, American crow 1, Canada goose 6, mourning dove 2, turkey vulture 6, and osprey 8.

Elsewhere: long-tailed duck 3, bufflehead 32, surf scoter 100, Forster’s tern 6, common tern* 2, white-throated sparrow 11, Cooper’s hawk* 2 (in migration, up high), common loon 10, and Liz sees a great blue heron*. Seen from Lucy Point: 24 angling boats, 4 pleasure boats, and a skipjack. I get stuck in the mud and water in Field 4 and John Swaine comes to my rescue.

NON-AVIAN, mostly, TAXA: 8 deer (does) and 2 wild turkeys* in Field 4. eastern cottontail 4, gray squirrel 4 (including 1 “snowshoes variant”).

APRIL 24, TUESDAY. 53 degrees on the old Fahrenheit scale, E 10-15, overcast, cool, Kelly Kennedy and crew come to cut the lawn and (partially, due to obstructions, windfalls) the trails at 7:38 A.M. Always cheerful, do a great job. From the dock: common loon 6, horned grebe 9. 11 white-throated sparrows at the feed and a group of 30 on the drive by Field 4 = 41. Leave at 9 for a breakfast at Denny’s, worth it just for their delicious hash browns.

ROUTE 481: Another big gull flock, 300 ringbills, 200 laughings, and a Bonaparte’s plus 50 starlings, 60 red-winged blackbirds, a sharp-shinned hawk, 2 bald eagles, and an American kestrel. Most of these, especially the gulls, are following 2 enormous disking rigs.

CHESAPEAKE BAY MAGAZINE, May 2018, pages 34-43, a good profile of my friend, George Reiger - conservationist, author, hunter, angler - with 6 photographs, written by Bill Sterling. I think they got most of it right. “ … every man should have one great woman and one great dog in his life. I have been fortunate to have both.” His Wanderer on my native shore was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Best to all. - Harry Armistead, Philadelphia.

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