Date: 5/13/18 11:06 am From: 'Bill Hubick' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> Subject: [MDBirding] 2018 IBA Birdathon
Thanks to everyone who supported the 2018 IBA Birdathon. There's still time to make a donation to the IBA program and support Dave Curson and Co. on the front lines of regional bird habitat conservation. Donate here if you can - https://mailchi.mp/audubon/please-sponsor-our-2018-birdathon
This year's team was John Hubbell (first-time member), Bill Hubick, Mikey Lutmerding, and Dan Small. Dave Curson and Matt Hafner couldn't make it and were definitely missed! We tallied 212 species in 24 hours, just two shy of the Maryland big day record and one shy of our best IBA Birdathon total (213 in 2014). So I think it's fair to say we just enjoyed the third best 24 hours of Maryland birding ever - at least it certainly felt that way to us!
We ran a bold new noon-to-noon route that started in Somerset Co. (instead of Dorchester Co.), abandoning most traditional nighttime stops and totally shuffling previous western Maryland routes. OK, that part isn't anything new - we mess with that route every year. We had great conditions up until the very end, missed almost no easy birds (worst misses were maybe Gadwall, Cooper's Hawk, Piping Plover, Sora), and did great with lingering birds and migrants. I'm left with a feeling that 214 is almost impossible based on the insanely good days we had this weekend and in 2014, where nearly everything imaginable came together and we were still just shy. The record of 214 remains a worthy and ridiculous target, but it will fall eventually. :) So here's a little golf clap for that crew and their 2002 record (Jim Stasz, Marshall Iliff, Matt Hafner, Andrew Farnsworth). You can keep it another year. :) And even when we beat it, I guess, because you'll say our weird noon-to-noon days don't count. Fair enough, but noon-to-noon is fun and maximizes birding time.
Our rarest finds were TWO WHITE-FACED IBIS, one along Green Dumpster Road at Deal Island WMA in Somerset Co. and one at North Vaughn in Worcester Co., as well as a REEVE (female RUFF) at Figgs Landing in Worcester Co. There were exceptional numbers of shorebirds at Deal and really good concentrations at Truitts Landing and Figgs Landing in Worcester. Those sites deserve maximum attention right now, which is nearly always the case this time of year. Night migration was very good in the mountains, highlighted by our best night flights ever of BLACK-BILLED and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOs.
Here are some of our passage migrants and less expected species: TUNDRA SWAN, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER SCAUP, SURF SCOTER, BLACK SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GALLINULE, RED KNOT, STILT SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, BONAPARTE'S GULL, NORTHERN GANNET, BROWN PELICAN, AMERICAN BITTERN, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (increasing as a breeder in Garrett), GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, PINE SISKIN, TENNESEE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, NELSON'S SPARROW, SALTMARSH SPARROW, and DICKCISSEL. 30 warbler species! See eBird for any specifics - we're all caught up with data entry.
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