A gorgeous day to explore a couple of my core areas here in Penacook. Tomorrow's weather forecast had me shift the Penacook Survey from tomorrow morning to today (warmer and WAY less wind), and it netted a respectable 46 species for mid-October (6 more than last weekend). The nightlight was a nice Tennessee Warbler near the Thirty Pines retention pond, with runners up of a late Northern Parula (a lot of those lingering this fall) and my first of fall American Tree Sparrow. Sparrow numbers were down compared to the last two surveys - or they were all in places I wasn't. An Eastern Phoebe on The Island was another nice bonus, and getting toward the late side for Concord.
After some mid-day commitments I spent the 1.5 hours before sunset at Morrill's Farm (would have liked to have gotten there earlier), where the highlights were shorebirds. There was one each of Pectoral, Solitary (getting pretty late), and Semipalmated (unusual inland), and at least three Killdeer in the cornfields. There could easily have been more of the latter, but I didn't have time to walk the fields before it got dark. Lots of White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows along with the generally expected Songs and White-throats, and the bonus passerine was a Blackpoll Warbler (5th warbler species for the day!!). A Peregrine Falcon and 260+ crows heading to roost rounded out the highlights.
This email is serving double duty as the first official reminder to interested parties that in TWO WEEKS we will be convening for the 11th annual Concord November Challenge! This exciting event is like a Christmas Bird Count but restricted to the city of Concord, and taking place over two days (Nov 3-4 this year). Our goal is to find as many species as possible within the city limits on the first full weekend in November, and our current record is 93. Birders of all skill levels are welcome to participate, but I ask that interested parties let my know they want to help ASAP. This makes it a lot easier to spread people out among the key birding areas and ensure that newbies get paired up with veterans. We tend to hit things pretty hard Saturday morning, and then gather for a group lunch to see what we found. The afternoon and Sunday are then spent looking for still-missing species and searching areas no one's been to let. If interested, feel free to drop me an email!