Date: 1/1/19 7:35 pm From: William Hohenstein via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [VA-bird] Chincoteague and Cape Charles CBC -- Bar Tailed Godwit and Ipswich Sparrows
Hi folks, Sorry about the long post... Several interesting things to cover.... and two flickr albums linked.
I spent the post-Christmas through New Year's day at Chincoteague and participated in two CBCs (Chincoteague and Cape Charles).
For those headed down -- the Chincoteague Refuge is open but facilities are closed. Park Police still patrol and the automatic gate on the Wildlife Loop still functions.
A Bar Tailed Godwit was seen on 12/31 and 1/1. In the flats of Tom's Cove South of the South lot and behind the South Lot. I observed it on four separate occasions. This morning a couple had brought their Labrador Retriever out to the beach and it was running wild South of the lots, chasing shorebirds including the godwit -- not great. I'm hoping the Park Police gave them a good talking to....
Despite this, the godwit was found later feeding carefree with some willets. One thing to note, I did not see the Bar Tailed associating with the Marbled Godwits -- rather each time I saw it, it was with willets or dunlin. Also, I never saw it in Swan's Cove - only in Tom's Cove. Photos and videos of the godwit are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73831614@N00/albums/72157705230723354
Ipswich Sparrows: My son Tyler and I spent some time looking for Ipswich Savannah Sparrows. There is a banding project underway. on 12/31 and 1/1 we found 9 including 7 (possibly 8) banded ones behind the south parking lot. Interestingly, I did not see any Ipswich during the CBC in the dunes further up the beach. Virtually all of the ones we found were in the areas behind the South lot. Photos and videos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73831614@N00/albums/72157677214295238
The Chincoteague CBC was held on 12/29. I covered section 3b between the C Dike and North Wash Flats. I managed to see 62 species including Merlin, Common Goldeneye, and BW Teal. Lots and lots of Yellow Rumped Warblers. I ended up walking the length (35,470 steps -- quite a day. My penance for missing the DC CBC -- Sorry Larry).
I had the pleasure to join Teta Kain the next day to cover the South Townsend Section of the Cape Charles CBC. I woke up early and traveled the 70 miles down to Stingrays before sunup. Teta and I found 50 species in our little slice of heaven. I owe Teta our tally sheet but gave my only copy to Harry Armstead. I'll track it down for you. Highlights included Hermit Thrush, Tree Swallow, an Orange Crowned Warbler and Western Sandpiper.