Date: 5/24/19 7:38 am From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...> Subject: [NHBirds] NH Big Day (155 Species, 24 species of warblers!)
Yesterday, Jane and I challenged ourselves with a "Big Day" effort to
try to see as many species of birds that we can in a single day. I've
done these just about every year for over 30 years! Lots of fun. This
year, we did pretty well with the expected species (but with some
glaring misses!) and ended up with 155 species. My highest counts for
the State are 170 on 5/28/97 (with Pam Hunt and Dan and Al Strong), 164
on 5/23/09, 163 on 5/24/96.
Our itinerary was very similar to a new route we pioneered last year.
We started in Salem at about 2:30 AM where we quickly got Virginia Rail
and Sora before driving up to Concord where we easily got a nice chorus
of Whip-poor-wills and a couple of Woodcock. From there, we drove
northward to Hazen/Airport Road in Whitefield where we birded at dawn
along the road and the Airport Marsh area. We picked up lots of birds
in this area before heading back south to Trudeau Road where the key
finds were Dark-eyed Junco and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. From there we
drove back south directly to the Concord Airport and got lots of new
birds. At this point we made a detour from last year's route and headed
to Abe Emerson Marsh where we FAILED TO FIND the Trumpeter Swan despite
a lot of time walking around the edge of the marsh. Consolation was a
few good woodland species and lots of warblers. Because we were behind
schedule, we skipped Pawtuckaway SP completely. One again, we headed to
Newmarket where we dipped on the Kites and wasted some more time! Argh!
Then we headed directly to the coast (and skipped Exeter area). We
worked the coast from south to north and finished at Pease Tradeport and
Surrey Lane Marsh in Durham.
We ended up with 155 species which is slightly above average. We did
well with warblers and ended with 24 species, which is up there with my
highest daily count ever, and included LOTS OF "SPRUCE BUDWORM"
WARBLERS. At least 5 Cape May Warblers around Pondicherry, and
scattered, but numerous Bay-breasted Warblers....and it seemed Jane was
constantly yelling at me "ANOTHER TENNESSEE SINGING" as we drove some
back roads around Concord and Londonderry. But we had nothing terribly
rare for the day. Weather was nice in the morning with calm winds cool
temperatures, but by the time we got to the coast it was more difficult
with a haze and strong south winds offshore. This improved a bit with
some cloud cover and a shifting wind. We managed most of the lingering
sea ducks and a Guillemot, Gannet, and lingering Red-necked Grebe.
Total List - 155 Species
American Black Duck
Black Scoter - LOTS still along coast.
Common Merganser - Several at Airport Marsh.
RED-NECKED GREBE - 1 lingering at Little Boar's Head.
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO - 1 at Tuttle Swamp in Newmarket.
COMMON NIGHT-HAWK - 3 in Durham including 2 at dusk over Surrey Lane Marsh.
Eastern Whip-poor-will - Morning chorus at Karner Blue easement in Concord.
Virginia Rail - 3 at Geremonty Road marsh in Salem
Sora - 3 at Geremonty Road marsh in Salem. Fantastic response at 2:30 AM!
Upland Sandpiper - One heard and seen at Pease Tradeport.
American Woodcock - Concord area.
Wilson's Snipe - One at Airport Marsh.
Solitary Sandpiper - 10 (!!) for the day. 3 in marsh in Whitefield. 7
at Great Bay Farm!
BLACK GUILLEMOT - 1 breeding plumage off Little Boar's Head.
Laughing Gull - 2 flybys at Concord Point.
Great Black-backed Gull
Least Tern - A few including two on Meadow Pond.
ROSEATE TERN - 3 flying together off Hampton Harbor inlet.
NORTHERN GANNET - Adult or near adult off Seabrook Beach picked out by Jane.
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron - 1st summer bird on Meadow Pond.
Bald Eagle - A couple for the day including one adult over Concord Airport.
Large Owl sp. - I flushed a large owl (almost certainly a Great Horned)
at Ame Emerson Marsh in Candia.
American Kestrel - 1 at Concord Airport, but no other falcons.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 1 singing at Trudeau Road.
Great Crested Flycatcher
Purple Martin - MISSED the martins at Cross Beach, but got two at the
gourds at Awcomin Marsh!
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Golden-crowned Kinglet - Trudeau Road.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - One at Pondicherry trailhead.
Swainson's Thrush - Jane only. She heard one as we pulled over to the
side of I93 to scope Black Bear on slopes of Canon. Because of my ears,
I couldn't hear it. :-(
VESPER SPARROW - 1 on fence at Concord Airport. Not singing.
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW - 1 singing at Concord Airport. None at Pease.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW - 1 (dark lored) adult at Great Bay Farm.
Dark-eyed Junco - Trudeau Road.
Eastern Meadowlark - 1 at Pease.
Louisiana Waterthrush - Oyster River in Durham only.
Northern Waterthrush - Trudeau Road only.
Blue-winged Warbler - Tuttle Swamp only.
Black-and-white Warbler - Only a couple!
TENNESSEE WARBLER - LOTS. Perhaps 6.
CAPE MAY WARBLER - 5 or so in Pondicherry area.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER - LOTS. Perhaps 8 total from several locations.
Blackpoll Warbler - LOTS
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler - Just one at Trudea Road.
Wilson's Warbler - Just one at marsh in Whitefield.
Trumpeter Swan - Someone had it yesterday, but we searched everywhere
with no luck.
Mississippi Kite - Had my first in Newarket the day before, but none today.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Quiet for this species up north!
Red-breasted Merganser - Had some yesterday. None today.
Brant - Pam had some yesterday, and Jane and I had more the day before!