Date: 5/30/19 7:37 pm
From: Leo Dilling <ltd1600...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Re: Elliott Island Road May 4 & 11, 2019.
On Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 9:05:44 PM UTC-4, Harry Armistead wrote:
> ELLIOTT ISLAND ROAD, May 4 (1st #), May 11 (2nd #), 2019, a segment of the Dorchester County, Maryland, annual spring bird counts. 
> I’m alone both days.   
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> In previous posts for these 2 counts (reporting the results of ALL the observers) there have been details on the weather and areas I covered (that
> is, adjacent areas in addition to EIR per se).  I apologize for getting this out so late.
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> 92 species on May 4, 99 on May 11. 
> May 4,115 mi. by car, 1 on foot.  May 11, 115 mi. by car, 1 on foot. 
> May 4, 4:10 A .M. - 7:10 P.M.  May 11, 4:20 A.M. - 7:20 P.M. 
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> Nothing especially unusual, but the days worth it just for the scenery and the marvelous, marshy habitats.     
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> Canada goose 22 (1 pair with 5 goslings),32 (incl. a pair with 5 downy goslings). 
> wood duck 3,0.  gadwall 2,0 (declining as a local breeder). 
> mallard 14,22.  American black duck 12,14.  green-winged teal 2,1. 
> ruddy duck 165,29 (there are almost always some lingering ruddies on upper Fishing Bay). 
> wild turkey 1,7.  mourning dove 26,24.  chuck-will’s-widow 5,3. 
> chimney swift 11,2.  ruby-throated hummingbird 3,1.  
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> clapper rail 6,3. 
> Virginia rail 6,14.  king rail 1,0.  common gallinule 6,6.
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> black-necked stilt 5,3. 
> black-bellied plover 0,6.  semipalmated plover 1,9. 
> killdeer 0,1.  dunlin 45,110.  least sandpiper 96,50. 
> semipalmated sandpiper 3,40.  short-billed dowitcher 9,6. 
> spotted sandpiper 1,0.  solitary sandpiper 1,0. 
> lesser yellowlegs 32,12.  willet 9,12.  greater yellowlegs 32,18.
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> laughing gull 59,200. 
> ring-billed gull 2,4.  least tern 1,4.  Forster’s tern 7,0. 
> double-crested cormorant 2,2.  least bittern 1,5 (in my
> experience they call much more readily later on in June, as evidenced by the NABBS breeding bird surveys I used to do, surprising to hear so many [4] and to see another well on May 11). 
> great blue heron 24,30 (a few nest in the EIR hammocks).  great egret 1,1. 
> snowy egret 6,2.  green heron 0,1.  
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> black vulture 10,11. 
> turkey vulture 50,55.  osprey 34,45.  northern harrier 4,2. 
> bald eagle 36,38. 
> red-tailed hawk 1,1.  eastern screech-owl 5,1.  
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> belted kingfisher 0,1. 
> red-headed woodpecker 0,1.  red-bellied woodpecker 1,1. 
> downy woodpecker 0,2.  northern flicker 0,1.  pileated woodpecker 1,2. 
> great crested flycatcher 21,40.  eastern kingbird 5,14. 
> eastern wood-pewee 0,3.  Acadian flycatcher 0,1. 
> white-eyed vireo 11,9.  red-eyed vireo 12,11.  
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> blue jay 6,7. 
> American crow 25,25.  fish crow 4,2.  purple martin 13,22 (one farm on Griffith Neck Road has 61 gourds plus 3 large martin houses, public housing for martins). 
> tree swallow 32,65.  barn swallow 65,70.  Carolina chickadee 2,4. 
> tufted titmouse 12,12.  brown-headed nuthatch 2,3. 
> house wren 4,8.  marsh wren 20,15.  Carolina wren 13,12. 
> blue-gray gnatcatcher 2,0.  
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> eastern bluebird 1,7. 
> wood thrush 0,2.  American robin 50,36.  gray catbird 11,13. 
> brown thrasher 4,5.  northern mockingbird 24,16. 
> European starling 90,75.  cedar waxwing 0,1.  house sparrow 3,2. 
> house finch 5,7 (in Vienna).  American goldfinch 0,0 )!!).
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> eastern towhee 7,2. 
> chipping sparrow 17,22.  Savannah sparrow (Elliott Island Road road shoulders) 3,4. 
> grasshopper sparrow 2,0.  seaside sparrow 32,26. 
> saltmarsh sparrow (in precipitous decline) 0,2.  song sparrow 3,3. 
> swamp sparrow 8,6 (local breeders).  
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> eastern meadowlark 0,1. 
> orchard oriole 13,16.  red-winged blackbird 300,300. 
> brown-headed cowbird 11,40.  common grackle 200,125.  boat-tailed grackle 16,10.
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> yellow-breasted chat 0,3. 
> ovenbird 10,7.  worm-eating warbler 1,1.  northern waterthrush 0,1. 
> prothonotary warbler 1,1.  common yellowthroat (and I mean common) 58,55. 
> yellow warbler 1,0.  pine warbler 11,6.  yellow-throated warbler 0,1. 
> summer tanager 10,11.  northern cardinal 22,28. 
> blue grosbeak 16,12.  indigo bunting 3,3. 
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> MY M.O. these 2 days, is to take my sweet time. 
> Much of it I spend cruising at 4-5 m.p.h., all windows down, sun roof open. 
> It is a quiet car and I believe I can hear almost as much this way as when I get out of the car with the motor off.
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> One of the most enjoyable times these 2 days is just sitting for an extended period mid-afternoon in the tattered old folding Coleman chair (a gift
> years ago from Hal & Lynn) on the edge of Transquaking River, scanning for eagles and harriers. 
> But mostly just enjoying the scene: the river, the marshes, the cloud formations, the pure stands of loblolly pines. 
> Anna took pity and gave me a nice new red Coleman chair that I used for the whimbrel watch.
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> For the first time in decades I have no audiolures (tapes or iPod). 
> Consequently I am pleased to hear (and see) as many rails and other marshbirds as I do. 
> I have good looks at 2 Virginia rails, a clapper rail, and a least bittern and hear totals of 6 common gallinules both times. 
> Successfully call up all the screech owls and see one.
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> Nice to see the blooming blue flags (irises) along the edges of the road in ditches or otherwise. 
> Most blooming plants are early this spring hereabouts.
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> NON-AVIAN TAXA: white-tailed deer 10,2. 
> eastern cottontail 0,2.  Cope’s gray tree frog 3,1. 
> diamond-backed terrapin 1,2.  Virginia opossum 2,0.  sika deer 7,11. 
> green frog 6,10.  bullfrog 4,2.  Fowler’s toad 4,0. 
> southern leopard frog 7,3.  gray squirrel 12 (a lot for here; 6 in Vienna),6. 
> fox squirrel 2,0.  black swallowtail 1,0.  tiger swallowtail 2,2. 
> painted turtle 2,2.  cricket frog however many 3 choruses comprise, both days. 
> cabbage white 3,3.  rat snake 1 d.o.r.,0.  tick 1,0. 
> carp 1,loads of them in the tidal pools (carpe diem). 
> unIDd sulphur 0,4.  amber-colored dragonflies (don’t know the species) 60,60 (Kraft Neck Road). 
> box turtle 0,1.  mud turtle 0,1.  question mark 0,1. 
> red fox 0,1 (+ 2 d.o.r., all kits).  snapper turkle 0,1. 
> snakehead 0,1.  red-spotted purple 0,7. 
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> WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? 
> Some 40 years ago, at Baltimore, in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, a man approaches and says he has seen my car at Elliott Island, where he has a 2nd home. 
> Since then, including on May 11 this year, I have seen this fellow at Elliott Island a few times. 
> His name is Bob Burch.  He and his wife and their appealing little dachshund can be seen walking at Elliott village pretty frequently.
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> WHIMBREL WATCH WEEKEND AFTERMATH. 
> My efforts on May 25-26, although that is traditionally JUST the right time of year, may well have been too late in 2019. 
> I’ve gotten wind that 4,600 were seen leaving Box Tree Marsh, Machipongo,
> Virginia, on May 23. 
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> HAPPY NEW YEAR. 
> I get 7 or 8 unsolicited calendars each year.  The first 2020 one arrived May 28 from The Trust for Public Land, a good outfit, but I have never belonged or sent them a contribution.
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> Best to all. - Harry Armistead, Philadelphia.

Harry - Enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for the details. Best to you.

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