FERRY NECK & BLACKWATER N.W.R., OCTOBER 26-28, 2019. Liz & Harry Armistead.
OCTOBER 26, SATURDAY. At the little, square pond on the east side of Route 309 (just north of 309 X 404) is a great egret, where I’ve never seen one before. On our return Oct. 28 there are 2.
RIGBY’S FOLLY, Talbot County, arrive at 1:36, mostly overcast, east 10, 65-69, 3.5” in the rain gauge since Oct. 15, the drought is definitely over, well over:
mallard 18, royal tern 1, Forster’s tern 1, eastern phoebe 1, bald eagle 3, turkey vulture 22, black vulture 4, northern harrier 2, red-tailed hawk 1, red-shouldered hawk 1, sharp-shinned hawk 1, Cooper’s hawk 1, wild turkey 1, common loon 7, great blue heron 1, Canada goose only 18, and laughing gull 95.
NON-AVIAN TAXA: gray squirrel 4 (plus singles down towards Benoni Point and up Anderby Hall road), 2 deer (3 does and a buck), monarch 21, Fowler’s toad 1, and cabbage white 1. Nice to see this many monarchs, all in southbound flight).
OCTOBER 27, SUNDAY. guided birding tour at BLACKWATER, 7:30-noon (actual tour from 8 - 11:45), low 60s - 70, SE20-35+, rain off and on, a deluge with strongest winds at 11:30 for half an hour. tidal waters high, fresh waters low In view of the jumpy forecast and poor conditions today we are surprised ANYONE shows. windy & wet but warm.
6 participants: Harry & Liz Armistead, Tom Cimino, Maury Epner, Deborah Fox, Chris Sorge. complete list (some found before or after the official tour, or else nearby but not on the refuge):
double-crested cormorant 21 immatures (at Sewards on the defunct Christmas tree reef), Canada goose 225, great blue heron 3, great egret 2, tundra swan 3, American black duck 1, mallard 70, northern shoveler 4 (2 pairs), turkey vulture 8, red-tailed hawk 1, bald eagle 12 (several right at their nests), northern harrier 1, ruby-crowned kinglet 1, KING RAIL (LA; heard giving its steady, metronomic, “kick, kick, kick, kick, kick … “ call), American kestrel 1. black vulture 2, greater yellowlegs 5, Wilson’s snipe 1, laughing gull 60, ring-billed gull 70,
great black-backed gull 1 adult (Cambridge), herring gull 5, Forster’s tern 17, mourning dove 3, northern flicker 5, downy woodpecker 1 (in Phragmites), eastern phoebe 1, hermit thrush 1, myrtle warbler 7, red-winged blackbird 1,000 mas o menos, eastern meadowlark 8, Carolina wren 2, cedar waxwing 4, northern cardinal 2, American crow 6, Carolina chickadee 3, swamp sparrow 1, northern mockingbird 1, song sparrow 1, Savannah sparrow 4, chipping sparrow, eastern bluebird 11, and European starling 300 (mostly along Egypt Road).
NON-AVIAN TAXA: fox squirrel 3, gray squirrel 1, white-tailed deer 1 doe and 1 8-point buck, common watersnake (on the drive pavement, alive, right next to a dead 1-foot-long eel), southern leopard frog, an unIDd frog on the road, probably another southern leopard frog. The warmth and abundant precipitation stimulates some herps to make an appearance today.
back at RIGBY’S FOLLY: SW10+, clearing, cove waters 1’> normal high tide, 68-73, becoming calm and clear with a perfect sunset, NO clouds, but no green flash:
laughing gull 200, sharp-shinned hawk 1, bald eagle 1, common loon 1, bufflehead 11 (FOS), surf scoter 21 (FOS), brown thrasher 4 (giving their dusk call, 6:24-6:31). NON-AVIAN TAXA: gray squirrel 3 (very vocal at day’s end, singin’ their li’l hearts out), monarch 2, diamond-backed terrapin 1, Fowler’s toad 1, white-tailed deer 7. 0.6” additional rain fell last night and this morning. A lot of standing water in the fields. That makes 3.1” since October, 15.
OCTOBER 28, MONDAY. Mostly from our dock 8:45-9:30 A.M., after which we leave for Philadelphia: Forster’s tern 49 (probably missed some earlier ones; circa the 7th or 8th highest total for here, but 204, September 7, 1996, in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran. Today’s 49 are an actual flight up Irish Creek, with a lot of plunge-diving; the 100 or so laughing gulls are headed the same way). All our previous FOTE highs are in the Sept. to early November stretch.
bald eagle 1 adult, common loon 4, Canada goose 80, double-crested cormorant 1, turkey vulture 12, great blue heron 1, eastern phoebe 1, and common grackle 5 (the only ones seen this period).
Also: gray squirrel 4 and red fox 1. clear, NW5+, 58 degrees F. cool. I mean real cool, man, like Miles Davis in his album ‘Birth of the Cool’. Can you dig it?