Date: 11/23/19 5:41 am From: Joe Hanfman <auk1844...> Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Leconte's Sparrow - Conquest Preserve QA Co. 11-21-2019
Thanks Dan. The LeConte’s Sparrow is showing nicely in your same spot. Several photos. Very nice ones by Suzette.
> On Nov 21, 2019, at 5:43 PM, Dan Small <small.m.dan...> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> I was lucky enough to find and photograph a Leconte's Sparrow at Conquest Preserve in Queen Anne's County today.
> See my eBird checklist for photos and a map of it's location - https://ebird.org/checklist/S61628301.
> eBird hotspot info - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L9379112 >
> This is a good opportunity to let the birding community know about this property that I don't think many people know about. Conquest Preserve is located west of Centreville along Conquest Rd between the Chester River and the Corsica River. It is a county owned property that was farmed up until a couple of years ago. Currently, Washington College and Partners for Fish and Wildlife are working with county staff to create wildlife habitat in addition to open space for public passive recreation. Restoration plans include around 125 acres of grasslands, 35 acres of wetlands and 45 acres of afforestation. The wetlands and the trees will be planted next year, but the large grasslands spread out around the property look amazing and there are lots of grassland dependent birds using them. I would estimate that there are currently about 400-500 acres of open grassland/fallow habitat.
> This is a large property with walking and horse riding trails, though they are not yet clearly marked so be prepared to explore. In addition to the habitat mentioned above, there are also freshwater wetlands (though some of them are currently dry), tidal wetlands, beach, wood lots and lots of scruby edge along the fields, i.e. a ton of good birding options
> This is and will be a great place to bird. Rich Mason found a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher this summer at the preserve, there were loads of Grasshopper Sparrows nesting there as well as several Northern Bobwhite calling this summer. I bet there will be Short-eared Owls in addition to loads of Northern Harriers this winter and it is perfect shrike habitat. I'll be working with the county to put up Kestrel and Barn Owl boxes this winter (if anyone would like to donate money or box material please email me).
> It would great if more people birded this property as it would show the county that creating and maintaining grassland habitat is not only beneficial for wildlife but there is also community support behind projects like this.
> Dan Small
> Chestertown, MD
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