Date: 1/25/20 6:06 pm From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...> Subject: [NHBirds] 4th & Longspurs Superbowl Results - 84 Species (193 Points)
Jane and I joined up with Paul Lacourse and Kurk Dorsey for the
"Superbowl of Birding" sponsored by the Joppa Flats Education Center of
Massachusetts Audubon. This is the 17th anniversary for this competitive
event. The event is a fun way of beating the winter cold and getting
out and finding birds in Essex County, MA and Rockingham County, NH.
Our team name is the "New Hampshire 4th and Longspurs". As we have done
in the past years, we participated in the category of "Rockingham
County, NH only". A weighted valuation system determines the winner,
where the rarity of the species determines the number of points
awarded. Nice weather today for the most part. Overcast with easterly
winds not to strong until the end of the day and temps in the upper 30s
and not much snow.
We started the day strong at 5:15 AM with a great Northern Saw-whet Owl
off Love Lane in Rye. Or I should say....the other 3 members of the
team did as my diminished hearing could not pick it out. Despite great
weather, however, we couldn't find any more owls in the Rye and
Portsmouth area. At 6:30 we made a good strategy decision to search for
the Semipalmated Plover. Despite the low light, we finally found it in
the wrack line at Ragged Neck in Rye.
Now.....straight to the Bullock's Oriole.....but NO LUCK. We stayed
there for about 40 minutes until 7:40.....but hardly any birds at the
feeder! We managed a very vocal Pileated, however. We gave up on the
Bullock's so we zipped up to Newmarket, and got the Chipping Sparrow
with remarkable ease. So we worked our way BACK to the Bullock's Oriole
feeder......still no luck. Another wasted 10 minutes. So we headed to
Great Bay, where we had mixed luck. We got an eagle and a distant Mute
Swan, but the scaup flock was not around. Fortunately, we had a single
Greater Scaup for our only one of the day.
We checked some nearby thickets where we got Northern Flicker,
Golden-crowned Kinglet and Yellow-rumped Warblers.....all scouted. Now
back to the Bullock's Oriole and FINALLY GOT IT after about 10 minutes.
We then worked down to Exeter and got the scouted Pine Warbler and Great
Blue Heron and pulled off to the side of busy Route 101 (with Greg
Tillman's team!) and got TWO Red-shouldered Hawks.
We decided at this point to NOT try for the Red-headed
Woodpecker......just too far and too much time. So south to East
Kingston where we dipped on the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Winter Wren,
but scored on the Fox Sparrow on Autumn Lane.
We then headed straight to the coast where we picked up two unexpected
Ravens in Seabrook. Then the Black-belled Plover and adult Glaucous
Gull in Seabrook. The stormy weather was great for alcids and we picked
up the first of 3 or 4 Dovekies. And a BEAUTIFUL breeding plumage
Thick-billed Murre at Great Boar's Head.
From here on JANE CAUGHT FIRE.....she picked out the Dunlins and Purple
Sandpipers that I had missed on the breakwater, she found the only
Horned Grebe and Red-throated Loons for the day and she picked out the
Hermit Thrush and Brown Creeper off Huckleberry Lane in Hampton. We
missed our THREE scouted Towhees and missed another Ruby-crowned
Kinglet, but picked up the Snow Goose in Rye and the scouted Field
Sparrow in Rye. We then shot up to the Black-crowned Night-Heron which
we easily got, but then Jane got the best spot of the day as we were
parked at a red light and she spotted an adult Peregrine Falcon in the
farrrr distance on the Route 1 bridge in Portsmouth. We didn't believe
her until we pulled over and set up a scope to verify the ID!
Off to Pease where we had no luck with the scouted Shrike or American
Kestrel. And then we realized....we STILL DIDN'T HAVE NORTHERN
MOCKINGBIRD!!! Fortunately we found one perched in the thickets of the
Pease Tradeport near Lonza.....at 4:10 PM!
We ended up with a team record tying total of 84 species and won the
DIRECTOR'S CUP!!! We had FOUR 5-pointers ( 3 for 8-pointers!) and THREE
new species for our all-time Superbowl list which now stands at 153!!!
Total list with the day
SNOW GOOSE - Immature bird continues in Wallis Sands Marsh
Canada Goose - Including a group of 24 or so moving south
Mute Swan - 1 distant white blob wayyyyyyy out from Great Bay Discovery
American Black Duck
Greater Scaup - Fortunately 1 male with Canada Geese at Great Bay
Discovery Center. Continuously circling with its head under the
water.....very odd. Couldn't find the big flock.
COMMON x BARROW'S GOLDENEYE - 1 male hybrid continues at Great Bay
Common Merganser - Squamscott River
Red-throated Loon - Barely one at Rye Ledge.
Horned Grebe - Barely one at Great Boar's Head.
Great Blue Heron - One continues off Swazey Park in Exeter.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON - One continues in Portsmouth. Only 4 points,
but a VERY Rare bird for NH in late January.
Turkey Vulture - Lots in Exeter.
NORTHERN HARRIER - 1 off Rt. 286 in Seabrook. A tough bird for us over
the years on Superbowls.
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 near Bullock's Oriole.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK - 2 adults near each other along the side of Rt. 101.
Peregrine Falcon - Amazing find by Jane of adult perched on the Sarah
Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER - Great overwintering bird before at twilight at
Ragged Neck in Rye.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER - Continuing bird at Hampton Harbor inlet south
Sanderling - Hampton Beach
Purple Sandpiper - Hampton Beach breakwater
Dunlin - Hampton harbor inlet breakwater (north side). Two birds with
Great Black-backed Gull
THICK-BILLED MURRE - Beautiful breeding plumage bird in water and flying
close by at Great Boar's Head.
Razorbill - Two INSIDE Hampton harbor inlet breakwaters.
DOVEKIE - Probably 3 or 4 for the day. Our fist EVER for the
Superbowl. One or two around Hampton Harbor inlet. Two more at Pulpit
Rocks in Rye.
NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL - One squeaking several times pre-dawn off Love
Lane in Rye. Heard by everyone on the team but me. :-(
Common Raven - Nice save of 2 birds flying overhead at American Legion
hall in Seabrook.....but no Winter Wren.
Brown Creeper - We've had none this year so VERY happy to find one with
the Hermit Thrush off Huckleberry Lane in Hampton.
Golden-crowned Kinglet - Several from several spots.
Hermit Thrush - Scouted bird off Huckleberry Lane in North Hampton.
Northern Mockingbird - Amazingly only ONE for the day......and not until
Yellow-rumped Warbler - Two INLAND in Greenland. A good winter for New
PINE WARBLER - One of two continue at Haye's Mobile Home Park in Exeter.
American Tree Sparrow
CHIPPING SPARROW - TWO continue and quickly found off Maple Street in
Newmarket. The only two (and the only sighting) in both NH and MA for
FIELD SPARROW - One continues off Frontier Road in Rye.
Savannah Sparrow - One at Stewart Farm in Stratham.
FOX SPARROW - One continues off Autumn Lane in East Kingston.
Swamp Sparrow - One off RR Tracks marsh in Greenland off Great Bay Road.
Snow Bunting - Nice flock continues at Hampton Beach SP
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE - Amazing bird in Stratham continues. BUT IT TOOK US
3 VISITS and nearly an hour of waiting to get it!!
No luck with the following recent birds:
Brant - Had 3 off Seabrook Beach on Thursday.
Black Guillemot - Too rough to find birds on the ocean.
Belted Kingfisher - Couldn't find ANY!
Eastern Screech-Owl - Usually we get one, but no luck this morning
despite excellent conditions for owling.
TREE SWALLOWS - Didn't search too hard. I think the 2 in Seabrook are
officially gone. Hopefully they found a bigger patch of bayberry nearby
as the Starlings seem to have cleared out the fruit in the Seabrook Back
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Searched for 3 of our scouted birds, but no luck.
Winter Wren - Searched for 2 of our scouted birds, but no luck.
Cedar Waxwing - They've been in short supply for us this winter.
Eastern Towhee - Searched for 3 of our scouted birds, but no luck.
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER - Didn't try for the one in Burley Farm due to the
WESTERN TANAGER - I think the one on North Hampton is no officially
missing and the one in Plaistow was too far.