Date: 8/1/20 8:37 am
From: Dorsey, Kurk <Kurk.Dorsey...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Little Blue Heron/Acadian/Red Crossbill/Saltmarsh Sparrow in Durham 5 MR
My morning dog walk to the Woodridge Playing fields was a success (I returned with as many dogs and squeaky balls as I had when I left). There were also a few surprising birds, with a staccato-drumming sapsucker as the biggest plus, followed by a white-throated sparrow and RB nuthatch.

With that good start, I headed back to Oyster River Forest, where the walk in was what one might expect for August in terms of birds. The Acadian was in the same spot, squeaking away from the little rill that runs under the bridge and into the river out in the big field. The walk out was fantastic. I stopped to listen to what I first thought was a Canada Warbler but then concluded was more likely a Chestnut-sided that was not quite sure of its lyrics, when I heard a distant duet of great-horned owls (after 8 AM in August--very strange--must be college birds pulling an owl-nighter) and the kip-kipping of a lone Red Crossbill.

Gile Road Marsh in Lee was very birdy, but the Acadian there was not calling. I did catch a gimpse of a flycatcher near its original spot, but I didn't get a good enough look to be sure it was the Acadian. So it might still be there. Other than having 2 RB nuthatches there, the highlight was hearing some really loud, bad music (think Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock done really incompetently) from down Gile Road. At one point the music stopped and a flood of cursing followed; I am really curious whether that was the musician or the neighbors, but I'm betting the neighbors. Actually, the river otter there was probably a better highlight (and a better guitarist).

I then went down to Lubberland Creek in Newmarket to see what was in the saltmarsh. One saltmarsh sparrow sang once, and a greater yellowlegs dropped in, but by far the most memorable part was the swarm of mosquitoes that escorted me to and from the marsh. I think I know where the Pawtuckaway insects have gone for vacation.

Finally, Surrey Lane Marsh had an immature Little Blue Heron along with a mob of killdeer and a few other common shorebirds. The Great Egrets seem to have gone to Phil's neighborhood.

Kurk Dorsey

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