(see page 111 - large PDF document - DON'T PRINT!)
A copy of your 27 Jun 2009 email, which provided the details for this record, is shown below, in blue.
As you noted, your sighting was recorded in The Season report (Jul-Sep 1960), edited by Chan Robbins in Maryland Birdlife 16(4):92-97: "a Red-cockaded Woodpecker was still in its nesting area near Golden Hill on Sept. 17 (Armistead)." (page 96).
Hope this helps and thanks for your continued support!
From: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...> To: Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> Subject: [MDBirding] Eastern Shore, September 16-18, 1960. Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2020 19:11:59 +0000
OLD CHECKLIST CARDS UNEARTHED, Eastern Shore, September 16-18, 1960. Hadn't seen these in many years. Many.
September 16, a 13-hour effort working Hooper's Island, Blackwater N.W.R., and ending at Elliott Island Road. That was a GOOD day. I'll enter it in eBird soon. Highlights among the 115 species include:
September 17, Hooper's & Taylor's islands and Golden Hill. Red-cockaded woodpecker 1, Golden Hill, a the site where an occupied nesting cavity had recently been found (but the Maryland Birdlife article on this breeding record is not cited in either MD breeding bird atlas; I don't have these atlases here today in Pennsylvania; they are in Maryland; I will 2X check this assertion over Labor Day Weekend; if it is incorrect I will say so, and apologize, in a later posting.).
Soon afterwards the woods at Golden Hill were lumbered. I go past there several times a year and always think of the woodpeckers. cf. Maryland Birdlife, v. 14, no. 3, pp. 63-68, 1958, "Nesting of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Maryland", by Robert E. Stewart, the nest site visited by Stewart, Chan Robbins, Brooke Meanley, Sam Dyke, and Paul Springer in June 1958. Golden Hill is at Route 335 only a few miles south of where Blackwater refuge's Wildlife Drive ends at Route 335
Best to all. - Harry Armistead, Bellevue, MD, and Philadelphia, PA.
From: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...> To: Phil Davis <pdavis...> CC: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...> Subject: Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Golden Hill, MD, September 17, 1960. Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 16:44:24 +0000
RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER AT GOLDEN HILL, DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND, SEPTEMBER 17, 1960.
For what it is worth, nearly a half-century after the fact, here is information on this sighting. In connection with preparing a tribute to the late M. Brooke Meanley, which I will submit to Maryland Birdlife, I obtained RCWO information from Phil Davis (for MD) and some from VA from Bill Williams. This prompted me, for the first time in many years, to review my old checklists and notes to determine when I had seen one of the Golden Hill RCWOs.
I saw a Red-cockaded Woodpecker here on the morning of September 17, 1960.* My field notes indicate I was in the area (Taylor’s Island, Hoopers Island, and Golden Hill) between 6:15 and 11 A.M., finding 62 species, after which I left for Ocean City, MD. I do remember distinctly seeing a black-and-white barred woodpecker in between the size of a Downy and a Hairy with the large, clear white patch on the sides of its head. There was no conspicuous red patch above the nape such as a male Downy or Hairy would have. I did not see the red cockade, and made no effort to, being satisfied with the view I had (c. 100 yards in good light with 8X binoculars), but I understand this is hard to see even under ideal circumstances. I have no record on whether this RCWO made any vocalizations. I think not.
* Maryland Birdlife, vol. 16, no. 4, December 1960, p. 96, “the Season,” [July, August, September 1960] Chandler S. Robbins: “As many as 3 adult Red-headed Woodpeckers, probably transients, were found at Hoopers Island on Sept. 16, and a Red-cockaded Woodpecker was still in its nesting area near Golden Hill on Sept. 17 (Armistead).”
My only previous experience (then) with RCWO was seeing several individuals in Florida on a motor trip in late summer 1959 with Gordon W. Chaplin, a high school friend. Short of age-regression hypnosis (!?), that is all I remember at this time (June 27, 2009). But because of the uniqueness of this species in Maryland this made a lasting impression on me.
Earlier I had obtained precise information on the location of the 1958 RCWO active nest cavity (MDDCRC MD/1997-606). I don’t remember who gave me this. It may have been Dick Kleen (who probably would have gotten it from Chan Robbins) or else I may have gotten it directly from Chan. I finally got around to visiting this site on Sept. 17, 1960, parked, and walked in a short way west of Route 335 (a few 100 yards north of the junction of Routes 335 & 336) through the Loblolly Pine forest that is just southwest of the South Dorchester Elementary and Middle School (Dorchester County ADC Atlas, Map 28, coordinates F11 & F12). I think this was called the Spicer Tract. Soon after 1960, or perhaps even later in that year, this forest was logged. Occasionally I lead field trips through here and when driving through tell the participants to observe the appropriate solemnities as we pass slowly by with our 4-way blinkers flashing.
CONTEXT: I was actively birding on the lower Eastern Shore during this period, when I was a junior at the U. of Pennsylvania. On Sept. 16, 1960, my 20th birthday, I did a full-day in Dorchester County, 6:45 A.M-7:15 P.M., finding 115 species. The route then conforms with routes I have done in the previous 14 consecutive years (1995-2008) and it will be nice to add that day’s numbers to my fall bird count database. On Sept. 18 I spent the day at the north Ocean City banding station, benefiting from associating with Gladys Cole, Gordon and Jim Meade, and Jack and Renee Kimmich.
As one can surmise from my writeup, this is a cherished memory, but about all I can furnish to a records committee 49 years after the fact. For what it’s worth … here it is. At the very least it will place this “report” on the record.
Henry (“Harry”) T. Armistead, 523 E. Durham St., Philadelphia, PA 19119-1225. 215-248-4120. <harryarmistead...>
=================================================== Phil Davis, Secretary MD/DC Records Committee 2549 Vale Court Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA 301-261-0184 <pdavis...> ===================================================
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