Date: 11/13/20 2:38 pm
From: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Ferry Neck, November 5-11, 2020.
FERRY NECK (Talbot County, MD), NOVEMBER 5-11, 2020. November 5-10 each day clear, warm, and with little or no wind, temperature from mid-50s to high 60s or 70-72 each day. All records below, unless otherwise stated, are either seen in or from the lawn area.

Of most note: rough-legged hawk, cackling goose, late snowy egrets, red-breasted nuthatch record nos., fox squirrel.

Number of Canada geese IN Poplar Cove each day: 665, 820, 440, 320, unrecorded (but several 100; Nov. 9), 290, 320. A few seen otherwise away from the cove.

NOVEMBER 1, SUNDAY, Philadelphia, daughter Mary finds a male golden-crowned kinglet, stunned, on the ground on Market Street sidewalk between 2nd and 3rd Streets. When the rest of us get there a few minutes later it is up in a tree, apparently recovered. Several others had been watching it.

NOVEMBER 5, THURSDAY. Arrive 2:45 P.M. snowy egret 1, bufflehead 21, ruddy duck 85, common loon 2, sharp-shinned hawk 1, American robin 45, eastern bluebird 3, all among 17 species seen from the dock, 3:15-5 P.M. Otherwise … in the yard an imm. bald eagle, 2 cedar waxwings, 1 brown thrasher. 4.3” of rain since Oct. 15, lots of standing surface water. Grass cut recently (perhaps today). Stone added to driveway in late October.

NOVEMBER 6, FRIDAY. A dark phase ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK in steady flight to the south at the head of Poplar Cove, in excellent light, 10X, perhaps 1/4 mi. distant, the 7th record here for this species. The Sibley Guide notes that c. 40% of eastern roughies are dark phase birds.

Filled the feeders late yesterday, for the 1st time in 3 weeks, including, for the 1st time, 2 nyger seed feeders. But today, boy are they ever patronized!

hairy woodpecker 1, bald eagle 4, red-tailed hawk 1, black vulture 5, turkey vulture 28, bufflehead 21, common loon 5, laughing gull 30 (many aerealist hunters), eastern phoebe 1. Robins today vigorously feeding on American hackberry berries.

NOVEMBER 7, SATURDAY. CACKLING GOOSE 1, well-seen, 10X & 32X, in flying flock of 16 Canada geese. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I dutifully entered all of today’s list in eBird, but the daily MD rarities report didn’t pick this goose up, even though, I think, this is the only cackler report I know of as of that date. 45 species today, incl.:

ruddy duck 85, turkey vulture 54, black vulture 6, bald eagle 5, Cooper’s hawk 2, red-shouldered hawk 2, northern harrier 1, herring gull 2 (1 with a blue crab), Forster’s tern 1 (with a minnow; about 1 in 7 dives seen this visit is successful), common loon 3, great horned owl 1, blue jay all of 1, red-breasted nuthatch 25 (previous property high 8 on October 1, 1972; 6 previous highs, 1972-1997, all in the period September 10-October 9, back when we had no feeders up), eastern bluebird 11, myrtle warbler 11 (some feeding on poison ivy berries).

12 species at the feed today including the nuthatches, blue jay 1, chickadee 6, titmouse 7, white-throated sparrow 3, chipping sparrow 12, slate-colored junco 30, purple finch 4 (also feeding on honeysuckle and hackberry berries), American goldfinch 22, pine siskin 2, northern cardinal 3 (also feeding on eastern redcedar cones), and house finch 4. So much coming and going, hard to estimate feeder numbers, and the above “counts” may be low.

Also: gray squirrel 3, eastern cottontail 1, red admiral 1, and orange sulphur 4.

NOVEMBER 8, SUNDAY. snowy egret 2, black vulture 9, white-breasted nuthatch 1, field sparrow 1, pileated woodpecker 1, a kettle of 11 turkey vultures that also included 4 adult bald eagles, ruddy duck 70, bufflehead 22, Cooper’s hawk 1, red-tailed hawk 1. At the feed, the WB nuthatch, 6 purple finches, 2 pine siskins. 4 gray squirrels. Sitting out on the chair by the dock a sharp-shinned hawk zooms by, a foot from my head, chasing feeder birds.

NONPLUSSED: across the cove on a lawn where there is a spooky, black, large fox silhouette there are 90 unimpressed Canada geese grazing. Nearby a kingfisher sits on one of those dock white cones that is supposed to discourage birds from perching. 2 great blue herons spend the entire day on a neighbor’s lawn. While a noisy mower works around a house 2 turkey vultures remain sitting on a chimney, undisturbed.

NOVEMBER 9, MONDAY. SNOWY EGRET 1, establishing a new fall late date, as did sightings on several earlier days this visit. The previous late date: November 4. Incongruously, the only song sparrow seen this time. bald eagle 4, ruddy duck 70, 16 American goldfinches at the feed simultaneously, 2 sharp-shinned hawks, 1 Cooper’s hawk, 7 northern flickers, 1 Forster’s tern, 1 red-tailed hawk, 1 common loon. gray squirrel 5, eastern cottontail 1 (at the feed, big, tame).

NOVEMBER 10, TUESDAY. seen from the dock 9:30-11: black vulture 14, turkey vulture 43, red-tailed hawk 5, red-shouldered hawk 1, bald eagle 5, ruddy duck 40, bufflehead 14, Canada goose 290, herring gull 1 (with an 8” fish, a menhaden?), laughing gull 14, common loon 9. Seven pine siskins in a group on the ground under one of the feeders.

A CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE FURRED KIND: For the 1st time in months walk the trails: Irish Creek and Lucy Point Trails, plus from the drive bend to the house, almost 1/2 a mile. Hobble around with the cane for 45 minutes. Halfway along the Irish Creek Trail I notice a FOX SQUIRREL, hitched up 5 feet on a tree truck, at eye level., about 25 feet away.

We regard each other for a full minute at close range, after which I say, in a normal conversational voice: “You are a fox pooh”, that provokes no visible reaction. This squirrel has a VERY long tail, lacking the lovely corona of white around the tail’s fur tips that is so characteristic of the tails of gray squirrels.

The 1st record here of Fox Squirrel is one seen May 8, 1998. Since then they have been seen almost annually. In the past 6 or 7 years there have been 1-4 records each year. They are occurring more and more frequently with 2 records in the yard.

In Field 2: 3 does, a little spike buck and a 6 point buck. Five spotted turtles basking in the classic setting, the big log in the Woods 4 vernal pool, as late in the year as I’ve ever seen them.

NOVEMBER 11, WEDNESDAY, VETERANS DAY. From our dock (always called a pier locally, just as driveways are called lanes), 9:30-10: cedar waxwing 20, bufflehead 16, common loon 3, Cooper’s hawk 1, turkey vulture 2, American goldfinch 2, northern flicker 1, red-breasted nuthatch 4, Canada goose 8. For the 1st time overcast. SW5. 66 degrees F. rain starts just as we leave, at 10:15.

ROYAL OAK, a crude (appropriately), hand-lettered sign: “Fraud is real news fake”. EASTON, a good 100 Canada geese in the McDonald’s storm drain. Along Route 481, where there is still some Queen Anne’s lace blooming, 2 American kestrels. For several weeks it seems to me Baccharis halimifolia is “late”, still gravid with the white seeds I’m used to seeing blowing in the wind starting in late October.

Best to all. - Harry Armistead, Bellevue and Philadelphia.

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