Sunday, May 11, 2014

Birdcouple's May Big Day

After three or four just-shy attempts over the years to see 100 species of birds in Maryland in one day, Birdcouple set out this morning determined not to fail again. Big Days, Lisa and Warren agreed, are like the ultimate fun treasure hunt, racing against the clock from place to place (and all the places were beautiful), never knowing what you will find and what you will miss.

We'll get straight to the lead, as they say in the news business: we did it. Almost 12 hours, 5 stops, more than 7 miles walked, probably 100 miles driven and .... 101 species!!!!

Sorry there are no pictures of all the warblers, vireos, sandpipers, sparrows, rails, terns and more that we saw. We decided to travel light - no camera, and not even a scope. Just a determined Birdcouple with bins, Lisa's iPod Sibley app and a notebook.

Bird #100 was a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo at Warren's favorite "patch," Davidsonville Park in our home Anne Arundel County.

Boy, were we happy! And ready for shower, food and a glass of wine. Our route took us from amazing Susquehanna State Park, to Conowingo Dam (bad call - great birding spot. In winter), to Swan Harbor Farm for field birds and sandpipers, and then to Swan Creek/Cox Creek, a dredge fill and reclamation area that may not be the prettiest spot in the world, but has been host to some amazing birds. And finally to Davidsonville Park.

News alert:   We just heard a Common Nighthawk calling over the house. Make that 102 species for the day. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog......

Here's our species list for May 10, 2014, in order seen/heard:

1. Northern Cardinal
2. Carolina Wren
3. Tufted Titmouse
4. House Sparrow
5. Northern Mockingbird
6. Canada Goose
7. Song Sparrow
8. Chipping Sparrow
9. Carolina Chickadee
10. Blue Jay
11. Eastern Towhee
12. Eastern Phoebe
13. Tree Swallow
14. Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher
15. Gray Catbird
16. Common Yellowthroat
17. American Crow
18. Ovenbird
19. Wood Thrush
20. Acadian Flycatcher
21. Eastern Wood-Peewee
22. Louisiana Waterthrush
23. Scarlet Tanager
24. Yellow Warbler
25. Great Blue Heron
26. Great-Crested Flycatcher
27. Belted Kingfisher
28. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
29. Mallard
30. Mourning Dove
31. American Redstart
32. Brown-Headed Cowbird
33. Wilson's Warbler
34. Northern Parula
35. Cerulean Warbler
36. Magnolia Warbler
37. Black and White Warbler
38. Red-Eyed Vireo
39. Blackburnian Warbler
40. Barn Swallow
41. Warbling Vireo
42. Black-throated Blue Warbler
43. Kentucky Warbler
44. Hooded Warbler
45. Fish Crow
46. Prothonotary Warbler
47. Bald Eagle
48. Canada Warbler
49. Eastern Bluebird
50. Wood Duck
51. Osprey
52. Indigo Bunting
53. Blackpoll Warbler
54. White-Breasted Nuthatch
55. Red-Shouldered Hawk
56. Pileated Woodpecker
57. Eastern Kingbird
58. Orchard Oriole
59. Turkey Vulture
60. Field Sparrow
61. Double-Crested Cormorant
62. Worm-Eating Warbler
63. American Goldfinch
64. Yellow-Rumped Warbler
65. Spotted Sandpiper
66. Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
67. Black Vulture
68. Baltimore Oriole
69. Common Grackle
70. Rock Pigeon
71. Herring Gull
72. Chimney Swift
73. Purple Martin
74. European Starling
75. Red-Winged Blackbird
76. Semiplamated Plover
77. Least Sandpiper
78. Marsh Wren
79. Great Egret
80. Savannah Sparrow
81. American Coot
82. Greater Yellowlegs
83. Green Heron
84. Swamp Sparrow
85. House Finch
86. Sora
87. Solitary Sandpiper
88. Killdeer
89. Downy Woodpecker
90. Little Blue Heron
91. Ruddy Duck
92. Greater Black-Backed Gull
93. Ring-Billed Gull
94. Snowy Egret
95. Wilson's Snipe
96. Least Tern
97. White-Eyed Vireo
98. Lesser Scaup
99. Gadwall
100. Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
101. Red-Tailed Hawk
102. Common Nighthawk

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