Howard County Bird Club

A Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS)


Field Trip: Saturday, December 6, 2014

Trip Leader: Kurt Schwarz

Date of Trip: Saturday, December 6, 2014

Location: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
and more on the Eastern Shore

Details: The 2014 Blackwater trip began with cloudy conditions and a temperature of about 46. It warmed up to 50 during the day but a light south wind and intermittent rain after 10:00, which became steady by 2:30 kept the apparent temperature chilly. We visited the Cambridge waterfront and drove the Blackwater wildlife loop. We dispensed with the Tubman Trail and Cedar Creek Road as they have proven to be unproductive in recent years. New this year was a foray to Hooper 's Island, and it proved to be worthwhile.

Highlights of the trip were 4 American White Pelicans, 400+ Northern Pintails, and at least a dozen and a half Bald Eagles. Hooper's Island added Horned Grebe and Long-tailed Duck to the trip list. Four participants got from one to eighteen life birds on the trip.

Steady rain set in at 3:00 and we called it a day at 3:30. With two hours before sunset, there was little hope of Short-eared Owl, so we went for a second year without logging that species, which had been reliable for all the previous strips.

Number on trip: 12

Choptank River--Rte. 50 Bridge (Dorchester Co.) and Cambridge Visitor Center, Dorchester

  • Canada Goose 15
  • Mallard 2
  • Bufflehead 28
  • Ruddy Duck 3
  • Double-crested Cormorant 17
  • Turkey Vulture 5
  • Bald Eagle 3
  • Ring-billed Gull 28
  • Herring Gull (American) 52
  • Great Black-backed Gull 10
  • Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • European Starling 12
  • Song Sparrow 1

Cambridge-16 Washington St, Dorchester
(Incidental sightings from the Wawa parking lot)

  • Black Vulture 7
  • American Robin 1
  • European Starling 14
  • Song Sparrow 1
  • House Sparrow 1

Cambridge--Oakley Street, Dorchester

  • American Wigeon 4
  • Mallard 6
  • Lesser Scaup 1
  • Bufflehead 4
  • Great Black-backed Gull 4
  • Dark-eyed Junco 12
  • Red-winged Blackbird 40
  • Common Grackle 4
  • House Finch 18

Cambridge--Hambrooks Bay, Dorchester

  • Canvasback 67
  • Lesser Scaup 1
  • Bufflehead 40
  • Ruddy Duck 200
  • Common Loon 11
  • Great Blue Heron 1
  • Cooper's Hawk 1
  • Bald Eagle 1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
  • Tufted Titmouse 1

Egypt Road, Dorchester

  • Turkey Vulture 1
  • Bald Eagle 3
  • Ring-billed Gull 200
    Conservative estimate
  • Mourning Dove 5
  • American Kestrel 1
  • Horned Lark 11
  • European Starling 150
  • Red-winged Blackbird 2
  • Eastern Meadowlark 8

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

  • Snow Goose 36
  • Canada Goose 1900
  • Tundra Swan 41
  • American Black Duck 2
  • Mallard 330
  • Northern Shoveler 6
  • Northern Pintail 450
  • Green-winged Teal (American) 12
  • Double-crested Cormorant 1
  • American White Pelican 5
  • Great Blue Heron 8
  • Turkey Vulture 1
  • Northern Harrier 3
  • Bald Eagle 14
  • Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern) 1
  • Ring-billed Gull 24
  • Forster's Tern 1
  • Belted Kingfisher 2
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
  • Downy Woodpecker 1
  • Hairy Woodpecker 1
  • Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
  • Fish Crow 13
  • Carolina Chickadee 14
  • Brown-headed Nuthatch 9
  • Winter Wren 1
  • Carolina Wren 1
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
  • Northern Mockingbird 2
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
  • Song Sparrow 7
  • Swamp Sparrow 1
  • White-throated Sparrow 5
  • Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 2
  • Northern Cardinal 1
  • Red-winged Blackbird 25
  • American Goldfinch 7

Hooper's Island Road, Dorchester
(Observed from car and stopped at water spots)

  • American Black Duck 11
  • Mallard 2
  • Bufflehead 3
  • Hooded Merganser 4
  • Turkey Vulture 1
  • Bald Eagle 2

Upper Hooper's Island, Dorchester

  • Mallard 1
  • Bufflehead 21
  • Common Loon 1
  • Horned Grebe 1
  • Double-crested Cormorant 1
  • Turkey Vulture 9
  • Bald Eagle 2
  • Herring Gull (American) 9
  • Great Black-backed Gull 21
  • Eastern Bluebird 1

Hooper's Island Bridge, Dorchester

  • Greater/Lesser Scaup 120
  • Bufflehead 80
  • Ruddy Duck 120
  • Common Loon 1
  • Horned Grebe 5
  • Red-tailed Hawk 1

Middle Hooper's Island, Dorchester

  • Canada Goose 10
  • Lesser Scaup 1
  • Long-tailed Duck 8
  • Bufflehead 48
  • Horned Grebe 1
  • Great Egret 1
  • Herring Gull (American) 3
  • Belted Kingfisher 1

Shorter's Wharf Road, Dorchester

  • Great Blue Heron 4
  • Northern Harrier 1
  • Bald Eagle 4
  • Belted Kingfisher 1
  • Eastern Bluebird 3
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
  • Song Sparrow 6
  • Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 1