Howard County Bird Club

A Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS)


Field Trip: First of the New Year!

Leader: Kurt Schwarz

Date of Trip: Sunday, January 01, 2018

Name: Start Your Year List

Number on trip: 11

Details: It was a frosty 10 degrees or so, but the wind mercifully, was not present for the first hour and a half. We tromped about Mount Pleasant, first trying for the American Tree Sparrows seen the day before, but without luck. In general, birds were few, and pretty routine. A Savannah Sparrow did pose nicely for everyone. After the hour and a half, we decided to go to Centennial in hopes of the Greater White-fronted Goose that had been hanging around there the past week. It was present, and at fairly close range, though spent most of time sleeping with its head under a wing. We also had a bonus Cackling Goose, which also determinedly napped, only offering brief glimpses of the bill. The other highlight was a Horned Grebe. Next stop was the quarry on Springdale Drive, which proved to have the greatest variety of waterfowl, the highlight being a presumed hen Common Goldeneye. The last stop was Lake Elkhorn with only four still standing. We were fortunate that Trumpeter Swan P-95, a three-year old female from Ontario, has stuck around for us to count it. It was reported to have flown off later that day. This stop also yielded Eastern Bluebirds at close range, feeding on abundant bittersweet, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. An Eastern Phoebe was seen by one of the group, but eluded the others. A total of 41 species were logged.

  • Greater White-fronted Goose (western subspecies) - 1
  • Cackling Goose (Richardson's) - 1
  • Canada Goose - 950
  • Trumpeter Swan (P-95) - 1
  • American Wigeon - 1
  • Mallard - 38
  • American Black Duck - 1
  • Redhead - 4
  • Ring-necked Duck - 11
  • Lesser Scaup - 3
  • Bufflehead - 6
  • Common Goldeneye - 1
  • Hooded Merganser - 2
  • Common Merganser - 2
  • Ruddy Duck - 1
  • Pied-billed Grebe - 3
  • Horned Grebe - 1
  • Turkey Vulture - 1
  • Red-shouldered Hawk - 1
  • Ring-billed Gull - 30
  • Mourning Dove - 1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1
  • Downy Woodpecker - 3
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 1
  • Northern Flicker - 1
  • Eastern Phoebe - 1
  • Blue Jay - 6
  • American Crow - 4
  • Fish Crow - 1
  • Carolina Chickadee - 5
  • Tufted Titmouse - 5
  • White-breasted Nuthatch - 5
  • Carolina Wren - 2
  • Eastern Bluebird - 14
  • Northern Mockingbird - 2
  • Field Sparrow - 2
  • Dark-eyed Junco - 2
  • White-throated Sparrow - 20
  • Eastern Towhee - 2
  • Northern Cardinal - 6
  • House Finch - 1
  • American Goldfinch - 1


Eastern Towhee at Mount Pleasant

Greater White-fronted Goose at Centennial Park

Cackling Goose at Centennial Park

Trumpeter Swan at Lake Elkhorn

Eastern Bluebird at Lake Elkhorn

Photos by Kurt Schwars