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HRBC Field Trip Eastern Shore

October 13, 2007


Enjoy the report and pictures from the HRBC annual fall field trip to the Eastern Shore.

The weather and birds could not have been more cooperative for our annual field trip to the Eastern Shore on October 13. We had a record 24 participants, with many new faces, and Ben Copeland as our expert trip leader. We tallied 88 species, counting species from the time we crossed the CBBT at dawn until we stopped at Island 1 on the way back at sunset.

Sunrise from CBBT
Sunrise at Fisherman's Island


We started at the banding station and spent more than two hours there. We saw many species that we rarely get to see up-close such as Swainson’s Thrush and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Warblers included Cape May, Black-throated Green, Black-throat Blue, Yellow-breasted Chat, Pine, Common Yellow-throat, Western Palm, Ovenbird, American Redstart and Yellow-rumped. Jethro Runco, head bander, did an excellent job pointing out field marks of each species.

Jerri Howe records while Jethro explains
HRBC members watch, listen and learn
Swainson's Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Gray Catbird
Indigo Bunting
Photo opp. with Gray-cheeked Thrush
Waiting to see the next banded bird
Winter Wren
Pine Warbler (immature female)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Field Sparrow
Getting close-up views was a treat
Nick checking out Meredith's field guide
Jethro showing us the field sparrow
Jethro has reached his limit...
Swamp Sparrow
Black-throated Green Warbler
Cape May Warlber
Common Yellow-throat (female)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Getting a close look at a Palm Warbler
Nick, his dad Alan, Nancy and Hayes

Other Parts of Kiptopeke

Yellow-rumped Warbler and Palm Warbler were abundant in all locations, and Northern Flicker was the most common bird seen flying over at Kiptopeke.

We watched Red-breasted Nuthatches visit the feeders near the Hawk Watch station and had great looks at Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and two Northern Parula in the nearby trees. Exploring the trails yielded Black & White Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Hairy Woodpecker and Downy Woodpecker.

When an immature Cooper’s Hawk was caught, we all gathered at the Hawk Watch station to see it up-close. A beautiful bird!

Immature Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's Hawk - side view
Leader Ben Copeland checking the field guide with Nick and Jane
Enjoying lunch together after a busy morning of birding at Kiptopeke

The Landfill and Oyster

From Kiptopeke, we traveled to the Landfill near Oyster. Waterfowl included Ruddy Duck, Black Duck, Pied-billed Grebe and Mallard. Other highlights included Snowy Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Palm Warbler and an immature Bald Eagle.

In Oyster there were Ruddy Turnstone, Kildeer, Lesser Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper close in. Using scopes, we found Oyster Catcher, Willet, Black-bellied Plover, Caspian Tern and a possible Marbled Godwit.

Organizing to explore the Landfill

Checking out birds in all directions

Traveling south on Rte 600, we found two American Kestrel and Eastern Bluebird but far fewer raptors than we’re used to seeing along that road.

On Ramp Road, there were only six Black Ducks on the pond. Osprey and Great Blue Herons were seen at the end of the road, which is now open for parking ($10 fee for every vehicle).

A few of us were reluctant to “call it a day” and explored Magotha Road. We were excited to hear two owls – Great Horned and Eastern Screech. In the swampy area we saw Pileated Woodpecker, Swamp Sparrow, Gray Catbird and Common Yellowthroat.

At the pullover after the southbound toll plaza, there were Sanderling, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern and Willet. Nothing new was seen on Island 1, but by that point it didn’t matter. We had lots of wonderful bird memories to take home.

Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay

Just after sunset