WRENDERINGS The Newsletter of the Harford Bird Club

Volume 16 Number 3

June 2003

"Acquainting folks to the wild birds and birding life of Harford County"


New President for Harford Bird Club
Education Committee Activities
Calendar of Events
Harford Bird Club Field Notes...
Member's Corner
Harford Birdlife Mar 16, 2003 - May 15, 2003
Field Trip Reports
FIELD TRIPS August 2003

New President for Harford Bird Club

The changing of the guard has taken place, and my stint as President of the Harford Bird Club begins. Debbie Stewart, Vice-president, Marjie Heagy, Recording Secretary, Carole Vangrin, Corresponding Secretary and Joyce Gorsuch, Treasurer complete the new team. Tom Congersky and Randy Robertson are our State Board Representatives. It's a little daunting, but with your help and support we can continue to develop into an exciting forum for birds, birding and the environment.

I want to personally thank Carol Flora for her hard work and dedication to the Club over the past two years. She gave so generously of her time and talent to lead the Club and to encourage more participation in club activities in and off the field. All the while she was in the midst of deep personal tragedy. We were very fortunate to have her as President. Thank you, Carol for everything.

The summer is upon us and the birds are nesting. The Breeding Bird Atlas project is in full swing. There are still areas of the County not covered. Call or email Dennis Kirkwood 410-692-5905 or dkirkw@bellatlantic.net if you would like to participate. You do not have to be an expert birder to help.

The Summer Social at Anita Leight Center on Friday July 18 at 6:30 p.m. will be special this year. Club members have been invited to display their talents. We have crafters, photographers and some surprises. Join in the fun. Come early and enjoy a stroll on one of the center's trails. Jean Wheeler

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Education Committee Activities

Bird programs including slides of Harford County birds and information on field marks and migration were presented to the following groups in the past three months: Fountain Green Elementary (70-80 3rd graders), Joppatowne Elementary (20 2nd graders in an enrichment program), Dublin Home School Science Co-op ( 20+ students from mixed grades), Edgewood Elementary at Harford Glen (40 students from mixed grades in a Saturday school enrichment program), and a Cub Scout group from St. Margaret's in Fountain Green (seven 2nd graders). Between 8 and 10 volunteers from the Harford Bird Club assisted with the program and bird walks at Harford Glen for the Edgewood Elementary Saturday school. The Cub Scout group also went on a birding walk at Harford Glen a week after they saw the program. If you are willing to volunteer to help with this type of activity, please contact Jean Fry at ffryjl@aol.com or 410-452-8539. Jean Fry

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Calendar of Events

June 21State Board Meeting: LaVale Library in Allegany County at 10:00 a.m.
July 16 Deadline - to contribute Harford Birdlife reports to Jean Fry for May 16, 2003 - July 15, 2003. Jean's address is 1202 Ridge Road, Pylesville, MD 21132 or email at ffryjl@aol.com.
July 18 Summer Social at Anita Leight Estuary Center.
July 23 Deadline - to submit articles for the Jul./Aug. issue of Wrenderings to Rick Cheicante. Rick's address is 1003-F Jessica's Ct, Bel Air, MD 21014 or rickcheicante@cs.com.
September 6 Annual Picnic at Mariner Point Park in Joppatowne.

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Harford Bird Club Field Notes...

In Memoriam - Sarah Courtney, formerly of Havre de Grace, died at Glen Meadows Retirement Community on May 2, 2003. She was 92. She was preceded in death by her husband, Cecil Courtney. They were members of the Harford Bird Club from 1973 until 1979. After her husband's death, Sarah attended meetings occasionally.

She served in the armed forces during World War II as an Army nurse and was called into active duty during the Cuban missile crisis. She was an avid gardener and reader. She was a member of the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church, Retired Officers Wives Club and the Ladies Lunch Bunch. She is survived by two nephews, Hank Patillo and Patrick Patillo, both of Baltimore.

Funeral services were held on May 6 at the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church. Jean Fry

New Bylaws Approved - The revised bylaws were approved by those members attending the May 2, 2003 dinner meeting. There were a few minor changes. It was decided by those present that instead of sending them to all members that they be made available at meetings for those interested in obtaining a copy. Fifty copies will be made and given to Jean Wheeler, the new president. If you do not get a copy at a meeting, please ask her for one. Jean Fry

"What's in a Name" - The oriole gets its common name from the Latin word aureolus for "golden". The Baltimore Oriole's name is believed to come from the colors in Lord Baltimore's coat of arms.

The penguin most probably gets it's name from the Latin word pinquis, or "fat". In cold areas, up to a third of a penguin's weight is blubber. Carol Flora

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Member's Corner

Great American Backyard Bird Count
Every year the Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsors the Great American Backyard Bird Count over President's Day weekend. This year the dates, February 14-17 coincided with the big snowstorm. Each participant is to count the highest number of each species seen in one's backyard or in the vicinity of the feeders. Here are my totals: Dark-eyed Junco, 39; American Robin, 1; Blue Jay, 2; Northern Cardinal, 16; Carolina Wren, 1; Carolina Chickadee, 5; White-breasted Nuthatch, 2; Tufted Titmouse, 2; White-throated Sparrow, 19; American Goldfinch, 12; Downy Woodpecker,2; Hermit Thrush, 1; Northern Flicker, 1; Brown Creeper, 1; Red- bellied Woodpecker, 1; House Finch, 5; Mourning Dove, 10; Eastern Bluebirds, 5; Red-tailed Hawk, 1; American Crow, 4; Red-winged Blackbird, 2; Northern Mockingbird, 1 for a total of 22 species. The only regular that did not show up was the Hairy Woodpecker. Some interesting behaviors were observed. Carolina Chickadees would land in a bush, peck snow off of the branches and fluff it into their feathers, thus taking a "snow bath." On Monday morning a Northern Flicker was huddled into the trunk of a tree with his head tucked under his body. Only a couple of days later, I saw a picture like that in a magazine which indicated that that was how a flicker sleeps. On Saturday when some snow had melted on a large rock in back of the house, five Eastern Bluebirds, one Northern Cardinal, and one American Robin appeared all at the same time to get drinks from the melted snow. I also noticed that the Mourning Doves didn't start to coo by February 14 this year. It was at least a week later until I heard them calling. Jean Fry

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Image of a Wren over outline of Harford County
Harford Birdlife
Mar. 16, 2003 - Jun. 15, 2003
by Jean Fry

Spring's arrival this year has been marked by much cooler and wetter weather than usual. The last snow and sleet fell on 4/7. The drought conditions of 2002 are over; reservoirs are filled to 100% capacity. Waterfowl tended to linger a little later than usual into March. I heard the first Spring Peepers on 3/17 at Broad Creek in Pylesville. There were two weeks of extremely high pollen counts in late April and early May, due, I am told, to the recent hard winter.

Loons were reported by LE who found a Red-throated on the Gunpowder River at Edgewood Arsenal on 4/4, by BBH who saw a Common Loon on the Susquehanna River on 4/27, and by DZ who saw a CL at Gunpowder State Park in Joppatowne (GSPJ) on 5/5.

DZ spotted a Pied-billed Grebe in the Harford section of Gunpowder marsh on 5/4. DL found one at Lakeside pond in Edgewood on 4/26.

Probably the highlight of all sightings during this time period was the influx of Red-necked Grebes into the area. Several were seen much later than would be expected. They were also found in numerous locations throughout the county. BBH saw their first one on 3/10 on the Susquehanna River at Perryville from the Cecil County side. The highest number that they ever saw was four with the last two appearing on 5/11. They were able to watch one go under water and come up with an eel in its beak. LE found two at Lapidum Landing on 3/16 and again on 4/6; on 3/16 one was very close to the parking area and he could see that it was near breeding plumage. DZ reported one at GSPJ on 5/5. LE also found them as follows: on 4/19 he saw two about a quarter of a mile upstream from the mouth of Deer Creek; on 4/21 he found one at the foot of Pennington Avenue in Havre de Grace; on 4/24 there was one on the Susquehanna River about midway between Lapidum and Rock Run Mill. Several of LE's sightings were from around 6 to 7 p.m. Farther inland at Lake Mitten (LM) in Pylesville, JLF found three on 3/22 and 3/23 and one on 4/2, 4/3, and 4/4. That was a first sighting for that location.

LE saw thousands of Double-crested Cormorants on the rocks, in the water, and in the air at Conowingo Dam (CD) on 4/20. JC saw over 200 at the same location on 5/14. DZ counted 214 at a huge roost location in GSPJ on 5/5. JLF found two at Lake Mitten on 4/27.

American Bitterns are not easy to find, but RC saw three while "poncho birding" in the rain at Harford Glen on 4/26. They were along the front margin of the marshland from the pier to the woodland corner below the pond. He had great looks from about fifteen feet. They were skulking around and constantly flushing but were never far from his sight. PP was lucky enough to find one at Mariner Point in Joppatowne on 4/27. JC saw one at the Route 40 marsh on 5/6. LE reported hundreds of Great Blue Herons in and around the rookery at CD on 4/20. Great Egrets were found in the following numbers: four by JH on 5/11 at Harford Glen (HG); one by JC on 5/1 at the pond on Fashion Way; one by JC on 5/10 at Route 40 marsh; four by JC at HG on 5/10; one by DL on 4/19, 4/20, and 5/11 at Lakeside pond; and several by RC on 4/26 at HG. RC found a Green Heron at HG on 4/26; JLF saw their first one at LM on 4/27; JC spotted two at Route 40 marsh on 5/10; DL also found one at Lakeside on 5/10. LE saw a Black-crowned Night Heron at CD on 4/20; he also saw one flying over the Susquehanna River while "dentistry birding" in Havre de Grace on 5/15.

MJ reported both Black and Turkey Vultures at Eden Mill on 4/27.

MW saw approximately seventy Snow Geese (including one Blue) migrating over Webster Village near Havre de Grace on 3/16. On 3/15 DW found five Mute Swans in Spesutie Narrows at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). DZ saw one in the Harford section of Gunpowder marsh on a nest with four eggs on 5/4. DL saw one at Lakeside pond on 4/19, 4/20, 4/24, and 4/26. JC found two there on 5/6 and one on a pond on Route 543 before Heaps Road on 5/7. JLF had between 200 and 300 Canada Geese at LM on 3/16 and the first CG goslings there on 5/2. The following Wood Duck reports came in: two male and one female at LM on 3/16 and 3/18 and seven at that location on 3/23 by JLF; many at HG on 3/22 by RC; a pair at Broad Creek near the Ridge Road bridge on 4/7 by LF; five at HG on 5/10 by JC; sixteen at the Harford section of Gunpowder marsh on 5/4 by DZ; and one in flight at Fashion Way on 5/6 by JC. Other waterfowl sightings are as follows: a Mallard at the horse stable pond at the Edgewood area of APG on 4/29 and 4/30 (LE); ten to fifteen Mallards on LM on 3/16 (JLF); a pair of Hooded Mergansers at HG on 3/22 by RC, fourteen on Swan Creek at the Aberdeen area of APG (APGAA) on 3/16 by DW, and four at LM on 3/16 by JLF; a Red-breasted Merganser on 3/25 on the Susquehanna River by BBH, on 4/19 at Lakeside pond by DL and on 5/4 at Gunpowder marsh by DZ; a pair of Green-winged Teal at LM on 3/22 by JLF and one at HG on 3/22 by RC; a Canvasback hen at the MD Blvd. Picnic area of APG on 3/16 by DMW; 48 Ring-necked Ducks at that same location on 3/16 by DMW; twelve at LM on 3/16, six on 3/18, seven on 3/19, thirteen on 3/22, nine on 3/23, and a pair on 4/12, all by JLF; a pair of Common Goldeneye on LM on 3/16 by JLF; and two Greater Scaup and one male Lesser there on 3/18, 3/22, and 3/23 by JLF.

Osprey sightings were as follows: on 3/18 over the Susquehanna River by BBH; over LM on 4/14 by JLF; two active nests at CD on 4/20 by LE; lots of them at Susquehanna State Park on 4/19 by LE; at Eden Mill on 4/27 by MJ; six at Gunpowder marsh on 5/4 by DZ; and over Route 40 marsh on 5/6 by JC. DZ found a breeding pair of Bald Eagles at Gunpowder marsh on 5/4; LE saw one on a possible nest in the far left tower at CD on 4/20; PP found a nest in GSPJ on 4/16; PP also saw one perched in a tree within ten yards of the group he was leading on the new trail at Anita Leight Estuary Center on 5/4: JC saw an immature at CD on 5/14. DL spotted a Northern Harrier at Lakeside pond on 4/26. JC saw a Sharp- shinned Hawk at Vitali's restaurant in Edgewood and also in flight at the Route 40 marsh on 5/6. Two Cooper's Hawks were seen around JLF's house and near last year's nest on 3/16 and 3/17. One was seen soaring over LM on 3/22. Although nesting was attempted, eventually the nest was either abandoned or disturbed by crows. BJD saw a Cooper's Hawk at the back of their property on West Jarrettsville Road in Forest Hill between 5/9 and 5/11. JLF saw a RSH with nesting material near LM on 3/16 and four soaring in the same area on 3/22; one was seen at the edge of the lake hunting for a frog or snake on 5/15. DZ saw a RSH pair finishing a nest in Copenhaver Park in Joppatowne on 4/23; JC saw one on a wire at Route 1 and 152 on 5/6 and also on Laurel Brook Road in Abingdon on 5/10. MJ saw a RSH and a Red-tailed Hawk at Eden Mill on 4/27.

DK reported that Ring-necked Pheasants have returned to White Hall after about a ten year absence. He doesn't know if they were released or not. DB in Street heard the first Wild Turkey calling on 4/2; she noted that they had been present every day until her reporting date of 5/11.

DL's expertise produced a Sora at Lakeside pond on 5/10. Killdeer were spotted at the following locations: two at the horse pond at Edgewood area of APG (APGEA) on 4/30 by LE; at Lakeside pond on 4/19, 4/20, 4/24, and 4/26 by DL; and one at the Outback parking lot in Bel Air on 5/14 by JC.

Greater Yellowlegs were found in the following locations: by LE on 4/29 and 4/30 at the horse pond at APGEA; by DL on 4/19, 4/20, and 4/26 at Lakeside pond and on 4/26 at Swan Harbor near Havre de Grace; and by JC at Lakeside pond on 5/10. Lesser Yellowlegs were located at these sites: one at the horse pond at APGEA by LE on 4/29 and four there on 4/30; one at Swan Harbor by DL on 4/26. JLF saw one Spotted Sandpiper at LM on 4/23; DZ found seven in Gunpowder marsh on 5/4; DL found one at Lakeside pond on 5/10 and 5/11; JC reported two at HG on 5/10. Reports of Solitary Sandpipers came from DL on 5/11 at Lakeside pond and from JH (from Chevy Chase) on 5/11 at HG. Reports of Least Sandpipers came from DL who saw one at Lakeside on 5/10 and 5/11 and from JC who found two at HG on 5/10. DL counted 22 Wilson's (formerly Common) Snipe at Swan Harbor on 4/26. A good find! DdMW discovered approximately twelve American Woodcock near the Rodman building at APGAA on 3/16. Another good find!

MH got a report from JBC that an adult Little Gull was at Lapidum Landing on the Susquehanna River along with a large flock of Bonaparte's Gulls on 3/30. LE saw some Bonaparte's Gulls far out on the Gunpowder River on 4/21. Caspian Terns were sighted by DL on 4/19 at Lakeside, by LE on 4/21 on the Gunpowder River, and by PP on 4/25 at Mariner Point. A Least Tern was seen by DZ in Gunpowder marsh on 5/4; a pair was seen by JLF at HG on the same day; DL saw one at Lakeside pond on 5/10.

BBH saw a Ringed Turtle Dove at the Tidewater Marina on 4/25. Does anyone know if this could have been an escape?

DZ saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in Gunpowder marsh on 5/4. He heard one singing from a neighborhood tree in Joppatowne a couple of time around midnight on 5/7. MJ found a YBC at Eden Mill on 5/9, and JH located one at HG on 5/11.

DB in Street heard an Eastern Screech Owl on 4/1. On 4/3 she had a Barred Owl and a Great Horned Owl in her backyard. JLF in Pylesville had an Eastern Screech Owl doing its tremolo call on 3/23 at 9 PM, 3/24 at 1:30 a.m., 4/2 at 9:30 p.m., 4/3 at 3 a.m., 4/19 at 9 p.m., 4/21 at 1:30 a.m., and 4/26 at 9:15 p.m.. Each time it would call for about a half an hour. KG from Jarrettsville saw a Barred Owl sitting in the middle of Midsummer Lane at 1:24 AM. It took off with an unknown rodent. DZ found a Barred Owl nest with an incubating female and male nearby in Copenhaver Park in Joppatowne on 4/23. Nestlings were heard on 5/8.

RC saw Chimney Swifts over the Rock Run area of Susquehanna State Park on 4/27.

An unidentified man at Earth Day on 4/19 reported that he had had two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that week in Darlington. LE, the hummer king of Harford County, saw his first RTH at his home in Havre de Grace on 4/24 at about 7:15 PM. BBH saw their first one on 4/26 at their home in Perryville in Cecil County. JLF also had their first one in Pylesville on 4/26. LW of Street reported one on 4/27. LE saw two males and one female on 4/29 in Havre de Grace. TB in Jarrettsville had one at her feeder on 5/12. BJD saw a male at their feeder in Forest Hill on 5/14. JLF saw one snuggle into a nestlike pod with some fuzzy nest material at the junction of three branches over their driveway on 5/7. They were gone for a week, and when they returned they did not see any additional activity at that site.

BJD had a male Hairy Woodpecker in Forest Hill on 5/9-5/11. JLF had one on their suet feeder in Pylesville on 4/24. They also saw a Pileated Woodpecker in the woods behind their house on 4/13 and for several days after that.

JC saw a Least Flycatcher at HG on 5/10 and a Willow Flycatcher on Harford Creamery Road in White Hall on 5/7. JLF saw their first pair of Eastern Phoebes on 3/18 in Pylesville. They were exploring the shed where they had nested before. Eastern Kingbirds were reported by JC at the intersection of Route 543 and 165 on 5/7 and by JH at HG on 5/11. JH also saw Great Crested Flycatcher there that day. JLF heard their first Great Crested in Pylesville on 5/1.

JLF saw their first White-eyed Vireo near LM on 4/27. JC had three Warbling Vireos on Pennington Road on 5/7 and five at CD on 5/14. He also saw White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos at the same location that day. JH found Warbling Vireo and Yellow-throated Vireo at HG on 5/11. MJ found Yellow-throated Vireo and White-eyed Vireo at Eden Mill in Pylesville on 4/27. He also spotted Red-eyed Vireo on 5/1 at APGEA and banded Yellow-throated Vireo at Eden Mill on 5/9.

RC had a couple of Tree Swallows at HG on 3/22. He found Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Barn there on 4/26. JLF saw their first Tree at LM on 4/6. DL reported Tree, Barn, and Rough-winged at Lakeside pond on 4/19, 4/20, 4/24, and 4/26. JC reported seven Tree, eleven Barn, and five Rough-winged at Route 40 marsh on 5/6 at 4 PM. He saw many Tree and Bank, as well as some Barn and Rough-winged at CD on 5/14. There were also many Purple Martins there that day.

MJH had her first House Wrens in Forest Hill on 4/21. RC saw one at HG on 4/26. JLF found three singing on Grande View Drive in Pylesville on 4/27. MJ had one in Baldwin on 4/30. DZ counted 29 Marsh Wrens in Gunpowder marsh on 5/4. Some were nestbuilding.

JLF saw Golden-crowned Kinglets near LM on 3/16 and 4/13 and a Ruby-crowned there on 4/14.

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were seen by: RC at HG on 4/6 (many), MJ at Eden Mill on 4/27 with a male nest building there on 5/2, LE at Susquehanna State Park on 4/19, and JLF on Grande View Drive on 4/27.

JC saw eight Eastern Bluebirds on Laurel Brook Road in Abingdon on 5/10. DZ heard good numbers of Veery and Swainson's Thrush migrating overhead at night on 5/7 in Joppatowne. JLF had a Veery in their front yard in Pylesville on 5/6. DW reported a Veery singing in his neighbor's yard all day in Webster Village on 5/10. JLF heard their first Wood Thrush in Pylesville on 5/1. MJ had one in Eden Mill on 5/9. JH reported one at HG on 5/11. PP found two Hermit Thrushes at Mariner Point in Joppatowne on 4/25.

DB in Street reported her first Gray Catbird on 4/28. Brown Thrashers were found by: PP at Mariner Point on 4/25, LE at horse stable pond at APGEA on 4/30, JC on Harford Road just after Reckord Road on 5/8, and DL at Lakeside pond on 5/11.

Now for the warbler reports!!!! Self-described, "warbler junkie," RC, had three yard warblers in Bel Air on 3/22: a singing Pine, a Yellow-rumped, and a bedraggled looking Palm in a non-breeding plumage with a darkish cap foraging at the base of the feeders. MJH had a Yellow-rumped at her suet feeder in Forest Hill on 4/21. LE heard a Louisiana Waterthrush singing in an area near his home where he usually hears one outside of Havre de Grace on 3/26. PP had a male Wilson's at HG on 5/10. RC saw three or four Yellows, Northern Parula, Palm, Common Yellowthroat, Black-and-white, Louisiana Waterthrush, and tons of Yellow-rumped at HG on 4/26. RC walked Rock Run and SSP on 4/27 and saw Yellow-throated, Northern Parula, many Black-and-white, Black-throated Green, three Louisiana Waterthrush, an abundance of Yellow-rumped, two or three Ovenbirds, one Cerulean, and a possible Worm-eating. BJD in Forest Hill had American Redstart, male Black-throated Blue, and male Chestnut-sided between 5/9 and 5/11. LE saw Yellow-throated and Northern Parula at SSP on 4/19. MJ found Prairie, Blue-winged, Common Yellowthroat, and Northern Parula at Eden Mill on 4/27. He also had Blackpoll, Yellow, and Ovenbird at that site on 5/9. He banded a Prairie, Wilson's, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Black-throated Blue there on 5/9. JC birded CD on 5/14 and found twelve species of warblers: Prothonotary, Yellow-throated, American Redstart, Blue-winged, Yellow, two Louisiana Waterthrush, many Yellow-rumped, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, Black-and-white, and Blackpoll. On Long Bar Harbor Road on 5/10 he found Prairie, Northern Parula, Blue-winged, Ovenbird, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, and Blackpoll. He also saw Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Hooded and Yellow- throated along Reckord Road that same day. DZ found seven Prothonotary as well as a Yellow female in the last stages of nest building in Gunpowder marsh on 5/4. JH had a profitable couple of hours at HG on 5/11 when he found the following: two Wilson's (his first in MD), Yellow, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat and Canada. DB in Street had her first Ovenbird and Prairie on 4/27. PP saw a Common Yellowthroat and a male Black-and-white at Harford Glen on 4/13 and two Palms on 4/25 at Mariner Point. TB was entertained by a Common Yellowthroat on 5/10 and 5/13 in Jarrettsville. It was singing while sitting in a shrub in front of her house.

PP had a male and female Scarlet Tanager on the same branch of a tree at Anita Leight Center on 5/4. DB in Street had three male Scarlet Tanagers feeding together in the back yard on 5/6. BJD also had a male and female ST in Forest Hill between 5/9 and 5/11.

Eastern Towhees were reported as follows: lots at Eden Mill on 4/27 by MJ, one at Route 543 and 646 on 5/7 by JC, and one in JLF's backyard in Pylesville on 4/14.

Field Sparrows were spotted by JC on 5/7 at the intersection of Routes 543 and 165 in Pylesville. MJ saw Field and White-throated at Eden Mill on 4/27 and Lincoln's, Swamp, and White-throated there on 5/9. PP had a Lincoln's at HG on 5/7. DZ found two Swamps singing and two or three Seasides at Gunpowder marsh on 5/4. His notes on the Seasides are as follows: "I heard one singing in a low stand of narrow-leafed cattail. When I approached it, it popped up (affording me good looks). At that point a second Seaside started singing (approximately thirty feet behind the first) and the one I was observing flew over to the second and began countersinging. Several minutes later a Seaside sang about sixty feet in the opposite direction (across a forty foot wide channel) from where I had seen the first. I can't conclude that this was a third individual because only one of the two I just described was still singing when this bird sang. Singing is not unusual during migration but countersinging is usually an indication of territoriality. Whether that be breeding territoriality or not will depend on whether they show signs of nesting during future visits or whether they're still there during the safe date period." JC found a White-crowned Sparrow at the elementary school off Wheel Road on 5/10. DL found Savannah Sparrows to be very plentiful at Swan Harbor on 4/26. JLF had a late Dark-eyed Junco in Pylesville on 4/25.

JLF had eight male and six female Northern Cardinals at their feeders on 3/20. Two reports of Blue Grosbeaks came from RC in Bel Air on 5/9 and from DL at Lakeside pond on 5/11. Sightings of the exotic-looking Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were as follows: RC in Bel Air at feeder - one male on 5/2, two males on 5/3, three males at the feeder at the same time on 5/3, two males and one female on 5/4, and one male on 5/9; MJH in Forest Hill---two males on 5/5; TB in Jarrettsville---a female on 5/2, a male on 5/6, two males on suet feeder on 5/9, and two males and one female on one feeder at the same time on 5/9; TP in Havre de Grace---three males and one female during the week of 5/5 to 5/9; JC on Long Bar Harbor Road---four on 5/10; BJD in Forest Hill---male on 5/9-5/11; PP in Joppatowne---a male and female on 5/10; EF in Bel Air---two males around 5/5.

Indigo Buntings were reported by: MJH in Forest Hill on 5/5, JC, who saw five at Route 23 and Bradenbaugh Roads on 5/10, PP in Joppatowne on 5/1 (it was eating his cheap seed), BJD in Forest Hill from 5/9 to 5/11, and TB in Jarrettsville on 5/3, 5/8, and 5/11.

SU reported that a student of his at C. Milton Wright High School kept telling him that he had a Dickcissel at his feeder in either March or April which had been there for several weeks. Spike was a little doubtful but went to the student's home to check and it was a Dickcissel!

JC found an Eastern Meadowlark at the polo field on Harford Creamery Road on 5/7. LE saw two Rusty Blackbirds at the horse stable pond at APGEA on 4/21 and a dozen there on 4/29. JC found over fifteen Baltimore Orioles and three Orchard Orioles at CD on 5/14. BJD reported a male Baltimore in Forest Hill between 5/9 and 5/11.

Lastly, RC listed the following wildflowers at Rock Run and SSP on 4/27: Virginia Bluebells, Red Trillium (white form), Cut-leafed Toothwort, Wild Blue Phlox, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Spring Beauty, Dutchman's Breeches, Blue Cohosh, Blue, Yellow, and Cream Violets, Yellow Corydalis, May Apple, Early Saxifrage, and Dwarf Ginseng. So you see, some of us do look at and identify other things in addition to birds!

Contributors to this column were: Debbie Bowers (DB), Tina Boyd (TB), Rick Cheicante (RC), JB Churchill (JBC), Jon Cupp (JC), Bob and Jan Depuy (BJD), Les Eastman (LE), Eileen Frey (EF), Jean and Larry Fry (JLF), Kevin Graff (KG), Matt Hafner (MH), Bill and Bonnie Hallock (BBH), Marjie Heagy (MJH), John Hubbell (JH), Mark Johnson (MJ), Dennis Kirkwood (DK), Dave Larkin (DL), Phil Powers (PP), Tricia Precht (TP), Spike Updegrove (SU), Dave, Marsha, and Danny Webb (DdMW), Linda Weeks (LW), and Dave Ziolkowski, Jr. (DZ).

Deadline for the next column is Wednesday, July 16 for the time period of May 16 to July 15, 2003. Please send your sightings to Jean Fry. E-mail: ffryjl@aol.com Phone: 410-452-8539 Mailing address: 1202 Ridge Road, Pylesville, MD 21132

Please be sure to indicate date and location of the sighting. It really helps if you list your sightings rather than putting them in paragraph form. Also, please send them to me as you see them, rather than waiting until the deadline to send all of them at once.

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Harford Bird Club
Field Trip Reports

Broad Creek
On Saturday, March 1, ten individuals went on a field trip to Broad Creek Scout Camp and also did some birding along the roads in that area. The temperature was between 28 and 30 degrees. Skies were overcast and foggy. A total of thirty species was seen or heard. Highlights were two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, two Hermit Thrush, one Bald Eagle (probably fourth year), and one Yellow-rumped Warbler. No northern finches were found, one of the goals of this trip, but no irruption of these birds occurred this year. Jean Fry

Timberdoodle Watch II
I arrived at the Aberdeen Wal Mart at 5:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 19, 2003, for the scheduled 5:30 p.m. departure for Perryman for Woodcock Watch II (Woodcock Watch I had been cancelled due to the weather). I parked in the remote SE corner of Wal Mart's lot away from other parked cars and wandered around with binoculars around my neck until 6:10 p.m. As far as I know, no other birders arrived - can't blame them - the cold and wind were very unpleasant. It was also a sad time because I was to co-lead this trip with Joe Vangrin who had died just two days earlier. Lynn Davis

Harford Glen
April 6th was a raw early spring day but despite the cold seven keen birders met at Harford Glen. The weather was not improved by a cold wind and few birds were moving about. Low over the pond, formed by the beaver dam, a few Tree swallows were skimming insects off the water. A sign at least that spring was not far off. Walking down to the beaver pond the day was suddenly brightened by the sight of a group of Wood Duck gliding along the opposite shore. The walk along the boardwalk to the opposite shore of the pond was almost devoid of birds. We followed the path for a while and then struck off into the water logged woodland and were immediately rewarded; a small yellow bird, a Palm Warbler, then another and another. The area was full of Palm Warblers feeding on the ground and in the low bushes. The day seemed to get brighter while above in the high canopy were Blue Gray Gnatcatchers. Picking up the path again and climbing out of the bottom woodlands the Palm Warblers seemed to follow us and were joined by Pine Warblers and Eastern Phoebes. Further along a Louisiana Waterthrush made a brief appearance and disappeared. Completing our circular tour the wind had now dropped and the sun was out. Over the beaver pond the Tree Swallows were now flying high and had been joined by Barn Swallows. David Larkin

Sweet Air
Bill Pfingsten led six birders as we hiked approximately 3 miles of trails searching for early migrants. Although we had a pleasant day, we were only able to locate 37 species of birds with just 4 warbler species. We heard several Ovenbirds as well as Veery. The following Saturday, May 10, the leader participated in the May Count at the same location and found 63 species including 13 warbler species. This was during a thunderstorm and intermittent rain. Amazing what a difference a week makes. Bill Pfingsten

Eden Mill
On Sunday May 4th, five people joined me at Eden Mill for a walk in the fog and mist. Light was very poor so we heard many more birds than we saw. Our list included Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, and possible Chat. We also heard both House and Carolina Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, and Rufous-sided Towhee. Our walk was cut short by a steady all day rain. Tom Congersky

Glen Meadows
On May 6th, a cloudy day with early fog and drizzle, 5 club members, 3 residents of Glen Meadows, and 1 guest walked the grounds of the community. We were rewarded with a total of 38 species, 3 of which were heard but not seen. Two new species for the continuing list seen at G.M. were Scarlet Tanager and Pileated Woodpecker which had previously been heard but not seen. Special sightings: 4 or 5 Baltimore Orioles, a Black-throated Green , and a pair of towhees scratching on the ground and flying together. The walk ended with a welcome lunch in a warm, dry setting. Jean Williams

Susquehanna State Park
Seventy-three species and 23 birders made for a great day at the park. We had a small number of visitors. A couple from New Jersey, who added a life bird and spent the night in Havre de Grace just to be on time, another from Fall's Church, VA, who stated that we had the best web site on the internet. Our last visitor from the Eastern shore who gave us a Dave Larkin echo causing many a turning head. The success for our species count has to go to David Ziolkowski , Les Eastman and Dave Larkin. Our numbers included over 20 warblers, with orioles and thrushes. Phil Powers

Harford Glen
Rain can`t stop a good birding day at "the glen". I was joined by Dave Larkin, as well as a new birder to the club who spent the last three years in Singapore and a pleasant young student from C. Milton Wright H.S. We spotted 55 species, including Gray-cheeked, Swainson`s and Wood Thrush, lots of warblers and some sandpipers. Harford Glen has to be best small location for variety in Harford County. Phil Powers

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August 2003

Friday, August 8
Hummingbird Happy Hour Host Les Eastman invites you to his hummer haven near Susquehanna State Park for an evening of socializing and backyard bird watching, highlighted by up-close views of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Participants are asked to bring a snack/appetizer to share, and their own beverages. You are also welcome to bring your swimsuit and enjoy the Eastman's pool. The party begins at 6:00 p.m. at 4034 Wilkinson Road, just west of the intersection with Craigs Corner Road. For further information, contact Les Eastman at les@birdtreks.com.

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Please return to Eileen Nack, 8 Cresmont Drive, Aberdeen MD 21001 by July 4, 2003. __________ Number of adults ( at $5.00 each ) __________ Number of children 12 and under ( at $3.00 each ) Please make checks payable to Harford County MOS. _______________________________ Print your name(s) Include address and phone number if you would like transportation to the meeting. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ TEL:___________________________

Please send any comments to Les Eastman.
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