WRENDERINGS The Newsletter of the Harford Bird Club

Volume 17 Number 6

November - December 2004


Season's Greetings
The 33rd Annual Christmas Bird Count
Fall Count 2004
Mid-Winter Count 2005
Calendar of Events
Harford Bird Club Field Notes...
Harford Watchlist: Cackling Goose
Harford Birdlife
Field Trip Reports
Field Trip Schedule
Winter Meeting

Season's Greetings

Our next meeting will be Friday January 14 at 7 PM. Back by popular demand is Hank Kaestner. Hank gave us his Birdwatcher's Odyssey 2003 While Buying Spices last year, and it was such a hit, he's returning to give this year's version with a bit more spice. You don't want to miss Hank's presentation, just ask someone who heard him last time. We didn't want him to stop talking! Light refreshments will be served.

The November dinner meeting was one of the poorest attended in a long while. Our speaker, Kevin Omland was excellent, enthusiastic and not too technical. He was well received and enjoyed by the 23 persons who attended. We need to decide if we want to continue dinner meetings, or switch to some other type of meeting and get-together. If you have thoughts about Bird Club meetings, please contact me. We will try to survey our membership next issue.

Once again it is the time of year when we dream of "Peace on earth goodwill toward men". Would that it could become a reality. Take a break from all the frantic holiday doings. Find a quiet wood and enjoy a peaceful walk listening to and looking for winged critters. May each of you enjoy a peace-filled, blessed and happy holiday. Resolve in the New Year to do at least one thing to preserve habitat and protect the birds. Jean Wheeler

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The 33rd Annual Christmas Bird Count

The 33rd Rock Run Christmas Bird Count will be held on Monday December 27. This year I would love to have the entire circle covered. Maybe there will not be an orange alert and we can actually count at the dam again. The following is a list of the areas to be covered and leaders who have already contacted me. If you usually count in a particular area, let me know if you can do it again this year. As you can see, many areas are not covered. 1. Oakwood: none, 2. Rowlandville: none, 3. Colora: Tom Congersky, 4. Bainbridge: none, 5. Perrypoint: Russ Kovach, 6. Swan Creek: John Gallo, 7. Havre de Grace: Rick Cheicante, 8. Aldino: none, 9. Susquehanna: Mark Johnson, 10. Rolling Green: Dave Webb, 11a. Deer Creek: none, 11b. Darlington: none, 11c. Conowingo Dam: Gene Scarpulla, 12. Dublin: none, 13. River Flats: Dennis Kirkwood.

Once again Lorna Wortman has graciously offered to host a tally rally at her home in Webster Village, where we can warm up with home made soup and bread while regaling the day's events. Please call me or email at jswheeler44@msn.com. Jean Wheeler

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Fall Count 2004

September 19, 2004. Maybe it is because of spring fever, the desire to be outside from spending a season indoors, or the conspicuousness of male avifauna revved up from the flood of annual systemic hormone concentrations, it is reserved to say that more birdwatchers prefer to participate in the May Count than the Fall Count. Even your esteemed coordinator had other more pressing commitments on the soccer field. However, if I were to choose two days in the year to get out and birdwatch, I would pick a day in the second week of May and September. The latter is particularly interesting since there are so many more individuals of all species, since this period of migration includes all the new young of the year. Approximately 80% or better of the birds we band at Eden Mill in the fall are birds hatched that same year. Because these individuals are sub-adults, their plumage can be subdued, sometimes making identification a challenge.

Although the weather was on the cool side, only one intrepid birdwatcher from Harford County counted birds on our Fall Count. Bill Pfingsten counted birds in the Sweet Air Area of Gunpowder State Park and found 217 individuals and 36 species. Highlights included Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Sharped-shinned Hawks, and a Black-throated Green Warbler. I thank Bill and his efforts and encourage others to follow his example. Data such as these help us have an idea regarding the relative abundance of birds during migration from year to year. Thanks, Bill! Mark Johnson

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Mid-Winter Count 2005

In winter, being indoors is comfortable but probably not preferable to many of us who would rather be outside. Saturday, January 30th is our annual Mid-Winter Bird Count. Here is an opportunity to have an excuse to go outside and count birds in Harford County. Individuals as well as species are counted. In the past, we have had areas in the south and west canvassed, but areas in central Harford County often go uncovered. This includes great spots like Harford Glen, Rocks, Ma & Pa Trail, and Eden Mill. Please consider getting out and counting birds this year. All you need to do is contact Mark Johnson to coordinate. New birdwatchers are always welcomed and can be paired up with others if desired. Call Mark or email at Mark.Steven.Johnson@comcast.net. Mark Johnson

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Calendar of Events

December 27 Rock Run Christmas Bird Count
January 14 Winter Meeting
January 16 Deadline - Harford Birdlife
January 23 Deadline - Wrenderings
January 30 Mid-Winter Bird Count
March 4 Dinner Meeting
May 6 Dinner Meeting
July 15 Summer Social

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Harford Bird Club Field Notes...

'04 - '05 Membership Renewal - Annual membership dues are now overdue for the Harford Bird Club year from September 1, 2004 through August 31, 2005. You should have received a pre-addressed envelope with fee structures in the July-August Wrenderings. If you did not receive this envelope, please contact Joyce Gorsuch at (302) 239-2243 for more information on renewal. Please fill out the envelope, enclose your check made payable to HARFORD MOS and mail it to our treasurer, Joyce Gorsuch. We would like to have all dues paid by November 1, 2004. *Please do not send dues with the dinner reservation form*

Welcome New Members - The Harford Bird Club would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members:

Susan & Bob Hood

Award Nominations - Please email nominations for our Harford Bird Club yearly awards to Jean Wheeler (jswheeler44@msn.com). We need nominations for Bird of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Birder of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. The awards will be presented at the January meeting.

Deepest Sympathies - This past Fall, the Harford Bird Club lost two dear friends: Hammond Brandt and Dennis Kirkwood's father. The Harford Bird Club extends its sincerest condolences to the families of the beloved.

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Harford Watchlist: Cackling Goose

A little light has recently been shed on one of North America's most well known and taxonomically enigmatic waterfowl species. Like most species with a cross-continental distribution, the Canada goose (Branta canadensis) shows considerable variation in both size and plumage traits across its breeding range. For nearly a century ornithologists have debated about the number of subspecies that best describe this variation with most agreeing on at least 11. They are canadensis ("Atlantic"), fulva ("Vancouver"), interior ("Interior"), maxima ("Giant"), moffitti ("Great Basin" or "Western"), occidentalis ("Dusky"), parvipes ("Lesser"), hutchinsii ("Richardson's"), taverneri ("Taverner's"), minima ("Cackling") and leucopareia ("Aleutian"). Recent genetic evidence supports this assertion and further indicates that the small-bodied subspecies (hutchinsii, taverneri, minima, and leucopareia) are all closely related and distinct from the large-bodied subspecies (canadensis, fulva, interior, maxima, moffitti, occidentalis, and parvipes). These findings have prompted the American Ornithological Union to officially reclassify the small-bodied subspecies under the newly designated species name, Cackling goose (Branta hutchinsii).

Both species occupy relatively distinct breeding ranges but the species and subspecies are usually found mixed together during migration and winter. Generally, the larger subspecies winter further north than smaller subspecies but this pattern is reversed on the breeding grounds where smaller geese tend to summer further north than their larger relatives. Case in point, the small Cackling geese have the more northerly range of the two species and breed narrowly from Baffin Island and the Queen Maud Gulf west through central Yukon to the Aleutian Islands and northern Alaska (see figure 1 drawn following the "Birds of North America" species account). Most Cackling Geese migrate over or along the Pacific coast to wintering areas from Oregon south to northern Mexico. However the "Richardson's" Cackling Goose (B. h. hutchinsii) of north-central Canada follows the Great Plains and Mississippi flyways south to wintering areas along the Texas Coast. As is the case with other waterfowl that follow these flyways, small numbers of these Geese regularly turn up along the Atlantic coast.

O.K., so you're itchin' for your first Harford sighting of this new species, what should you look for? Well, for starters it's important to recognize that there are in fact three subspecies of Canada Goose that commonly winter in this area. Largest of these are the resident "giants" (B. c. maxima), which interestingly were considered extinct until rediscovery in the 1960's when they were reintroduced to their native central flyways and subsequently spread eastward. The migratory "Atlantic" (B. c. canadensis) geese average slightly smaller and the "Interior" (B. c. interior) subspecies slightly smaller than that. Factor in environmental affects on growth (poorly fed geese develop proportionately smaller) and you can pretty much discard the simple notion that any relatively smaller Canada geese in a flock must be Cacklers. Still, these three subspecies generally only differ in average body weight by some 10% meaning that the greater than 50% difference between these geese and Richardson's Cacklers is quite noticeable (approaching comparison with a mallard). In addition, Richardson's Cacklers appear small and dumpy; relatively short necked with a steep forehead (less wedge shaped) and with a short stubby bill. They are pale geese with light breasts and backs appearing more grayish than brown at times. A good find, share your sightings with other local birders and, of course, promptly report them to the 'Harford Birdlife' column for full and proper accolades! Dave Ziolkowski

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Image of a Wren over outline of Harford County
Harford Birdlife
September 16, 2004 - November 15, 2004
by Dave Webb

If the fall of 2004 is any indication of the upcoming winter, you might want to stock up at your favorite bird seed supplier (e.g., John & Linda Ireland's Wild Bird Marketplace at Amyclae). So far, it has shaped up as one of the best in recent seasons for Purple Finches and Pine Siskins. The initial reports of Purple Finches were of single birds at backyard feeders near Fountain Green (Oct 22, SU) and Creswell (Oct 27, RC). By the first week of Nov, the invasion kicked into high gear with MJ reporting a flock of 2 males and 4 females at his Glen Elyn residence on the 6th, and DS hosting 2 males and 6 females at his yard in King's Charter the next day. Between Nov 7-15, mixed flocks of up to 4 Purple Finches visited BJD's feeders in Forest Hill. Both RC in Creswell and LE near Susquehanna SP fed flocks of 8 Purple Finches on Nov 14. On Halloween, the first Pine Siskin visited SU's Fountain Green backyard seeking treats. Siskin quartets turned up near Susquehanna SP (Nov 12, LE) and at Bright Oaks (Nov 2-8, LD). A lone Pine Siskin joined a flock of American Goldfinches at RC's thistle feeder in Creswell on Nov 14. Another irruptive winter songbird that appeared was the Red-breasted Nuthatch, starting on Sep 25 in Cooptown (MjH). DW heard the nasal tooting calls of single birds at Webster on Oct 1 & 8, while one showed up at BJD's Forest Hill feeder on Oct 6. The acrobatic feeder behavior of one at LD's Bright Oaks backyard on Nov 8 illustrated why one colloquial name for this species is "topsy-turvy bird".

Elsewhere around the county . . .

WATERFOWL & GAMEBIRDS: DW & dW spotted two skeins totaling 140 Canada Geese returning from their Arctic breeding grounds on Sep 17 over Steppingstone. The first "Richardson's" Cackling Goose in Harford County since its recognition as a distinct species was discovered among a flock of about 500 Canada Geese at an Aldino farm on Nov 8 (MH), and relocated there three days later (BR & DJ). Three Snow Geese were spotted at Newark Farms in White Hall in the first week in Oct (DK). From mid- Oct to mid-Nov, Swan Harbor was safe haven for flocks of Green-winged Teal, with estimated counts ranging between 30 and 70 birds (Oct 14, JG; Oct 17, RC; Nov 11, BR & DJ). Additional teal sightings included 4 Green-wings at Harford Glen (Oct 17, BJD) and 4 Blue-wings at Swan Harbor (Oct 14, JG). The only other pond ducks reported were a pair of Northern Pintails (Nov 11, BR & DJ) and a Wood Duck (Oct 17, RC), both at Swan Harbor. Single Ruddy Ducks showed up at Swan Harbor (Oct 17, RC) and Aldino (Nov 11, BR & DJ), and a trio of Ruddies were seen at APG (Nov 13, MA). A pair of scaup were seen on the Gunpowder River on Sep 16 (CS).

GAMEBIRDS, HERONS & VULTURES: CS stumbled upon a flock of 15 Wild Turkeys at APG-EA on Sep 16. Great Egrets were only seen late in Sep, with singles spotted at Lakeside on the 19th (DL) and Tydings Island on the 24th (CW). A leucistic Turkey Vulture, plumed in white except for brown primaries, was seen by the MD Blvd Gate of APG almost daily from Sep 16-29 (DD).

RAPTORS: Inland sightings of Bald Eagles have become more common over the last decade. Such was true for SH who watched a Bald Eagle perched in a dead tree overlooking a pond at Fallston on Oct 24, and DB who spotted a flyover from her Street backyard on Nov 12. An early, flyover immature Northern Goshawk caught the attention of one birder and scores of frightened waterfowl at Swan Harbor (Oct 14, JG). Large kettles of Broad-winged Hawks went unreported - the largest flight consisted of just 4 birds over Webster on Sep 19 (DW). A lone Broad-wing at APG-EA was harassed by an American Kestrel, one of 6 kestrels reported there on Sep 16 (CS). CW noted a single female kestrel at Tydings Island on Sep 24. Red-shouldered Hawks made a few house calls in our area. BJD reported one perched atop their feeder on Nov 3 and LD of Bright Oaks watched a "Shoulder" casing his backyard stations on Nov 12 & 14.

RAILS & SHOREBIRDS: One of the better finds of this autumn was a late Sora at Swan Harbor on Oct 17 (MH & DP). Migrating "Tringa" sandpipers included a Solitary Sandpiper at Lakeside Business Park (Sep 19, DL), 3 Lesser Yellowlegs at Swan Harbor (Oct 14, JG), both yellowlegs at Harford Glen (3 Greater & 16 Lesser, Oct 17, BJD), and a single Greater Yellowlegs at Club House Pond in Perryman (Oct 24, RC). Swan Harbor produced our only Pectoral Sandpipers (2, Oct 12, MH & DP; 1, Oct 17, RC), and single sightings of Wilson's Snipe (Oct 12, MH & DP; Oct 17 RC). Also on Oct 17, MH & DP turned up one of our rarer shorebirds, an American Golden Plover at Perryman.

GULLS & TERNS: The only reported gulls and terns came from Tydings Island in Havre de Grace. On Sep 24, CW identified 4 Caspian and 12 Forster's Terns. MH & DP on Oct 17 picked out 2 Caspians, 10 Forster's, and an impressive 45 Laughing Gulls.

CUCKOOS, OWLS & GOATSUCKERS: A Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew into the banding nets at Eden Mill on the late date of Oct 17 (MJ). The banding team was even more surprised on the evening of Nov 5, when they caught and banded Eden Mill's first-ever Northern Saw-whet Owl. On Oct 17, RC found a Great Horned Owl at Swan Harbor, while BJD heard a Barred Owl frequently calling from Harford Glen. The final Common Nighthawk of the season was headed southbound over downtown Aberdeen on Sep 22 (DW).

HUMMINGBIRDS, KINGFISHERS & WOODPECKERS: LE not only had the first Ruby- throated Hummingbird report of the year (Apr 22), and the most (20 on Jun 24), he completed the Triple Crown by claiming the last hummer of the year at his home near Susquehanna SP on Sep 29. Kayaking along the Havre de Grace shoreline, CW counted an impressive 4 Belted Kingfishers on Sep 24, while BJD found a lone kingfisher at Harford Glen on Oct 17. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were seen at backyards in Bright Oaks (Nov 12, LD) and Forest Hill (Nov 15, BJD), and a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were seen along the Greenway Trail at Susquehanna SP (14 Nov, CW).

FLYCATCHERS, LARKS & SWALLOWS: dW pointed out an Eastern Phoebe in his Webster backyard on Oct 3. Horned Larks were reported from Perryman on two occasions: MH & DP uncovered a dozen on Oct 17, and RC saw a pair one week later. Lingering Tree Swallows were still at Swan Harbor on Oct 17 (MH, DP, & RC).

WRENS, THRUSHES & MIMIDS: Nov 11 was a good day for wrenspotting, as SU found a Winter Wren at his yard near Fountain Green, and JG recorded 2 Marsh Wrens in the cattail impoundment of Swan Harbor. On Oct 29, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets and 3 Hermit Thrushes were caught in Eden Mill's nets (MJ & LE), however the kinglets were immediately released since bands were not available small enough to fit their tiny legs. BJD were entertained by a male bluebird at their Forest Hill backyard on Nov 15. The only mimid of note was a Brown Thrasher discovered at Harford Glen (Sep 22, PP).

PIPITS, WAXWINGS & WARBLERS: American Pipits returned to Harford on Oct 24, with RC discovering a flock of 8 at Perryman. A larger of flock of 20 was reported from Aldino on Nov 11 (BR & DJ). One dozen Cedar Waxwings were seen in a treetop of RC's Creswell property on Nov 14. At Leight Park, PP saw a male Northern Parula (Sep 26), and from Harford Glen he noted two female Black-throated Blue Warblers and a male Nashville Warbler (Sep 29). LE & MJ banded a late Tennessee Warbler at Eden Mill on Oct 4.

SPARROWS: Harford birders in 2004 proved why October is the favorite month for ardent "sparrowphiles". The excitement began on Oct 12, when MH came across a hard-to-find Lincoln's Sparrow at Perryman. RC was at Swan Harbor also on the 17th, where he noted 5 Eastern Towhees, a dozen White- throats, two Field Sparrows, and the first Fox Sparrow of the season. One week later RC scoured the soy fields and brush of Perryman, spotting Vesper Sparrow, 6 Savannahs, and 10 White-crowns. On Oct 14, JG found a pair of Swamp Sparrows at the Swan Harbor impoundments. The first report of Dark-eyed Juncos came from MjH's feeders in Cooptown on Oct 16, including one bird that she described as of the "Oregon" race.

BUNTINGS, GROSBEAKS & BLACKBIRDS: Single Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were observed at a Creswell feeder (Sep 17, RC), Otter Point Creek (Sep 26, PP), and in the banding nets of Eden Mill (Oct 1, MJ & LE). MH & DP found an extremely late Bobolink at Swan Harbor on Oct 17, the same location where, on Nov 11, BR & DJ saw a rare Snow Bunting standing in the middle of the road.

CONTRIBUTORS: Matt Anthony (MA), Debbie Bowers (DB), Rick Cheicante (RC), Lynn Davis (LD), Bob & Jan Depuy (BJD), Deidre DeRoia (DD), Les Eastman (LE), John Gallo (JG), Matt Hafner (MH), Marjie Heagy (MjH), Susan Hood (SH), Don Jewell (DJ), Mark Johnson (MJ), Dennis Kirkwood (DK), Dave Larkin (DL), Dave Powell (DP), Phil Powers (PP), Bob Ringler (BR), Don Soubie (DS), Chris Starling (CS), Spike Updegrove (SU), Daniel Webb (dW), Dave Webb (DW), and Colleen Webster (CW).

Please email your sightings of the usual and the unusual to porzana@comcast.net, or snailmail them to Dave Webb, 4141 Quail Way, Havre de Grace, 21078. Please remember to include the date, location, and (approximate) number of birds observed. The timeframe for the next column is Nov 16, 2004 thru Jan 15, 2005.

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Harford Bird Club
Field Trip Reports

Butterflies and Dragonflies of Harford County
August 28: The 7th Annual Butterfly and Dragonfly trip was a sweltering success. 90 degrees, 90% humidity, and all at only 9 o'clock. This year's meandering moved to a new location: Swan Harbor. Originally tripped to the Greenway along the Susquehanna, and then the ode-friendly confines of Harford Glen for a couple of years, Swan Harbor was scouted as a more lepid-friendly location. Front gardens with buddleia, monarda, echinacea and lantana and more open, sunny spaces would certainly address the yearning for more butterflies from trips past. Let it be said, "Dragonflies are unequivocally more predictable to locate than their more flighty, nectar-dependent sought-after counterparts. The odes are steadfast carnivores, "hawking" aerial plankton from fixed, favorite locations, usually with a significant, albeit sometimes temporal, water feature nearby. The butterflies, however, are more suspect to microclimes, thus undergo less-predictable fluctuations due to seasonal climatic variations which in turn may effect the local botany. With multiple brooding and shorter flight periods vs. odes, butterflies' flights like flower bloom themselves, can shift by a week or so resulting in less predictability, but, with more surprises!"

Ten of us met, to include the Pierson's who have participated in this trip every year. I was also pleased to be informed that in a recent Baltimore Sun paper article about MD "ode watching", we were mentioned as the one other bird club conducting dragonfly trips (Howard is the other). There was also some pre-trip "buzzing" on the MD Bugs listserver. Not bad!

Neither were the butterflies. The front garden immediately produced Tiger and Black Swallowtails, Painted Lady, Fiery Skipper, Least Skipper and the undisputed king of skipper confusion: The Sachem. Until you experience many of the other similar skippers for a few times, one always tries to turn the Sachem into everything one can. Hint: It's a Sachem, until, of course, proven otherwise, and then everything becomes obvious. Out across the fields towards the bay we found Common Buckeye, Variegated Fritillary, a freshly emerged Gray Hairstreak and a plethora of whites and sulfurs. "Puddling" down by the bay was the silky black Common Sootywing. Those left standing the grueling heat went "ode- ing" at the impoundment where Common Green Darner, Carolina and Black Saddlebags were evident. Nice field comparisons were done for Common Pondhawk vs. Blue Dasher, with male, female and juveniles present. Big Bluet, Familiar Bluet and Fragile Forktail made up the common damsels. It was an enthusiastic group that played out like Field Entomology 101. Look forward to next year! Rick Cheicante

Harford Glen
September 4: We had good weather (cool, partly cloudy) for another pleasant visit to this Harford County gem. Fifteen of us toured the various habitats and, although not as productive as in the spring, were rewarded with some good bird activity. The wetlands provided us with Great Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Semipalmated and Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, kingfisher, Killdeer, Mallard, and Canada Goose. It was disappointing that we could find only two warblers, a Common Yellowthroat and a Pine Warbler. We got good looks at a White-breasted Nuthatch and three woodpeckers - Northern Flicker, Downy, and Red-bellied. A hummingbird treated us with a fly-by, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo called from a distant perch. A careful study of a long perching and very still bird in poor light confirmed a Brown Thrasher! Those birds, along with the common varieties we observed, gave us a total count of 32 species. Lynn Davis & Betsy Reeder

Eden Mill
September 12: A cool almost Fall like morning greeted the small group of three people who met at the lower Eden Mill parking lot. We made our way slowly up the hill past the Mill towards the bridge over the river. Activity was slow at first just An Eastern Phoebe on the trail fence. As the sun rose higher, activity increased with Gray Catbird, White Eyed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, Pine Warbler., Orchard Oriole among the species seen or heard. At the bridge we joined Mark Johnson who was banding that morning. The rest of the trip was spent with Mark inspecting the Mist Nets. Birds banded included Cardinal, House Finch, Gray Catbird, Magnolia Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler, Common Yellow Throat, Indigo Bunting, and White Eyed Vireo. Our thanks go to Mark for giving us such an enjoyable morning and letting us handle birds. David Larkin

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January - April 2005

Saturday, January 15: Fourteenth Annual Harford County Feeder Tour. Who can resist good food, good company, and a chance to check out what the Jones's are really getting at their bird feeder? This morning trip will tour three or more "winter bird equipped" houses in Harford County. From the meeting location we'll carpool to our first hosts home where we'll perch in the warmth and overlook their bird feeder spread for an hour or so before migrating on to the next. Participation is limited though so please contact Les Eastman to reserve your spot and receive meeting times and location.

Sunday, January 23: Perryville Town Park. Join co-leaders Russ Kovach and Colleen Webster for a tour of this very birdy park separating the head of the Chesapeake into the Susquehanna Flats and Furnace Bay. Sporting a mix of fields, forest, and open water, the park is one of the best locations in the upper bay for seeing wintering waterfowl and songbirds of all kinds. Trails are open and paved and walking is easy. 'Scope if you've got 'em' and meet at the MD 155 and I-95 park-n-ride at 8:00 AM. Contact Russ for more information.

Saturday, February 5: World Famous Bradenbaugh Flats. Bradenbaugh born and raised, you'll find no better guide to escort you through the bustling hedgerows and large open fields of this winter birding wonderland. The morning trip will consist mostly of drive-and-stop birding, followed by a wrap-up at the Kirkwood's house featuring (delicious!) homemade soup and breads. Ring-necked Duck, Horned Lark, and White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows are regulars but American Pipit, Snow Bunting, and Lapland Longspur are distinct possibilities. Meet at Jarrettsville Elementary School at 8:00 AM. Contact Dennis for more information.

Sunday, February 13: Black Marsh To Marshy Point. Filling big shoes, leaders Dave Larkin and Phil Powers take us once again to this popular Baltimore County birding destination. Designated a State Wildland and Natural Heritage Area, the 232­acre Black Marsh is one of the finest tidal marshes in the Upper Bay Region. The great variety of habitats offers access to the full gamut of winter birds, from large rafts of Scaup and Ruddy Ducks to Tundra Swan, Northern Harrier, Winter Wren, and Fox Sparrow. Lucky spotters may also see muskrats, beavers, foxes, and otters. Dress warmly, bring lunch, and meet at 8:00 AM at the MD 152 and I-95 park-n-ride for this day trip. Contact Dave for details.

Saturday, February 19: Maryland And Delaware Shore. A perennial favorite of local birders this full day adventure visits some of Delmarva's birding mega-hotspots in search of winter waifs and northern strays. Target birds include Northern Gannet, Eiders, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Snowy Owl, Great Cormorant, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Bring lunch and warm, comfortable clothing. Meet at the MD 155 and I-95 park-n-ride at 6:30 AM. Contact leader Les Eastman for more information.

Sunday, February 27: Susquehanna State Park. A favored local destination and a great place to bird year round. Join leader Colleen Webster to take full advantage of the great riverside access and extensive forests. Trip goers can expect to see Nuthatches, Sapsuckers, and a nice mix of open water ducks. Meet at 7:30 AM at the Rock Run Mill. Contact Colleen for more information.

Saturday, March 5: Muddy Run WMA. 3/4 day trip to this southern Lancaster County hotspot along the Susquehanna River that has recorded over 250 species of birds in the last 25 years. Something rare shows up nearly every year but among the many birds to be expected on this trip are Common Loon, Snow Goose, Bald Eagle, American Pipit, and Fox Sparrow. Bring lunch and meet leader Russ Kovach at the MD 543 and 165 park-n-ride at 7:00 AM. Bring lunch. Call Russ for additional information.

Sunday, March 13: Harford Waterfowl Tour. Marvel at thousands of Lesser Scaup and search for species that are tough to find locally, such as Surf Scoter, Redhead, Long-tailed Duck, and Northern Shoveler. Beginners interested in learning the basics of waterfowl identification and experienced watchers searching for rarities will enjoy this morning trip to the Gunpowder River and Havre de Grace. Scopes are helpful, although not necessary. Dress warmly and MUST BRING PHOTO ID. Meet at 6:00 AM in back lot of the Rt. 40 McDonald's in Edgewood. Contact trip leader Dave Webb for trip details.

Wednesday, March 16: Timberdoodle watch. The first in a pair of early evening trips designed to take you into the mating arena of one of North America's most bizarre birds. The American Woodcock, a seemingly confused, and exceedingly plump, little shorebird that prefers wooded fields and forest. Hear them call and watch them spring into a mating ritual that includes musical twitters, an upward spiraling flight followed by a "falling leaf"-like descent, and pumps and rushes once back on terra firma. Dress warmly and meet John Gallo at the east end of the Aberdeen Wal-mart parking lot at 6:00 PM. Contact John for more details.

Saturday, March 19: Perryman and Forest Greens. Explore this locally popular birding destination well known for it's large fields and bayside access. Trip will also visit the large wildlife pond and vernal woodland of the Forest Greens Property, another preservation project precipitated by the Harford Land Trust. Timing of trip presents a great opportunity to find Wilson's Snipe, Horned Lark, American Pipit, Savannah Sparrow and a good mix of puddle ducks. Meet leaders Dennis Kirkwood and Lynn Davis at 7:00 AM at the Roy Williams Elementary School. Contact Dennis for details.

Wednesday, March 23: Timberdoodle watch. The second early evening trip of a pair. Meet the dynamic duo of Powers and Bowers at the location provided in the previous description. Contact Phil for more information.

Friday, April 1: Lapidum Landing. Unbeatable river access at an ideal time of the year! Join leader Dave Web to scan the mighty Susquehanna for loons, grebes, waterfowl, raptors, gulls and more. High hopes of spotting Little and/or Black-headed Gulls…and for once folks he's not joking (special one day only offer). Convene at the Lapidum Rd. boat launch parking lot at 7:30 AM. Contact Dave for more information.

Saturday, April 2: Harford Glen. Let leader Randy Robertson guide you on a trip through the marshes, fields, and forests of this perennial club favorite. Always a productive location, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Duck, Wilson's Snipe, and Kinglets are likely with Palm Warbler a distinctive possibility. Meet at the mansion house at 8:00 AM. Contact Randy for more information.

Sunday, April 10: Jerusalem Mill. Take a leisurely stroll around this historic area and along the Little Gunpowder River from the Mill to the Jerico Covered Bridge. Meet Phil Powers in hopes of finding Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush. Meet at the mill (off Jerusalem Rd.) at 7:30 A.M. Contact Phil for details.

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Winter Meeting

Harford Bird Club - Winter Meeting
Friday, January 14, 2005
Churchville Presbyterian Church
Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Guest Speaker:
Mr. Hank Kaestner
Maryland and World Birdwatcher

"Birdwatcher's Odyssey 2004 While Buying Spices"

Refreshments will be served

Annual Award Presentations

Please send any comments to Les Eastman.
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