WRENDERINGS The Newsletter of the Harford Bird Club

Volume 19 Number 2

March - April 2006



CONTENTS

Welcome to Spring 2006
May Count
Mid-Winter Count 2006
Calendar of Events
Local Businesses Support HBC.
Harford Birdlife
Field Trip Schedule
Field Trip Reports
May Meeting


Welcome to Spring 2006

It is amazing how often weather is the first thing to come to mind when birding. An unimaginably warm January lead us into a chilly and very dry February and March. But even as we fight the recent cold snaps it is hard to forget that spring and warbler watching is quickly on its way! Pine Warblers were back in force on Dave Webb's 'Harford Waterfowl Tour', and it undoubtedly is any day now before Palm and Yellow-throated Warblers start making their presence known. The Osprey are back on the upper Chesapeake, and the Bonaparte's Gulls have begun their congregation along the Susquehanna River, easily observed from Lapidum Landing. The busiest time of the Harford Bird Club year is right around the corner.

In the next two months we will have two events that will feature our display board in the public. On April 22nd the Harford County Earth Day celebration will take place at the Aberdeen Festival Park from 11:00am until 4:00pm. This festival is quickly becoming a tradition in the county and our continued presence will be an important outreach opportunity. In addition we have secured a table at the Havre deGrace Decoy Festival in the Middle School on the weekend of May 5th through 7th. We will need volunteers to man the tables and spread the birding news (so to say) at each event... please feel free to call or email me if you are interested!

That Friday, May 5th, will also be our next meeting. The featured speaker will be none other than our own Matt Haffner, fresh out of the swamps of Arkansas searching for...well...maybe we cannot say??? Matt has certainly been an integral part of the Maryland birding community over the past 5 years, and he is sure to have many stories and photographs to share from his adventures. Speaking of meeting presentations, anybody that was here in March to see Dr. Matt Perry discuss the Atlantic Seaduck Project was not disappointed; his discussion included fantastic travel stories, great photographs, information about much of Maryland's waterfowl, and incredible footage of diving ducks in a specially-built dive tank! For sure we have had informative and fun meetings so far this year; we can look forward to more of the same in May and beyond.

There are many regional birding opportunities in the near future. For several years now the Delmarva Birding Weekend has been offered the final week of April by the Worcester County Board of Tourism. Many trips are offered covering everything from ocean birding at Cape Henlopen to evening marsh hikes, and some of the most incredible canoe trips one could ever want to take. For more information please call 410-632-3617 or 800-852-0335, or email econ@ezy.net. You can also get more information on the web at http://skipjack.net/le_shore/birdingweekend. That same weekend is a clean-up day at the Carey Run Sanctuary in Garrett County. These clean-up days are surprisingly fun and offer great birding in addition to the satisfaction of helping maintain one of the jewels of the bird club. Soon afterwards the Spring Migration (May) Bird Count will take place, this year on Mother's Day weekend. Could one find a better way to celebrate a favorite Mother in our life than by a day of spirited birding??? Contact Mark Johnson for more information about the May Count.

Now is also a good time to start planning your trip to the state convention, this year at Rocky Gap State Park and Convention Center from June 9th - 11th. Featured in the silent auction and raffle at the convention will be a 'weekend get-a-way' package to Havre deGrace that was compiled by Dave Webb and Colleen Webster discussed elsewhere in this newsletter. It will be worth attending the conference just to have a chance to win that package! The convention will also be a great place to check out the new 'YMOS', a birding organization for kids with its own newsletter and activities. This will be an exciting time for the MOS and the Harford County Bird Club; one of the simplest ways to support our position in the state is attending the conventions. With Maryland's population booming, the need for conservation organizations like the MOS will become more and more clear. Let's all do our part by participating on counts, birding events, attending the Earth Day and Decoy Festivals, visiting the MOS convention, and of course by coming out to see Matt speak on May 5th! Best birding wishes to all! Russ Kovach

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May Count

The International Migratory Bird Day is Saturday, May 13th, or more locally known as May Count. This day, many will count species and individuals at habitats frequented by birdwatchers everywhere. However, many areas go uncounted, even in the relatively populous Harford County. This information is complied at the County, State, and often Country level to give us a snapshot on avian migration. Birdwatchers of all levels are encouraged to join in. Last year, many great places went uncounted (e.g. Harford Glen). Other information such as miles walked, driven, hours spent, and local weather conditions are also collected. Please contact Mark Johnson for more information on where and how to participate (410-692-5978).

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Mid-Winter Count 2006

An unseasonably warm, nearly perfect day greeted birdwatchers in Harford County for our Mid Winter count this year. Eleven participated in six parties that covered the south, east and west areas of the county. The central and northeastern part of the county was uncovered. Altogether, over 19,000 birds of 91 species were found. Highlights are presented as follows.

Eileen Fry, Carol Flora, Phil Powers, and Terry Haley covered the Perryman Area and found both kinglet species, and found the only Ruddy Ducks and Lesser Scaup for the count. They also found two Mute Swans and listed 48 species. John Gallo covered Swan Harbor and logged an impressive 60 species including Tree and White-crowned Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Great-horned and Screech Owls, and six of seven woodpecker species. Monroe Hardin covered Susquehanna State Park and found both vulture species, two Bald Eagles, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler for a total of 25 species. Dennis Kirkwood canvassed the World Famous Bradenbaugh Flats area and found Green-winged Teal, Ring- necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, a Barred Owl and the only American Pipits for the count. In total, he reported finding 48 species in the WFBF area. Mark Johnson counted in the Sweet Air Area of Gunpowder State Park and found three Fox Sparrows and witnessed a male Pileated Woodpecker carving out a nest hole. He found 34 species. Dave Webb and Suzanne Procell covered the APG - Aberdeen Area and tied John with 60 species; however, found twice the number of individuals at around 10,000 individual birds recorded. They found eight species of sparrows including 59 Savannahs and 205 Tree Sparrows, three Short-eared Owls, a Merlin, eleven Wild Turkeys and the only Virginia Rail for the count. Conspicuously low was the number of Yellow-rumped Warblers at two for the combined count for all parties. Weather was not likely a significant factor since overall temperatures were unseasonably warm overall. Thanks go out to all who counted and provided complete reports for the day. Mark Johnson

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Calendar of Events

April 22 Earth Day
May 1 Deadline: Harford Birdlife: Becky Gallo
May 5 Spring Meeting: Matt Haffner
May 5 - 7 Havre de Grace Decoy Festival
May 13 May Count: Mark Johnson
May 23 Deadline: Wrenderings: Rick Cheicante
June 9 - 11 MOS Covention: Rocky Gap State Park

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Local Businesses Support HBC.

In 1993, John & Linda Ireland opened The Wild Bird Marketplace to meet the demands of Harford's bird enthusiasts. Over the years, the Irelands have moved their business from its original location in Bel Air to Fountain Green, and now to its current location in the Forest Hill Industrial Airpark. What has not changed over the life of the business is John & Linda's unwavering support of the Harford Bird Club through the donation of countless items for the raffles held at our dinner meetings.

Gary Lang started his fledgling business, Chesapeake Optics in Havre de Grace just a few years ago. Gary has generously donated several items, including binoculars, that have significantly raised the quality of prizes in our raffles.

In support of this year's MOS Silent Auction to be held at the state conference at Rocky Gap from June 9- 11, noted Havre de Grace carver Joey Jobe graciously donated a handsome Canvasback drake decoy.

The club solicited donations that will be collectively raffled off as a 'Havre de Grace Overnight Getaway Package' at the MOS conference. Club member Carol Nemeth contributed a lavish one-night stay for two in her Victorian bed & breakfast, the Spencer Silver Mansion. The three chef-owners of The Laurappin Grille (voted best new restaurant in 2005 by Harford Magazine) and St. John Gourmet donated a gift card that can be used at either of their "sister" restaurants. (One of those co-owners, Jeff Lindeman, is a 1989 graduate of C. Milton Wright and former student of our own Spike Updegrove!) For those who enjoy a meal with a personal touch, there is also a complete dinner for two at The Havre de Grace Ritz Gourmet Café, a charming eatery featured on WBAL Radio's Beltway Gourmet. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Bomboy's Homemade Candy donated a certificate for two pounds of their mouth-watering chocolates. Also awaiting the winner of this package are two passes to the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, housing one of the finest collections of working and decorative Chesapeake Bay decoys; and a gift certificate from Washington Street Books, a bibliophile's paradise featuring over 60,000 titles. The combined retail value of the items donated by Havre de Grace businesses for this raffle package is nearly $300.

The support that these businesses so generously donate to the Harford Bird Club cannot be understated. Please patronize our benefactors, and tell them how much you appreciate their support of MOS and the Harford Bird Club. Dave Webb

Wild Bird Marketplace: 2203A Commerce Rd., Forest Hill, 836-5000

Chesapeake Optics: 300 St. John St, HdG, 939-9412

Jobes' Decoys: 619 Bourbon St., HdG, 939-1807

Spencer Silver Mansion: 200 S. Union Ave., HdG, 939-1485

The Laurrapin Grille & St. John Gourmet: 209 N. Washington St., HdG, 939-3663

The Havre de Grace Ritz Gourmet Cafe: 100 N. Washington St., HdG, 939-5858

Bomboy's Chocolates: 329 Market St., HdG, 939-2924

HdG Decoy Museum: 215 Giles St., HdG, 939-3739

Washington St. Books: 131 N. Washington St, HdG, 939-6215

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Image of a Wren over outline of Harford County
Harford Birdlife
by Becky Gallo

WINTER 2005/2006: This winter has been a mild one compared to other years. Everyone has been able to get out and go bird watching. Popular places for winter birding this year were Conowingo dam, Susquehanna State Park, Lakeside and Swan Harbor.

We have had a first time sighting - MD saw a Black-and-white Warbler at the Conowingo Dam on Dec 16. DB got to see a Red-tailed Hawk chasing a brown bat on the afternoon of Jan 12 in Street. The brown bat won and lived to see another day. A Blue-winged Teal must have gotten lost in migration and ended up at Swan Harbor on Dec 4 (BB, MH, JB). The only Merlin sightings sent by JG at Swan Harbor on Valentine's Day, he saw 2, one eating in a field and the other flying. CC spotted an adult Peregrine Falcon on an electric tower on Dec 7 on Rowland Island. A Golden Eagle flew over the intersection of 155 and 161 on Feb 25 (CW).

GEESE, SWANS, DUCKS, GAMEBIRDS. Harford County saw three species of geese this season. The high count of 60 Snow Geese flew over Darlington on Feb 20 (DK). Cackling Geese were sighted at Turney's Pond (DK, Dec 10), in Jarrettsville (KG, Dec 1) and in Darlington (BB, MH, JB, Dec 4). 3000 Canada Geese gathered at Swan Harbor on Jan 3 to ring in the New Year (JRG, SHS). DWW found 350 Tundra Swans at Spesutie Narrows on Dec 24.

Ducks were abundant this winter; sightings came from all of the birding hot spots in Harford County. Three Wood Ducks were at Turney's Pond on Dec 26 (DK). BB, MH, JB found 18 Gadwall swimming at Forest Green. At Swan Harbor JG saw 30+ American Black Ducks on the Ducks Unlimited Pond on Dec 4th. MoH saw 20 Mallards on Dec 22 at the Havre de Grace Promenade. Northern Pintails were at Swan Harbor on Dec 4 and Feb 5 (JG). One hundred Green-winged Teal were at Swan Harbor on Dec 4th (BB, MH, JB). DL saw the most Ring-necked Ducks on Feb 5 at Lakeside. MoH was at the Havre de Grace Promenade on Dec 22 when he saw a group of 37 Greater and Lesser Scaup. At Lapidum BB, MH & JB saw 3 Long-tailed Ducks on Dec 4. On Feb 25 BJD saw 2 Bufflehead in the marsh across from Home Depot in Edgewood. One Common Goldeneye was swimming in the Susquehanna River on Dec 27 (MoH). BJD saw 14 Hooded Mergansers and 30 Common Mergansers at John Smith Park off of Route 40 on Feb 25. One Red-breasted Merganser was at Lakeside on Feb 5 (DL).

Wild Turkeys couldn't hide from our birders this winter! CW saw one in a field off of Route 155 for three consecutive days in Feb. A flock of 12 were in Rocks State Park on Jan 5 (RK & AG). A Northern Bobwhite was in the Perryman area on Dec 4 (BB, MH, JB).

GREBES, HAWKS, FALCONS. Two species of Grebes were sighted. Pie-billed Grebes were on the Bush River (BB, MH, JB, Dec 4) and on Turney's Pond (DK Dec 10, 27). Horned Grebes which are a rare breed in the winter were found at Lapidum, Oakington and on the Bush River (BB, MH, JB Dec 4).

Eagles, hawks and kestrels were everywhere this season! Bald Eagles were fishing, flying and perching at Swan Harbor (JG, Dec), Conowingo Dam (MoH, Dec), Lakeside (BJD, Feb), Havre de Grace (CW, Feb), and APG (MoH, Dec). A Northern Harrier spent a lot of time at Swan Harbor in Dec hunting (JG). SH saw one in Fallston on Dec 18 and RK saw one flying over Carson's Run Road on Dec 13. A Sharp- shinned Hawk was stalking birds at MJ's feeder on Feb 18. DMW had a Cooper's Hawk stalking successfully at their feeders on Feb 26. Nesting building time for a Red-shouldered Hawk started on Feb 3 in Earlton (DWW). CW saw 2 Red-tailed Hawks flying together on Feb 24, mating season for them too? American Kestrels found a good hunting area in the fields on Route 155 right before Route 22 (CW Feb 26, 27).

PLOVERS, GULLS, OWLS. All the shorebirds migrated south except for the Killdeer. Killdeer are uncommon in the winter but our birders scoped some out. At Swan Harbor they were around in Dec (JG). BJD saw Killdeer at Lakeside on Feb 25.

Four species of gulls were sighted this winter. Fifteen Herring Gulls were at Susquehanna State Park on Dec 17 (MoH). On Jan 3 1000 Ring-billed Gulls were in the fields of Swan Harbor (JG). One Lesser Black-backed Gull was at the Conowingo Dam on Dec 4 (BB, MH, JB). MoH saw 2 Great Black-backed Gulls at Susquehanna State Park on Dec 26.

The Eastern Screech Owls were quiet this season, no one heard or saw any but Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls were out. JG had a Great Horned Owl calling at Swan Harbor on Dec 5 and DB saw one in Street on Jan 13. A Barred Owl took a chance and crossed Harford Road in front of DL on Feb 27.

KINGFISHER, WOODPECKERS. Belted Kingfishers were sighted all over the county. BJD saw one flying at Lakeside on Feb 25. MoH spotted one at Forest Greens on Dec 12 and in the Perryman Club House Road Lake area on Dec 11.

Woodpeckers didn't hide this winter, we found all but the rare Red-headed Woodpecker. Red-bellied Woodpeckers were at Susquehanna State Park (MoH), Bosely (MoH) and in Street (DB). MoH & BB, MH, JB saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Forest Greens, could it have been the same one? RK saw one in Joppatowne on Jan 21. Downy Woodpeckers were at Swan Harbor on Dec 17 (JG) and in Perryman on Dec 22 (MoH). At Swan Harbor a Hairy Woodpecker was seen flying on Dec 17 (JG). Northern Flickers were spotted at APG (MoH), and Swan Harbor (JG). RC heard a Pileated Woodpecker in Creswell.

LARKS, NUTHATCHES, THRUSH, PIPIT. Horned Larks had a high count of 100 seen by DK at Turney's Pond. DWW saw 11 in the Aldino area on Jan 1. They were around Swan Harbor all winter (JG).

Red-breasted Nuthatches were found in Fallston (SH), Creswell (RC), in Forest Hill (BJD) and at a feeder on Atkisson Road (KGR). White-breasted Nuthatches were at the feeders at Swan Harbor on Dec 18 (JG) and at feeders in BP's yard (Dec 2). Hermit Thrushes seemed to be everywhere. DB saw one in her bird bath on Feb 27 and then flew into the hollies for a snack. CC saw 4 in Susquehanna State Park on Dec 7. Four were also found at APG on Dec 24 (DWW). American Pipits traveled in groups of four according to our birders. DK saw 4 at Brandenbaugh Flats on Feb 12 and BB, MH, JB saw 4 in Perryman on Dec 4.

WARBLERS, SPARROWS, FINCHES. Only two warblers were sighted this winter. At Bosely MoH saw 8 Yellow-rumped Warblers on Dec 22. BJD has a Pine Warbler that's been visiting their feeder since Jan 25.

Sparrows were not shy. At Lakeside DL saw 4 Field Sparrows on Feb 19. On Dec 4 BB, MH and JB saw 200 Savannah Sparrows at Swan Harbor. At APG on Dec 24 DWW saw 5 Fox Sparrows. MoH saw 5 Song Sparrows and 3 White-throated Sparrows at the Havre de Grace Lockhouse on Dec 10. There were 30 White-crowned Sparrows in Perryman on Dec 4 according to SC.

Purple Finches enjoyed the feeders. MJ had them at his in Glen Elyn since Feb 10. DWW saw them at his feeders in Dec and Feb. One Pine Siskin was in Webster on Dec 7 and Jan 9 (DWW). The American Goldfinches were found in Havre de Grace by MoH in Dec and Jan.

I want to thank everyone who contributed. The next article will have sightings from March 1 until April 30 2006. You can call me with sightings - 410-459-8873 or email me - scout564@msn.com. Please send the reports as you see them, it makes compiling the data easier.

Thanks and Happy Birding!

DB - Deb Bowers, JB - Jim Brighton, BB - Bill Bubick, CC - Chuck Chalfant, RC - Rick Cheicante, SC - Steve Collins, MD - Molly Dally, BJD - Bob & Jan Depuy, JG - John Gallo, AG - Annie Gayetsky, KG - Kevin Graff, MH - Matt Hafner, MoH - Monroe Harden, SH - Susan Hood, MJ - Mark Johnson, DK - Dennis Kirkwood, RK - Russ Kovach, DL - Dave Larkin, BP - Bill Pfingsten, KGR - Kathy & George Rohe, SHS - Swan Harbor Staff, DWW - Dave Webb, DMW - Dave & Marsha Webb, CW - Colleen Webster.

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Field Trip Schedule
by Colleen Webster

Saturday, April 22
Girls-Gone-Wildflower. The club once again returns to the Abingdon area and the often overlooked Stoney State Forest to witness its impressive assortment of wildflowers and early migrants. Led by experienced birders Jean Wheeler & Carol Flora and wildflower guru Colleen Webster, trip goers are likely to see early spring migrants like Blue-headed Vireo and an array of wildflowers likely including Yellow Ladyslipper. Meet at 7:00 AM at the McDonald's parking lot near the intersection of route 7 and MD 543 (Riverside Shopping Center). Contact Jean Wheeler for more information.

Sunday, April 23
Swan Harbor Farms. This county owned park on the Oakington Peninsula contains a mix of flooded & dry agricultural fields, deciduous woodlands, and brushy meadows. Great spot to search for Blue-winged Teal, Sora, and Horned Lark. Highlights could also include Pectoral Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, and a mixed bag of early songbirds. Meet leader Dave Webb at the park headquarters at the end of the entrance road at 7:00 AM. Contact Dave Webb for more details.

Friday, April 28
Eden Mill. Grab a handful of in-hand photos with Mark Johnson and Les Eastman as they themselves grab handfuls of sparrows, warblers, and vireos from the nets of the Eden Mill banding station. Leisurely roadside hike through this scenic park along upper Deer Creek will follow after several net checks and a demonstration of the art and science of handling birds. Like fishing, you'll never know what'll turn up in the nets next! Meet at the next lot up the road, about 1/2 mile north, of the Mill House, at 7:00 AM. Contact Les for details.

Saturday, April 29
Susquehanna State Park. Enjoy the early spring wildflowers and migrant songbirds that have made this State Park so popular with local naturalists. The birdlist will likely include Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush while flower enthusiasts can expect to see blooming Trout Lily, Purple Trillium, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Meet leader Rick Cheicante at the Rock Run Mill at 7:00 AM for best looks at songbirds; late risers and flower peepers can meet there at 8:30 AM for a birding/natural history walk. For further information, contact Rick Cheicante.

Sunday, April 30
Harford Glen. Experience the Glen at its peak as leaders Lynn Davis and Betsy Reeder guide you through the marshes, fields, and forests of this perennial club favorite. Always a productive location, an impressive species list including shorebirds, warblers, and other songbirds is certain. Meet at the mansion house at 7:00 AM. Contact Lynn Davis for more information.

Saturday, May 6
Susquehanna State Park. Known to draw both traveling birds and birders alike, this trip annually reaffirms the park's reputation as one of the preeminent local birding spots. Veteran leader Les Eastman will help you pick through a myriad of songbirds in hopes of getting good looks at northbound migrants including Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, & Prothonotary Warblers and Baltimore & Orchard Orioles. Meet at 7:00 AM at the Conowingo Dam Parking Lot. Contact Les for more information.

Sunday, May 7
Eden Mill. Once again return to this scenic park along upper Deer Creek for an opportunity to catch more than just glimpses of your favorite birds. Great in-hand photos of warblers and Indigo Buntings are likely as well as looks at a mixed bag of migrant songbirds during the leisurely roadside hike to follow. Like fishing, you'll never know what'll turn up in the nets next! Meet a t the next lot up the road, about 1/2 mile north, of the Mill House, at 8:00 AM. Contact Mark Johnson for details.

Sunday, May 14
Sweet Air. Join a teaming of mother and appreciative husband, Denise and Mark Johnson, for a visit to this fittingly named park on this special day. The 1,250 acre Sweet Air section of the Gunpowder Falls State Park offers a network of nearly 12 miles of well-defined trails running along fields, pine plantations, riverside woodlands, and a pond from and old farm site. A mixed bag of interesting warblers and songbirds are sure to make the day's list. Meet at 7:30 at the parking lot at the end of the Dalton-Bevard entrance road. Contact Mark Johnson for more information.

Friday, May 19th
Northeastern Harford County Owl Prowl.. If all that early morning birding finds you needing a break, this is the trip for you! Join Dave Webb as he scours at least one corner of our good county, listening for Great Horned, Eastern Screech, and Barred owls calling into the night. There will be several stops at various locations, checking for the "Who cooks for you" and more traditional "Who-Who" echoing in the dark. And all of this effort goes to a good cause: block-busting for our last year of Atlas work. Meet at Dublin Elementary at 8 pm. Contact Dave Webb for more hootin' details.

Saturday, May 20th
Palmer State Park.. Considered one of the finest places in the county to find forest interior birds and wildflowers such as Yellow-lady's Slipper, this 650 acre State Park offers beautiful scenery along Deer Creek and access to one of the few large blocks of undisturbed forest surviving in the county. In 1995 the park acquired the adjacent Stifler Memorial Conservation Tract from the Harford Land Trust, originally purchased by that organization to preserve the spectacular natural scenery of the area. Moderate hiking on dirt paths. Meet at 7:00 AM at the Rt. 1 & MD 136 Wawa. Contact Dave Ziolkowski for more information.

Sunday, May 21
Susquehanna State Park.. Return trip to this lush riverside park, this time to the Wilkinson Road area, for northbound migrants and late spring natural history. Bird list could include Yellow and Black-billed Cuckoos, Bay-breasted & Blackburnian Warblers, and Cape May & Cerulean Warblers along with late wildlflowers and Zebra Swallowtails to boot. Meet at 6:30 AM at Darlington Elementary. Contact leader Russ Kovach for more information.

Saturday, May 27th
Delaware Shorebirds.. Day long adventure to the hook and some of the adjacent birding mega-hotspots. The muddy impoundments, fresh & saltwater marshes, and wave washed beaches afford great numbers and good views of shore and water birds. Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, and Red Knot are local specialties but that's not all as European waifs, western strays, and windblown pelagics commonly occur. Bring lunch and meet at 7:00 AM at the MD 155 and I-95 park-n-ride. Contact leader Russ Kovach for more information.

Sunday, May 28
Harford Shorebird Tour.. Marvel at flocks of Peeps and search for species that are tough to find locally, such as Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Red Knot, Wimbrel, and Eskimo Curlew. Beginners interested in learning the basics of shorebird identification and experienced watchers searching for rarities will enjoy this morning trip to Havre de Grace and neighboring sites. Scopes are helpful, although not necessary. Meet at the Tydings Marina at 7:00 AM and contact trip leader Dave Webb for details.

Monday, May 29
Hidden Valley / Upper Deer Creek.. Administered by Rocks State Park, however, the lightly used trails of this section recall an Appalachian park as they wind around large hemlocks and substantial cliffs. Join local resident and natural historian Dennis Kirkwood in a search for Worm-eating Warbler, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Scarlet Tanager. Meet at Hidden Valley (N. end of Madonna Rd.) at 7 a.m. For further information, contact Dennis Kirkwood.

Saturday, June 3
Nest Searching The Riverside Fields and Parklands Surrounding Bel Air.. See popular areas around Bel Air from a different perspective – a breeding bird's view. The information that trip-goers collect here will play a vital role in piecing together a local and state view of breeding bird distributions, as well as establishing a baseline from which to compare future changes. No experience needed, please join us and lend a hand in this last year of atlasing effort! Meet at 7:00 AM at the Burger Kind on Bel Air South Parkway (924). Contact Leader Lynn Davis for more details.

Sunday, June 11
Nest Searching The Scenic Gunpowder.. Peak in on the home lives of some local birds as biologist Mark Johnson helps you to develop an eye for their cryptic nests and tell-tale behaviors. Not just a recreational trip, we hope that you'll lend your eyes and ears (no skill necessary) to help collect information to be used in this final year of the breeding bird atlas. Discussion will focus on how to monitor nests safely and on other ways to make your fun observations double as valuable nest records. Meet at the Jerusalem Mill at 7:00 AM. Contact Mark Johnson for more information.

Saturday, June 17
Block-busting For Harford Breeders.. New Honeyeater from New Guinea, lost parrot refound in Peru…capture your own stories of exploration and adventure on this special expedition to explore local destinations lightly explored by previous atlasers! Led by our very own Breeding Bird Atlas County Coordinator, the intention of this trip is to fill in some of our black holes of knowledge concerning the breeding status of local birds. It's a "can't miss" opportunity (especially considering that your name will appear in the next MD Breeding Bird Atlas book!). Meet at 7:00 AM at North Harford Elementary School. Contact Dennis Kirkwood for more details.

Sunday, June 18
Block-busting For Harford Breeders, part two.. Second in line and batting clean-up for the previous trip, this will be a first rate experience as you continue the quest with a leader who was formerly employed as a professional nest finder in bird research. Meet at 6:30 AM at the Whiteford Library. Contact Russ Kovach for more information.

Saturday, June 24
Stoney Forest.. Take a summer look at this impressive Abingdon area, the well-hidden Stoney State Forest. Here you may witness a colorful assortment of wildflowers and nesting birds. Led by experienced birder Jean Wheeler and wildflower guru Colleen Webster, trip-goers are likely to see Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed vireo, Wood Thrush, and Ovenbird. It's pretty late for the woodland wildflowers but participants might see Blue Cohosh, Wild Geranium, andYellow-lady's Slipper. Meet at 7:00 AM at the McDonald's parking lot near the intersection of route 7 and MD 543 (Riverside Shopping Center). Contact Jean Wheeler for more information.

Saturday, July 8
Harford Owling Caravan.. "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?" Sure, leaders Russ Kovach and Dave Ziolkowski give a hoot – but they're just listening for what Barred Owls have to say! But then, you already knew that right...or did you? Then this trip through the Harford countryside in search of Great-horned, Barred, and Screech Owls is for you. Come make "rarely heard – seldom seen" a thing of your owling past (fine print: leaders will not refuse samples of your cooking if you are so inclined). Meet at 8:30 PM at the C Milton Wright parking lot. Contact Dave Ziolkowski for more information.

Sunday, July 16
Rarity Chase.. What will Dave Larkin find four us to oogle under glass? Swallow Tail Kites, White Pelicans? Where we will go? Presque Isle? Jamaica Bay? Pea Island? Most likely Bombay Hook…but you'll not know for sure until the meeting at 7:30 AM at the MD 155 & I-95 Park & Ride. Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and lunch for this 3/4-day journey in search of the hottest rarities. Scopes helpful, but not necessary. Contact Dave Larkin for further information.

Friday, July 21
Harford Bird Club Summer Social.. All members are encouraged to attend the annual event that offers the spectacular sunset views from the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center and the easy congeniality of members over light refreshments and delightful beverages. The 6:30 gathering is followed by a speaker (TBA) and then an Owl Prowl!

Friday, Aug 11
Hummingbird Happy Hour.. Join Les Eastman at 6 pm at his gracious home to experience the buzz and flight of dozens of hummingbirds feeding from his many feeders. Participants are invited to bring a dish to share and a beverage of their choice to enjoy in the early dusk of this favored occasion of the bird club. For more information contact Les.

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Harford Bird Club
Field Trip Reports

2006 Feeder Tour
January 14: Twelve Harford Bird Club members and friends were welcomed into the homes of Mark and Denise Johnson and Susan and Bob Hood to see the birds at their feeders. While no unusual birds were seen, the participants enjoyed seeing the birds that were present, reminiscing about past field trips and birds at their feeders, socializing and partaking of the refreshments provided by the hosts. Thanks again to Mark and Susan for volunteering their homes and providing the refreshments. Les Eastman

Harford Waterfowl Tour
March 19: A half-dozen club members set their alarm clocks extra early for a 6 AM start of the umpteenth Harford Waterfowl Tour. As has been the trend in the last couple of years, the Gunpowder River at APG- EA had very few ducks. Only a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers and distant scaup were seen. However, everyone enjoyed watching an aerial battle between a hungry-but-lazy Bald Eagle and a fish- toting Osprey. The eagle repeatedly harassed the Osprey, until the fish hawk finally relinquished its prey. The fish barely dropped a few yards before the eagle snatched it out of mid-air and flew off. Given the lack of birds on the river, we made a detour to the area known informally as "The Pines" at APG-EA and discovered at least 3 singing male Pine Warblers, a welcome harbinger of spring. At the pond across from the Edgewood Home Depot, we found 6 Wood Ducks, 2 Gadwall, a Ring-necked Duck, a Wilson's Snipe, and a pair of Mute Swans. The "pen" was already sitting on her nest. Another sign of spring seen here was a flock of about 75 Tree Swallows resting on broken cattail stalks.

Perryman was our next stop, where we discovered about 25 more Gadwalls and a pair of American Wigeon. In the distant woods, we heard the squeaky calls of a lone Rusty Blackbird. The DU impoundment at Swan Harbor hosted a flock of about 40 Green-winged Teal, and another half-dozen snipe. We also saw numerous Savannah Sparrows running for cover among the thick, matted grasses before the tiny birds eventually flushed. Our final destination was Lapidum Landing, where we picked out a small number of distant Common Mergansers, Lesser Scaup and a Pied-billed Grebe on the Susquehanna River. Several hundred Bonaparte's Gull were also present. They tended to stay closer to the Cecil side of the river, floating with the current and pecking the river's surface for food. By morning's end we had tallied 55 species, including 11 waterfowl.squirrels. Dave Webb

Barnegat and Brigatine
February 18-19: "You call this winter? - Ha!", said the thirteen well prepared birders who ventured midway up Jersey's coast for one of the club's first overnights in ages. Even though it was one of the coldest and windiest weekends of the season, the group's souls were warmed the whole way through by the ever growing list of some of winter's most exciting avian characters. The first highlight came Saturday morning en route to Barnegat - several Lapland Longspurs, one even in near breeding plumage. What a treat; and to think the day just perked up from there! Mid-day at Barnegat was hopping and afforded wonderfully close looks (some just 10' away) at nearly fiftyHarlequin Ducks, a hundred or so each of Common Eider&Surf Scoter, and hundreds of calling Black Scoters& Long-tailed Ducks. Great Cormorant, Ipswich Sparrow, Brant, Purple Sandpiper, Red-throated Loon, and a plethora of others also made the list.

We then rushed south to the Brigantine area of the Forsythe NWR in hopes of spotting one of the many Short-eared owls that regularly winter there. Lucky us - our first stop along the enormous driving loop was for the pre-planned rendezvous with the winter-trippin' Anne Arundel County gang-who had just found an American Bittern! Though most of our group missed the bird, we did enjoy the many species of ducks that dotted the roadside impoundments. Lucky again, we narrowly avoided a cataclysmic tipping of the interstellar luck balance by missing Short-eared Owl (whew, thankfully, sometimes it's just too windy). All 22 of us thenshared a most enjoyable dinner together before we split off for our overnight stay just north of Brigantine.

Sunday morning was less windy but even colder than Saturday, snapfreezing all standing fresh water. We again joined the AA chapter for the morning circuit around Brigantine, which yielded great views of Eagles, Coops, and Red-tails, but little else. At mid-day we sent the AAC chapter off for Barnegat with well wishes before high-tailing it down to Cape May ourselves for a shot at Dickcissel and Short-eared owl. It's too bad that all we saw there was a Purple Finch, Gray Catbird, and about a gizzilion (actual count) Yellow-rumped Warblers. All told we tallied 83 species-and a wonderful time. Visit the pictures online. Looking forward to seeing YOU there next time too - Cheers, Dave Ziolkowski and Les Eastman

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May Meeting

Friday, May 5, 2006
Churchville Presbyterian Church
Meeting at 7:00 P.M.

Guest speaker:
Matt Haffner
U of MD Student

"Arkansas "Re-Search" "

Refreshments will be served

Please send any comments to Les Eastman.
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