I hope some people read this!!!
NORTH EASTERN UNITED STATES TRIP REPORT
BY PHIL HANSBRO
DEPT. OF PATHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, CAMBRIDGE, CB2 1QP, UK.
Tel: (h) 01223-514441, (w) 01223-333545. Fax: 01223-333346. Email:
I went to this area at this time of year on a business trip and managed
to get in 6 days of birding. I managed to have an excellent trip and
clean up on 37 species I hadn't seen before. I could get some information
on the area via the internet and I put out a general enquiry on the
American birding news group "birdchat" to which I recieved many very
My heartfelt thanks go out to Mary Gustafson and Bruce Peterjohn who were
immensely helpful. They picked me up from the airport and drove me around
for days on end and without their help and immense birding talents I
wouldn't have seen half of the birds I did see.
Thanks also to Paul O'Brien for taking me to look for Saw-Whet's at Hughes
Hollow and Gail MacKiernan, Alan McBride, Franz Hespenheide, Michael
O'Brien, Dalcio Dacol, Kevin Kelly, Charlie Muise, Ron Outen and
appologies to anyone else I forgot to mention.
TRIP LIST (those with an asterisk represent ticks for me).
Great Blue Heron
American Black Duck
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Horned Owl (heard only)
Barred Owl (heard only)
American Water Pipit
(Western) Palm Warbler
*Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
*Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
(Acadian Sharp-tailed Sparrow)
*American Tree Sparrow
= 145 Species
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge
A large wetland area in Western peninsular Maryland ~10 miles South of
Cambridge. Drive around the roads and check large Snow Geese flocks for
Great Blue Heron, Tundra Swan, Mute Swan, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose (1),
Gadwall, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk,
Horned Lark, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2), Field Sparrow, Fox
Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow.
On the Eastern shore of Peninsular Maryland. Check the harbour, coastline
and bays around the town.
En route: Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Bluebird.
Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant,
American Black Duck, Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, Common Eider,
White-winged Scoter, Harlequin Duck, Oldsquaw, Bufflehead, Red-breasted
Merganser, Clapper Rail, American Coot, American Oystercatcher,
Black-bellied Plover, Bonaparte's Gull, Ruddy Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper,
Potomac C & O Canal
Violette's Loch and Riley's Loch.
Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,
Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned
Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch (32).
Just North West of Gaithersburg. Drive around to find the open water. The
Sparrows were around the visitors centre. Good at this time of year, only
if there is still some unfrozen open water.
En route: Black Vulture, White-crowned Sparrow.
Pied-billed Grebe, Tundra Swan, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail,
Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye,
Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, American Black Duck, American Coot, American
Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow.
E. A. Vaughn Reserve
On the East coast of peninsular Maryland down Bayview Road and head for
the coast, from Girdletree 6 miles North of the Virginia border. Good for
Rails but was frozen up, a tape would be useful.
Tundra Swan, Snow Goose, Great Horned Owl (heard only), Belted Kingfisher,
Marsh Wren, Hermit Thrush, American Robin.
Talk to local birders.
Red-shouldered Hawk, Wild Turkey (heard only), Barred Owl (heard only),
Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, American Robin.
A great place on the Eastern coast of peninsular Virginia. Ipswich and
Savannah Sparrows are in the dunes by the beach. Drive into Chincoteague
on the 175 turn left at the lights and right towards Maddocks
caravan/camping park. Follow the road to the end, park in the car park and
walk through the Southern dunes. For the Saltmarsh Sparrows walk through
the saltmarsh on the mainland end of the causeway on the North side of the
road. It is easier to walk though when frozen but the birds are hard to
see - it took me 6 hours!!
En route: Pied-billed Grebe, Snow Goose, Brant Goose, Bufflehead,
Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, American Oystercatcher,
Semi-palmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin, Sharp-shinned Hawk,
Eastern Bluebird, Brown-headed Cowbird.
Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-crowned Night-Heron,
Tricoloured Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Mute Swan, American Black
Duck, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Ruddy
Duck, Lesser Scaup, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, Oldsquaw, Black-bellied
Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Sanderling, Bald
Eagle, Northern Bobwhite, Belted Kingfisher, Horned Lark, Marsh Wren,
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, (Acadian
Sharp-tailed Sparrow), Seaside Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, (Ipswich
Sparrow), Swamp Sparrow, Snow Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark.
Pony Trail Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Brown Creeper, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet,
A site for good views of Marbled Godwit but they are often not there. Just
have a quick look and if not go to Oyster. Willis Wharf is a tiny village
and is also on the Eastern coast of peninsular Virginia. Turn off the 13
East on the 603 just South of Exmoor. Drive into Willis Wharf and check
the small area of the river and mudflats.
Ruddy Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Marbled Godwit,
14 miles South of Exmoor turn off the 13 to Cheriton and follow the signs
to Oyster. Check the tidal mudflats - rising tide is best.
En route: Glaucous Gull, Black Vulture, Fish Crow.
Great Cormorant, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser,
Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed
Dowitcher, Ruddy Turnstone, Western Sandpiper, Northern Harrier, Cooper's
Hawk, Field Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark.
Cheasapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Island No. 4
A permit is needed to stop on the bridge tunnel which runs across
Chesapeake Bay from Cape Charles to Norfolk. So you need to go with local
birders, it is also $10 to cross.
Common Loon, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Surf Scoter,
Oldsquaw, Bonaparte's Gull, Black-tailed Gull with Ring-billed, Herring
and Great Black-backed Gulls, Kumlien's Gull, Purple Sandpiper.
Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge
En route: Horned Lark, Eastern Towhee, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed
American Woodcock, Peregrine Falcon, Hermit Thrush, American Robin,
Chipping Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow.
Indian River Inlet
Part of the Delaware Seashore State Park on the Eastern coast of
Peninsular Delaware. A bridge goes over the Indian River Bay between
Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, towards the South end of the bridge is a
turning off which allows you to park near to the mouth of the Inlet. From
the South end of the car park you can walk through the saltmarsh. Check
the river mouth for ducks.
Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Cormorant, American
Bittern, Great Blue Heron, American Black Duck, Canvasback, Greater
Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser,
Hooded Merganser, Clapper Rail, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Sanderling, Marsh
Wren, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow.
Snow Goose, Snow Bunting.
Again on the Eastern coast of Peninsular Delaware, turn East off the 1 on
to the 9 and follow to the park. Check the feeder at the visitor centre,
the woodland and the sea.
Red-throated Diver, Mute Swan, American Robin, Fox Sparrow, House Finch.
Along Route 230
Wilson's Snipe, American Water Pipit.
Kabletown Road area, Jefferson County
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Western Palm Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker,
Pied-billed Grebe, Hooded Merganser, American Black Duck, Bufflehead.
Along Creek close to Airport
Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, Bufflehead, Black-capped Chickadee,
Dickcissel (twitched at a feeder).
Down Town Boston
Boreal Owl (twitched).
En route: Wild Turkey, Common Raven, American Robin.
Hairy Woodpecker, Hawk Owl (twitched).
En route: Rough-legged Hawk, Horned Lark.
Northern Harrier, Hawk Owl (twitched), Black-capped Chickadee, American
Hawk Owl (twitched).
Canada Goose, Mallard, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great
Black-backed Gull, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel, Rock Dove, Mourning
Dove, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tufted
Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Northern
Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Cardinal,
Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Red-winged
Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, House Sparrow, American
Dr Phil Hansbro I Tel: (h) 01223 514441 or
Dept of Pathology I 01223 514434
Tennis Court Road I (w) 01223 333545
Cambridge University I Fax: 01223 333346
Cambridge CB2 1QP I
UK I Email: