Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eastern Shore Waterfowl

The young male Common Eider near the pier at Kiptopeke State Park was among the first of the interesting waterfowl seen today on the Eastern Shore.  From there I went to Cape Charles where I picked up Ned Brinkley at his home and we headed down to the town beach where a number of birds had been seen last weekend. There were well over a hundred Surf Scoters and nearly a hundred Common Loons gathered in the harbor and along the shore. Secreted among these was a female White-winged Scoter, a year bird for me. But the previously reported Red-necked Grebe could not be found. We headed up the highway to the Machipongo Trading Company where I got a great cup of coffee and refilled the car's gas tank. That would be my rental loaner while my Prius is being repaired (maybe ready in two more weeks, for those who might be interested!). The MTC deserves our support in their effort to buy and grow locally and in as green a fashion as possible. The coffee sure was good. On to Willis Wharf where the Willets were beginning to reassemble as the tide rose. We ended up with over 120. A single Marbled Godwit and a lone Black-bellied Plover were the only other large shorebirds. There was also a group of Dunlin and a few Ruddy Turnstones. We drove south on route 600 where we saw a large group of Snow Geese. We may have seen the same group later on our drive since both groups had about 2000 birds. Amongst them were a few Blue Geese and a Greater White-fronted Goose of the Greenland race. In one field was a tightly packed group of 220 Brant.  I had seen a small group of these geese in a field during the Cape Charles Christmas Count, but this new group was very impressive.  Along the way many cardinals, sparrows (Song, Chipping, Fox, Swamp, White-throated, Juncos) were seen. After a couple of attempts to see marsh sparrows with Ned tromping around in the salt marsh and flushing nothing, we ended up at the Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR on ramp lane. The pond had an excellent collection of ducks including about 80 Green-winged Teal, some Gadwall, American Wigeon, and Northern Shovelers. Ned suggested that with this many teal present, there should be at least one Eurasian Green-winged Teal. And by golly there was one (photo). "Probably should be a Eurasian Wigeon, too," he added. And by golly there was one of those too (photo). Back to Cape Charles for another try at the grebe with the same negative results as earlier. Dropping Ned off, I headed home with a stop on the CBBT Island One where there was little of note. On my first stop there this morning on my way north, there was a nice group of Lesser Scaup with a single hen Greater Scaup and a high plumage Great Cormorant, flank patch, bright white-rimmed yellow throat pouch and all.
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  1. Wow! wish for them and they will come! Two Eurasians in one place! I still need both as life birds! I'm heading over this weekend.

  2. Hi Bob,

    Your teal appears a bit mixed. There is a hint of a vertical stripe on this bird.

  3. Hey there Bob! Thanks so much for the comments about us at MTC! Did you happen to notice or try our Birder's Blend? We think it is pretty cool that we can use 'bird friendly' ie sustainably grown coffee, and roast it on the Shore, where many of those very neotropical birds pass through during migration! Not every coffee roaster can say that! Anyway, safe travels to you, and here's to completing your list!!! All the best, Kristin & Jamie Willis