Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friday, March 22 Delaware to Chincoteague

I went to a Chrysler Dealer on Cleveland Avenue in Newark, Delaware to get the oil changed on my new Dodge Dart.  This location is only several blocks from an older brick three story house on 3 Annabelle Street in which I lived in as a graduate student and after my marriage.  After the oil change was completed to maintain my warrantee, I drove by the "old place."  It still looks similar but maybe a bit more run down than I recalled.  The neighborhood has changed.  There are new apartments at the end of Annabelle Street.  The liquor store in the corner is no longer there having been torn down leaving a empty lot.   Incidentally, Jeff Gordon, current American Birding Association President, lived with his parents as a young boy in the house at 3 Annabelle Street.  I knew Jeff and his parents when I was in graduate school at Delaware and occasionally get hand written notes from Jeff on ABA paperwork.  I have met Jeff in the field occasionally.  He's a much bigger guy now!.......  like his dad.

I headed south toward Chincoteague NWR to try for the Black-tailed Godwit.  I arrived at 5:00  pm and found a new bird for the year, Great Egret, on my way to the Tom's Cove Visitor Center at the beach.  I started looking for the flock of Marbled Godwits that the Black-tailed has been with behind the visitor center.   There were at least seven American Oystercatchers putting on a great show.  I found only a few, maybe 6 or 7 Marbled Godwits, a new bird for the year, and a very cooperative Piping Plover, also a new bird for the year.  See photos.   It is great to see Piping Plover so close and well.  Piping Plover is a very rare bird in Ohio, seen only occasionally during spring and fall migration, usually along Lake Erie in the north of Ohio, but also a few times in the southeast during spring migration.  There is a small population in Michigan along one of the lakes that contributes to the Ohio sightings during migration.  A Piping Plover in Ohio deserves a long distance chase from this birder who lives in the southwest corner of Ohio in Cincinnati.  This was really cool to see Piping Plover so close and well, because I do not get to the coast as often now that I live in the mid-west.
I also found another six Marbled Godwits in the water to the left heading toward the beach just after breaking out of the trees on the way to the beach.  I did not find the Black-tailed Godwit.  I stayed until sunset and enjoyed the beautiful sunset and scenery and continued birding, but never found the Black-tailed Godwit.  I found a reasonably priced America's Best Value motel in Chincoteague.  The owner suggested a new restaurant to try, so I did.  There was too much food and I ate too much, but the food was good and the price reasonable.  The total is now 187.
I am now home in Cincinnati as I write this blog entry.

An interesting piece of birding trivia, is that I found Wild Turkeys in the Cape Ann area on the road to Eastern Point near the same location that saw them in 2007.  This year in 2013 they were gathered under a feeder in the front yard of one of the last houses before reaching the light house at Eastern Point. 


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