Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunday, March 24, To Home

I had a short small incident of diarrhea Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  On the internet, I read about the noro-virus.  It can continue up to 60 hours or almost three days.  However, it is recommended that one eat normally to maintain nutrition.  After packing and leaving the motel, I had fruit and maple oatmeal at McDonalds and got a sausage burrito meal to go with orange juice and a coffee with one cream on the side.   This is a typical breakfast for me when I am on the road.  I decided to try for the Crested Caracara in south Delaware in the Millville area.  Delaware is one of my favorite birding states.  I maintain a life list for Delaware.  Crested Caracara would be a new life bird for Delaware for me as well as a new bird for the year, provided that the Delaware Bird Records Committee accepts it as a wild bird.  This was not far out of the way for me to drive home.  I could afford a few hours to look for this bird.

I arrived in the Millville Area at 11:00 am and found Old Mill Road and White's Neck Road.  The Crested Caracara had been seen on a deer carcass on Old Mill Road on Saturday and sitting in a field along White's Neck road near Ellis Point on Wednesday.  It has also been seen on Irons Lane in the same area.  I drove around the area looking in the fields, scanning the trees and watching the soaring Turkey Vultures in the area looking for the caracara.  At 12:30 pm, I decided to leave and drove White's Neck Road to Old Mill Road.  When I turned the corner on to Old Mill Road, I saw two Turkey Vultures sitting in the field.  It was at the deer carcass, so I pulled off the road opposite the carcass and decided to wait a bit.  More Turkey Vultures came in but not the Crested Caracara.  At 2:00 pm, I left the area and headed toward Cincinnati.  Crested Caracara is easy to get for my year list in south Texas, an area I am headed to very soon.  It is too bad about not getting it on my Delaware state list.  I needed to head west, because snow is predicted for later on Sunday.

Just before dark as I was headed west on I-68 in Garrett County, Maryland near Frostburg, I hit snow.  It was snowing heavily, and the road surface was slushy in spots and getting snow covered.  Google maps wanted me to take an alternate route on Route 40 northwest through the mountains to Uniontown as a shorter route to I-70 west.  I rejected that route and continued on I-68 to I-79 to I-70 west, because I had driven this route many times and knew that the elevation decreased closer to Morgantown, West Virginia.  I had never driven the alternate route and can take the shorter route some other time when it is not snowing and not at night.  I arrived safely in Washington, PA and stayed the night.  The snow decreased after the highest elevations in western Maryland, which are just under 3000 feet on I-68, and stopped before I reached Washington, PA.  Google maps needs a winter time driving feature! 



  1. (this posts from my wife's Google account; see my email below)

    Yeah, that Rt 40 idea would have probably caused you a lot of trouble. It is up-and-down over the Laurel Highlands, and they had lots of snow. Though I've been on I-68 where you were and been stuck on the highway in snow and ice. It is not a cakewalk.

    My family is from Washington, PA. I have been following your blog for the last month after hearing about it on OhioBirds ListServ. I am in the Brooks Bird Club of West Virginia and the Three Rivers Bird Club in Pittsburgh. If I can help you in any way, I can be reached at wvwarblers(at)hotmail.com. Swainson's Warbler might be a challenge depending on where you go, and they are pretty reliable in West Virginia.

    Good luck!

    Ryan Tomazin | Bridgeville, PA

  2. Ryan, Thanks for the confirmation on my choice of driving route. I have driven I-68 a number of times on my way to the east coast. I try to avoid it in the winter whenever possible. I agree that I-68 can be treacherous. I have added Swainson's Warbler to my year list about three times by stopping in West Virginia on my way to the east. I agree with your suggestion, provided that I do not get Swainson's Warbler elsewhere. Thanks.