Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge [Day 1]
I arrived in Chincoteague late last evening around 11pm and it had been raining cats-and-dogs the whole trip. I quickly jumped into bed after a quick phone call to Patty, anticipating what Day 1 would be like! In the morning I woke up and opened the patio door . . . . . within minutes I heard this raspy crow call and instantly said “FISH CROW”!!! CHECK . . this was my first lifer of the day! I always wondered what these guys sounded like!
I quickly ran down and gobble up some breakfast before heading out to the Refuge! Now from this point on . . . . remember I live inland and we don’t get to see many shorebirds in my neck of the woods! Anyways struggling to identify brown peeps and I come across these Marble Godwits . . . WHAT . . . CHECK! Another lifer and a good one to boot!
I decided to spend the rest of the morning along the Wildlife Circle and ran into some Bird Banding friends from the conference. We hugged, chatted and decided to do some birding together to look for the Brown-headed Nuthatch! Yep we found it right were it was anticipated in being CHECK . . . another lifer!
Now, I kept seeing these grackles and I said to myself . . . something isn’t right with these guys! They are too big and too glossy! I reached for my field guide as soon as I returned to my vehicle . . . . yep, what I had been seeing most of the day was the Boat-tailed Grackle!! CHECK . . . another unexpected lifer!
From breakfast I kept hearing about these Oystercatchers out near Tom’s Cove but you think I could find them early in the morning. . . heck no! I returned to the area towards the end of the day and sure enough . . . . American Oystercatchers, this was a big CHECK lifer that I have been after for many years! CHEERS!
Considering this is my 3rd or maybe 4th time ever visiting the ocean . . . I figured it was important to head down to collect a shell or two for someone special. But the highlight of the Ocean visit was this Willet that really was performing for me as the waves were crashing down on the beach. I really need to double check my life list on this bird but I am 75% sure that this Willet would be a lifer for me! Anyways, I can still say CHECK (if a year bird or maybe a lifer)!
Ok, I am off to my Eastern Bird Banding Association Dinner in the next half hour but I did want to write a quick post from this amazing day! Note that I am only reporting my lifers in this post . . . . I have many other great pictures, year birds and other stories to blog about when I return home (did I not mention wild ponies . . .?? )! I should have something else exciting to blog about tomorrow . . . . I plan on going to the guided walk tomorrow morning to learn about the many other great lifers that I couldn’t identify today!
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