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Birdwalk Highlights for 11/11: Spear Farm Estuary Preserve and Yarmouth Town Landing

Our Wolfe's Neck Center streak came to an end due to the strong winds of the morning. Instead, we sought shelter in the woods and protected edges along the Royal River.

The highlight was the pond at Spear Farm, led by a hen AMERICAN WIGEON. Three HOODED MERGANSERS also joined a nice tally of 31 MALLARDS and 24 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. Two GREAT BLUE HERONS were roosting in the trees.

Down by the river, we were greeted by yet another close RED-THROATED LOON. A few DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and a handful of RING-BILLED GULLS were it for waterbirds, but overhead, we picked out a TURKEY VULTURE, two distant soaring BALD EAGLES, and a close RED-TAILED HAWK.

The woods were birdy, too, with all of the "feeder birds" that aren't at your feeders right now due to the abundance of natural food resources. We encountered 3 or 4 mixed species foraging flocks, tallying most of the residents: 10 TUFTED TITMICE, 8 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 6 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, 4 BLUE JAYS, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 2 BROWN CREEPERS, 2 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and 1 DOWNY WOODPECKER. Elsewhere, we had a single male NORTHERN CARDINAL and at least 3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS.

The Town Landing was also productive. A flock of birds working one of the sheltered corners included our first AMERICAN TREE SPARROW of the season, teased out from 20+ American Goldfinches, 3 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, 3 SONG SPARROWS, 2 more White-throated Sparrows, 2 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and a single PINE SISKIN.

16 BONAPARTE'S GULLS loafed in the river, another Great Blue Heron was along the shoreline, and 23 Double-crested Cormorants were still around.

So no rarity and now flocks of sparrows in gardens, but still a wonderful success...and we even found some nice warm, calm corners to sun ourselves in.

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