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Birdwalk Highlights for 9/9: Fields and Farms Tour

We swung for the fences today, hoping to turn up a Buff-breasted Sandpiper or other rare "grasspipers," but to no avail. Oh well, an incredibly 11-12 SANDHILL CRANES along Mayall Road in Gray was more than a consolation prize! Present for several weeks now, this record-high (for here) flock continues to amaze.

The fields there also held our first 12 AMERICAN PIPITS of the season, 38 CANADA GEESE, but only 4 KILLDEER. Working on seeing how many species we could tally without relocating, we added 4 CHIPPING SPARROWS, 4 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 2 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, 2 AMERICAN CROWS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, 1 migrant OSPREY, 1 BLACKPOLL WARBLER, 11 TURKEY VULTURES, 1 MERLIN, 2 INDIGO BUNTINGS, 1 SAVANNAH SPARROW, and a pair of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. Not to shabby for about 150 feet of roadside!

A stop at Thornhurst Farm in North Yarmouth quickly pushed us passed our 20-species goal, with 36 RING-BILLED GULLS, 7 HERRING GULLS, 12 EUROPEAN STARTLINGS, 14 ROCK PIGEONS, 2 BLUE JAYS, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, and rather surprisingly, a single GREATER YELLOWLEGS amongst 8 Killdeer in the field. We also bumped up our morning tallies of American Crows, Cedar Waxwings, and especially Canada Geese with over 100 of the latter.

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