It was brisk, but we found the birds we sought this morning! But we wanted to take advantage of the open ground, because if the upcoming snowstorm is as heavy as forecast at the moment, it might be our last visit to the fields until next fall. And unlike our last trip to Mayall Road, we didn't struggle too hard to hit the 20-species goal today.
The goose season is coming to a close without a single rarity, and only 158 CANADA GEESE along with 8 MALLARDS were at Thornhurst Farm today. Mayall Road in Gray/New Gloucester was more productive however, with another 150 or so Canada Geese, 4 more Mallards, but more importantly, our primary targets: 50+ HORNED LARKS and 18 SNOW BUNTINGS. Although primarily viewed in flight, the buntings in particular were quite well seen. 40 AMERICAN CROWS added to our morning's tally of 57 in all. Greely Road added 32 ROCK PIGEONS, 15 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, and a tree-top AMERICAN ROBIN that really should have been a shrike.
As usual, we kept our eyes peeled as we drove to and from. Sharp-spotting produced 8 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and a dozen AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES on a wire, which we stopped to view. A 5 RING-BILLED GULLS, 2 BLUE JAYS, a single NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, and our last species on the morning, a fly-over BALD EAGLE.
We had not yet hit 20 species upon our arrival at the Yarmouth Town Landing, but that was soon eclipsed, led by a tarrying BELTED KINGFISHER and 4 hen HOODED MERGANSERS. 40+ Ring-billed and 21 Herring Gulls added to our totals for the morning, but a wealth of other new species included a single COMMON MERGANSER. Along the edges, we came up with 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 2 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 1 NORTHERN CARDINAL, and 1 DOWNY WOODPECKER to make for a well-rounded trip list.