Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ludlow's End-Game: Theoretical Birds for Fall and Winter

Back in late August, before my day-job brought all things birding to a virtual halt, my collaborator on Concord Birds 2013, Cole Winstanley, and I compared theoretical lists of remaining birds for fall and winter.  At that point Ludlow G. was at 204 birds.  Our dream list was pretty predictable:

Winter geese:  Greater White-Fronted, Barnacle, Pink-Footed, Brant (hoping for a fly-over or a one-day wonder at Great Meadows).

aythya ducks:  Redhead, Scaup, and Canvasback (we needed a stronger report than one spring sighting)

Long-Tailed duck
Black Scoter (most likely of the scoters; in 2012 we had a one-day flock at Great Meadows)

Golden Eagle (why not dream?)
Goshawk (maybe, maybe)

Shorebirds:  White-Rumped and Baird’s

Black Tern, Common (we needed a hurricane)

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Olive-Sided Flycatcher (a real one! not a molting phoebe)
Ash-Throated (why not dream?)
Western Kingbird (we are due)

Philadelphia Vireo
White-Eyed Vireo

Bicknell’s Thrush (night-time flight calls)
Gray-Cheeked (flight calls

Bohemian Waxwing (long shot, given the finch forecast)

Orange-Crowned Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Mourning Warbler

Blue Grosbeak
Dickcissel (good sightings)

Clay-Colored Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow
Lapland Longspur

Hoary Redpoll (unlikely given the finch forecast)

We estimated that of this list, maybe 17-19 were actually possibly, which might get Ludlow to the low-to-mid 220s. Since those estimates,  quite a number have fallen into place:

Mourning Warbler (heard by David Sibley at Kaveski, Aug. 13)
Dickcissel (heard by David Swain at Great Meadows, Aug. 15)
American Golden Plover (seen by many at Great Meadows for a week after Aug. 23)
Little Blue Heron (Great Meadows; seen by many and now annual)
Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher (found by the Winstanleys at their home, Aug. 27)
Buff-Breasted Sandipiper (2 found at Kaveski Farm by Lucas Hale on Sept. 2)
White-Rumped Sandiper (solid report from Great Meadows on Sept. 2)
Grey-Cheeked Thrush (at Middlesex School by Willy Hutcheson, Sept. 8)
Red-Headed Woodpecker (also by Willy on Sept. 8)
Baird's Sandpiper (several sightings on Sept. 8 at Great Meadows)
Olive-Sided Flycatcher (seen by David Sibley at Barrett's Farm on Sept. 14)
Philadelphia Vireo (seen by the Winstanley brothers, Sept. 15, at Estabrook Woods)
Connecticut Warbler (seen by David Sibley at Annursnac Conservation Land on Sept. 20)
Orange-Crowned Warbler (photographed by Christian Gras at Kaveski Farm, Sept. 25)
Dunlin (found by the Great Meadows survey crew on Oct. 14)
Lapland Longspur (heard and recorded by Jalen Winstanley at Great Meadows, Oct. 14)
Greater White-Fronted Goose (found by Will Martens in the Concord Rotary fields, Oct. 19)
Cackling Goose (photographed over Kaveski Farm by Jalen Winstanley, afternoon of Oct. 19)

These bring Ludlow to 220 birds, and there might still be some ammodramus sparrows to be found as well as ducks and other vagrant geese.

Stay tuned!

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