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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Vermilion Flycatcher and Loggerhead Shrike in Maryland

Vermilion Flycatcher
          On Wednesday, after seeing the photos from Nick Pulcinella and Sheryl Johnson, Sharon and I decided to travel the hour and fifteen minutes to Millington, Maryland in search of the Vermilion Flycatcher and Loggerhead Shrike. We arrived around 11:15AM at Carroll Clark Rd where the shrike has been hanging around since the Christmas Bird Count in December. We made several passes up and down the road but were unable to locate the shrike. 
          We decided to head to Quail Run Nursery about two miles south to hunt for the Vermilion Flycatcher. The nursery owner is being very cooperative and allowing birders to drive around his property in search of the bird. We arrived and on the advice of Sheryl we drove over to the pond and started our search. Before I even got out of the car I noticed a bird that had a little yellow coloring on the belly flying around the distant burlap wrapped nursery trees on the far side of the pond. I knew this had to be the flycatcher. So I got out of the car to get my scope but then another car pulled up and it was Tim Freiday who had been driving around for an hour looking for the bird. I told him it was right here and we both got out our scopes. By the time we set up the scopes we didn't need them because the Flycatcher was close enough to get a great view with binoculars. Although I couldn't get a decent photo of the Flycatcher because it was always in motion, I managed a few lousy photos. Unfortunately, the Vermilion Flycatcher was not a brilliant red male but it was still fun to see in the eastern U.S.
           We then went to another nearby pond on the nursery property to find the Greater White-fronted Geese that were around but had no luck with them. So we headed back to the shrike area and searched again with Tim Freiday trailing behind. Once again, no luck. 
           It was now time to have lunch so we drove into Millington and found this very pleasant restaurant called the Two Trees. The food was excellent and Sharon enjoyed her Shrimp Lejon and Wild Mushroom and Truffle Soup. I had one of the best Bacon Cheddar Burgers on a Brioche bun. They also make their own homemade ice cream and Sharon enjoyed Chili Praline Crunch while I tried Chocolate Chess Pie. I would highly recommend this restaurant. 
           After lunch we headed back for one final look for the Loggerhead Shrike. As we drove up to the spot that we were going to stop, the shrike flew right in front of us and landed on the wire about 200 feet away. This allowed for another lousy photo but we had managed to accomplish our mission.
Loggerhead Shrike
           After a successful Maryland adventure we made a quick stop at Stave Landing Rd in New Castle Co, Delaware and picked up a new county bird, Tundra Swan. It was a great day all around especially when I got all my target birds and a great lunch.

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