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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 20:00   #1
Arbu
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Short trip to Eastern USA Next Week

I'm making a short trip to the Eastern USA from 15th-28th September, flying in and out of Newark. I'm going to drive south first maybe to Cape May and Blackwater Reserve then spend a few days sightseeing in DC. I then plan to spend a few days hiking, either in the Appalachians in or around Virginia or going right up north to Vermont/Maine to catch the fall colours. Birding will definitely be on the agenda and I'd be grateful for any extra advice on where to go. The following would all be new for me, although I appreciate I'm not likely to get more than a fraction of them, and no doubt spring would have been better than fall:

Black-billed Cuckoo-dove
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chuck-will's-widow
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow Rail
King Rail
Clapper Rail
Virginia Rail
Piping Plover
Marbled Godwit
Semipalmated Sandpiper
American Woodcock
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Eastern Screech-owl
Snowy Owl
Black-backed Woodpecker
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Brown Thrasher
Veery
Purple Finch
Evening Grosbeak
Blue-winged Warbler
Kirtland's Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Swainson's Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Orchard Oriole
Rusty Blackbird
Bobolink
Seaside Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
Henslow's Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Blue Grosbeak
Dickcissel

Thanks.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 20:03   #2
KC Foggin
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Keep your eyes on Hurricane Irma which is supposed to come by us and the east coast next week.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 20:14   #3
Arbu
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Keep your eyes on Hurricane Irma which is supposed to come by us and the east coast next week.
Ah, I hadn't really thought about that. Still I guess even if it does go north it should have moved on by Friday week.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 21:56   #4
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Some places to stop by are Brigantine, Plum Island, Sandy Hook, Prospect Park, Great Dismal Swamp, Nickerson Beach, and Bombay Hook. Try twitching Wood Stork (Barnegat, Brigantine), Bridled Tern (Great Gull Island), Buff-Breasted Sandpiper & Upland Sandpiper (Reed's Sod Farm), American White Pelican (Richard Dekorte Park), and Mississippi Kite (Waretown).
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 08:35   #5
Arbu
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Some places to stop by are Brigantine, Plum Island, Sandy Hook, Prospect Park, Great Dismal Swamp, Nickerson Beach, and Bombay Hook. Try twitching Wood Stork (Barnegat, Brigantine), Bridled Tern (Great Gull Island), Buff-Breasted Sandpiper & Upland Sandpiper (Reed's Sod Farm), American White Pelican (Richard Dekorte Park), and Mississippi Kite (Waretown).
Thanks. Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the Kite would both be new for me and should have been on my list. I'll try for them.
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 10:35   #6
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I regularly get great views of the Kite(s) as I live in the area. Yesterday the juvenile was out and calling, really awesome! Connecticut Warbler should be attainable in Cape May, Higbee Beach is a great spot for lots of migrants. If you can, get there at dawn for morning flight after north winds and go to the dike. CMBO does their counts there. Really an experience!
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Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 17:38   #7
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Definitely try to do Cape May, wonderful place for migrants. On your way down from Newark consider a stop at Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, the auto tour loop goes through expansive saltmarsh that is good for Clapper Rail, Seaside Sparrow, and Saltmarsh Sparrow (the last is hardest, especially this time of year when they're not singing), and there are mudflats and retention cells that can hold large numbers of migrant shorebirds including a few on your list (Semipalmated Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit). Piping Plovers are migrating south now but there may be a few lingering, consider a stop at Sandy Hook or Barnegat Light in New Jersey.

Driving up to Maine from DC is quite a haul, minimum 8-9 hours depending on traffic and where exactly you go - so you'll have to consider whether it's worth using nearly a full day for driving.
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Old Friday 8th September 2017, 08:43   #8
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Cape May will likely be your best single spot for birds. IME Sandy hook is mostly better in spring. You have a strange list of some common species and some tricky ones. If you are looking for specific birds ebird will help you out a lot.

http://ebird.org/ebird/barchart?byr=...emo=12&r=US-NJ

Obviously in migration things will be dynamic.

If I was in DC, I'd be thinking of places like skyline drive and Chincoteague (weather permitting)
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Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 19:33   #9
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You have a strange list of some common species and some tricky ones.
My US birding has been rather sporadic and so I suppose there are a few common birds things I haven't seen and a few rare birds that I have.

I should have next Saturday and Sunday morning at Cape May. Then after visiting DC I think I'll go to the Skyline Drive and further inland to near Pittsburgh and visit Fallingwater and the US Bear Run Nature Reserve. Hopefully I can dig out Yellow-breasted Chat somewhere. New England will have to be a different trip.
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 08:17   #10
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Can't emphasize enough how good Cape May can be in mid-Sept, if you get north-west winds. If you don't, you could still clean up at least a dozen of those birds that are scattered breeders around the 'island'. Higbee Beach has already been recommended, but Hidden Valley a mile back down the road has breeding Blue Grosbeak, Field Sparrow and Brown Thrasher, as well as probably being the best place in the World to see Connecticut Warbler, provided there's been a north-west wind in the previous 72 hours. I've sometimes seen them the only bird around 3 days after a front.

The Sharp-tailed and Seaside Sparrows, as well as lots of Clapper Rails can be seen in creeks in and around Cape May, though the former are best a couple miles north-east of the Atlantic bridge. Eastern Kingbirds and Bobolinks are very common in late August into September, flocks 100 strong: while Blue-winged Warbler, Veery, and both Cuckoos are reasonably common enough migrants such that you have a chance of 1-2 each, if you put in the time. Yellow-breasted Chat and Eastern Screech Owl both breed on the island, but perhaps just a pair or two in each case. The Observatory will help you locate them, or talk to the many birders around. Piping PLovers have probably gone, although there might be one lingering? Semi-palmated Sandpipers should be easy, along with other shorebirds, on the South Cape May Meadows.
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 16:06   #11
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Will bring hurrican Irma birds to Ireland ?
Even the hurrican goes another direction, the cyclone has influence to European climate.
September and also October is known for American waders but also for other American birds in Ireland.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 03:59   #12
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Hopefully I can dig out Yellow-breasted Chat somewhere.
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/yebcha?ne...=2017&eyr=2017
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 11:14   #13
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Hmm, no reports of the kites at Waretown since 6th September and then some on 6th and 7th at Cape May. Looks like I might be too late for them.
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 16:58   #14
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Thanks for all the advice. I went to Cape May, Edwin B. Forsythe reserve, Bombay Hook in Delaware, Shenandoah, Monongahela Forest, Bear Run NR in Pennsylvania and Craneville Swamp in West Virginia. I got Field Sparrow, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Shenandoah), Blue Grosbeak, American Woodcock (flew over road at dusk near Davis WV), Clapper Rail, Brown Thrasher, Yellow-breasted Chat (Bear Run), Bobolink, Cerulean Warbler (Shenandoah), Semipalmated Sandpiper and Marbled Godwit (Bombay Hook).

Also possibly Rusty Blackbird and Baird's Sandpiper (I'll post photos on the ID help forum).

I simply couldn't find Eastern Kingbird and I didn't have much luck with the coastal sparrows. There were lots of sparrows on the road and verges at Edwin B. Forsythe. They were very flighty and I didn't get great views but they all looked like Savannah Sparrows. And no luck with Veery either. Plenty of small thrushes in the forests but they all looked like Swainson's or Hermit to me.

Also a Stilt Sandpiper at Edwin B. Forsythe was good to see.
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