Ok, just by the title you get the point - a LOT happened today! We left Chincoteague at 8 am but would slowly bird our way down the Eastern Shore. Our first stop was near Exmore Virginia because Allen Larner (refer to day two post) said there was a chance for a Hudsonian Godwit at this location. We arrived and I thought I had a whole darn bunch of Hudsonians but that just didn't make since, especially because there was no Marbled Godwits with them. I got my book out. Willet popped into my head. Oh well, they we were Willets. But then I spotted a more distant flock of Marbled Godwits. And a grayer one with them with a white stripe in the wing! Bingo! Hudsonian! Another lifer for me and number 374 for my Big Year. Our next stop was Kiptopeke State Park Hawk Watch, I didn't plan to add any year birds here but I wanted to stop by since I spent a few days there last year, meet this year's counter Kyle Wright and hopefully see some birds. And boy was I ever satisfied! I met Kyle and right away he picked up on a Cooper's. More coops and sharpies followed suit. For the next 1.5 hours we witnessed non-stop action! Several Peregrines came through and a local dive-bombed a vulture several times! What a show. The hawk counter at Kiptopeke caught a Cooper's Hawk and Kyle brought it up to be released on the hawk watching platform. Thanks Kyle, it's always great to see raptors in the hand. Bob Ake, who did an ABA Big Year last year and holds the third highest record for an ABA Big Year (hewas second until John Vanderpoel broke his 731 this year and is now at 734 and encroaching on Sandy Komito's record 745 bumped Bob into third place a little while ago) showed up at the hawk watch.
I ended the Eastern Shore trip with an impressive 112 species for the trip including 4 lifers and 11 raptor species.
All in all, what a great trip to the Eastern Shore and I'm happy to be at 374 for the year. Arizona is just a few weeks away!