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Voice of the Naturalist

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February 14, 2017
MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle

voice@anshome.org
Bob Hartman
Audubon Naturalist Society of the
   Central Atlantic states (independent of NAS!)
Steve Cordle
 

Reporting Guidelines  |  Archives 

Please consider joining ANS, especially if you are a regular user of the Voice (Senior $35; Individual $50; Family $65; Nature Steward $100; Audubon Advocate $200). The membership number is 301-652-9188, option 12; the address is 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815; and the web site is http://www.anshome.org.

This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Tuesday, June 7, and was completed on Tuesday, June 14 at about 11:00 a.m.

Information on noteworthy birds during this week is presented below in taxonomic order, as set forth in the American Ornithologists' Union Checklist for North and Middle American birds, as revised through the 57th Supplement (July 2016).

TOP BIRDS THIS WEEK: BARROW'S GOLDENEYE* in MD, WESTERN GREBE* in VA, MANX SHEARWATER* in VA, MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD* in VA, and DOVEKIE* in VA.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST: CACKLING GOOSE, BLACK SWAN, TRUMPETER SWAN, HARLEQUIN DUCK, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, AMERICAN AVOCET, MARBLED GODWIT, AMERICAM WOODCOCK, WILLET, RAZORBILL, LITTLE GULL, ICELAND GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, FORSTER'S TERN, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, COMMON RAVEN, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, PINE SISKIN

TOP BIRDS

The drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE* continued to be seen at the Elms Environmental Education Center, St. Mary's Co, MD, with the most recent sighting on Feb 8. If looking for this bird, do not drive in, but park in the hunter's parking lot before the gate and walk about a mile to the bay, then several hundred yards to the north

Also continuing was the WESTERN GREBE* in Virginia Beach VA, with reports from Feb 7 & 11.

The MANX SHEARWATER* continued around Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, with sightings on Feb 12.

On Feb 8, a MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD* was seen from Virginia Beach.

Three DOVEKIEs* were spotted at Virginia Beach on Feb 7.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

On Feb 10, a single CACKLING GOOSE was picked out of a large flock at Study Pond in Carroll Co MD. The two BLACK SWANs seen Feb 9 at Lickinghole Creek Reservoir, Crozet VA (Albemarle Co) are undoubtedly escapes, but nevertheless fun to see. Four immature TRUMPETER SWANs were seen Feb 7 & 11 along Gold Mine Rd in Louisa Co VA. Only 1-2 HARLEQUIN DUCKs were seen at the Ocean City Inlet, Worcester Co MD, on Feb 11 & 12.

The single AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN continued Feb 8 at Eastern Neck NWR (Kent Co MD), seen from the causeway on Feb 8.

On Feb 8, 8 AMERICAN AVOCETs were spotted in Raymond Pond, Bombay Hook NWR (Kent Co DE). Also in Raymond pond on Feb 8 was a single MARBLED GODWIT. Humans are not the only species confused by DuPont Circle in NW DC: an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was found stunned there on Feb 7, but recovered and flew away before it could be corralled for triage. On Feb 8, a WILLET was seen at Castaway's Campground, Worcester Co MD.

The Virginia Beach DOVEKIEs were vastly outnumbered by RAZORBILLs, with hundreds to thousands reported on Feb 7. On Feb 8, the high count was 420, and by the end of the week, only single digits remained. A few RAZORBILLs were seen farther north: at Indian River Inlet (Sussex Co DE), 4 were seen on Feb 8, only one on Feb 12. Ocean City Inlet hosted 1-2 RAZORBILLs all week.

Virginia Beach hosted an adult LITTLE GULL on Feb 8. MD had a couple of ICELAND GULLs, one continuing Feb 8 at Mariner Point Pk, Harford Co, another at the Salisbury Landfill Naylor Mill Rd Pond (Wicomico Co) on Feb 11. Also at Naylor Mill Rd Pond on Feb 11 was a SINGLE GLAUCOUS GULL. Single GLAUCOUS GULLs were also seen at Hains Point, SW DC, on Feb 10, and from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (Island #1; Northampton Co VA) on Feb 11. FORSTER'S TERNs were seen: 2 near the Tom's Cove Visitor Center of Chincoteague NWR Feb 11, and 5 the next day in nearby Swan Cove. Another FORSTER'S TERN was spotted around Ocean City Inlet on Feb 11.

The RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in St. Mary's Co MD continued, with sightings on Feb 8 & 13. Two NORTHERN SHRIKEs continued on Feb 8, one at Sully Woodlands in Fairfax Co VA, the other in Queen Anne's Co MD. A COMMON RAVEN was seen in southern MD, on Feb 7 in Huntingtown (Calvert Co) near the intersection of Huntingtown and Holland Cliffs Rds. The single CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continued Feb 8-12 at Big water farm (Queen Anne's Co MD; private). The LINCOLN'S SPARROW continued at Occoquan Bay NWR (Prince William Co VA), with a sighting Feb 12 from Deephole Point. Although not as common as a week earlier, BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs were scattered over the reporting area, with high counts of 30 at Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve (Stafford Co VA) and at Fort Hunt Pk (Fairfax Co VA), both on Feb 11. A few PINE SISKINs were reported: one Feb 12 in Howard Co MD, and five at the National Conservation Training Center in Jefferson Co WV.

***

This report was based on reports on the DE, MD, VA, and WV list servers via the ABA Internet links, and on eBird records.

The Audubon Sanctuary Shop (301-652-3606, http://anshome.org/shop) is an excellent source for guidebooks and many other nature-related titles.

To report bird sightings, e-mail your report to voice@anshome.org. Please post reports before midnight Monday, identify the county as well as the state, and include your name and a Tuesday morning contact, either e-mail or phone.

Thank you for your interest, and enjoy the birds.

*Of interest to the applicable records committee.

Reporting Guidelines

The Voice of the Naturalist is written and recorded on Tuesday mornings. If you email your reports, please email voice@anshome.org, by Monday midnight to make sure they are received in time.

Reports prior to the preceding Tuesday will not be considered.

The area covered is (with rare exceptions) DC, MD, VA, and southern DE; all other reports should be sent to the appropriate rare-bird alert for the area in which the birds were observed.

Be sure to report only those birds that you actually saw, not ones that someone else told you about.

And please remember to include a phone number where you can be reached on Tuesday morning; if you can't be reached to verify a rare bird, your report will almost certainly not be used.

There are two main circumstances in which a bird sighting will not be reported on the Voice as a matter of policy. The first is if the report would jeopardize the bird's welfare:

Reports of species that are threatened or endangered at the state or federal level are generally not used, especially during nesting season--local Loggerhead Shrikes are an example; similarly, owls are not listed, with two exceptions--Snowy Owl and Short-eared Owl; and rails are also generally not mentioned; the rails at Huntley Meadows Park, VA, are an exception because birders stay on the boardwalk.

The second circumstance concerns private property: If the property owner does not want birders, the sighting will not be reported--at least in a way that identifies the location.

Please keep your reports concise (no lengthy trip reports, please), and provide the following information:

Full SPECIES NAME.

NUMBER of individuals of each species (estimates for big flocks are fine).

Age and sex, if relevant (important for gull observations, for example).

Location, including COUNTY and STATE (there are four Middletowns in MD).

DATE of observation ("today", "yesterday", "Saturday", etc., are not as helpful).

TELEPHONE NUMBER where you can be reached on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

DIRECTIONS to little known places (your favorite local hot spot may not be familiar to the Voice compiler or to other nonlocal people); page numbers and map coordinates from the DeLorme atlas/gazetteer are extremely helpful.

Access limitations, if any; and, for birds that are on private property, whether the owner does not want birders, if you know.

Unusual behavior seen.

For RARITIES, a description of features YOU ACTUALLY SAW (not what is in the field guides).

Thanks in advance for your reports. You can be sure that they will be read. Don't be disappointed if your sighting isn't mentioned; when there are a lot of reports, summary comments sometimes have to be made. There are times, however, when every report is used in writing the Voice, for example, during the hot days of summer. -- Voice of the Naturalist

 

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