Voice of the Naturalist

Date:  February 12, 2019
Coverage:  MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports/Comments/Questions(Email):  voice@anshome.org
Compiler(s): Bob Hartman
Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic states (independent of NAS!)
Transcriber:  Steve Cordle

Reporting Guidelines  |  Archives

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This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Tuesday, Feb 5, and was completed on Tuesday, Feb 12 at about 2:00 p.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, BAR-TAILED GODWIT* in VA, ROCK WREN* & VARIED THRUSH* in MD, EVENING GROSBEAK in MD & VA

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST: early waterfowl, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, SANDHILL CRANE, RUDDY TURNSTONE, WILSON'S SNIPE, HERRING GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, FORSTER'S TERN, GREAT CORMORANT, AMERICAN BITTERN, GREAT EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, TRICOLORED HERON, OSPREY, GOLDEN EAGLE, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY OWL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, PEREGRINE FALCON, NORTHERN SHRIKE, COMMON RAVEN, BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH, HOUSE WREN, WOOD THRUSH, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, early sparrows and warblers

TOP BIRDS

The BARROW'S GOLDENEYE continued Feb 8 & 10 at The Elms Environmental Education Center (private) in St. Mary's Co MD.  The BAR-TAILED GODWIT continued at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack Co VA.

A ROCK WREN that has appeared at a private residence in St. Mary's Co, MD is only the third state record. Ground rules for viewing this bird are currently being worked out.

The VARIED THRUSH continued in Leonardtown MD (St. Mary's Co) Feb 7-10.

-Birders may visit between 8am and 4pm.  Please park along the left side of the road beyond the drainage basin after the first house on Philip and before the homeowner's house (both houses are on the left side). Parking priority is along the street only from half the drainage basin towards 22070 Philip Drive. If that is full, people can park in the horseshoe section of the 22070 driveway - the second entrance around to but not blocking the first entrance to the garage. If that is full park along the neighbor's section of the road - i.e. the half of the drainage basin toward their house. They have not complained at all but at this point we'll try to limit further damage to their section of property. If that space is full, please try to avoid parking directly in front of another house.

EVENING GROSBEAKs were widespread in MD & VA: one Feb 6 at a private feeder in Howard Co MD, 2 females Feb 8-10 at Riley's Lock (C&O Canal), Montgomery Co MD; up to 10 Feb 9 at Union Springs Hollow Lk in Rockingham Co VA, one Feb 6 in Caroline Co VA, and 2 Feb 10 at Naked Creek Overlook in Shenandoah NP, Page Co VA.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

A SNOW GOOSE showed up in St. Mary's Co MD on Feb 8, along Harry James Road, and a ROSS'S GOOSE was in Cape Charles VA (Northampton Co) on Feb 9, along County Road 641.  Greater White-fronted Geese were seen, Feb 5 at Todd's Inheritance Historic Site (Fort Howard, Baltimore Co MD), Feb 7 at North Point State Park, Baltimore Co MD, Feb 8 at Broadway WWTF (restricted access), Rockingham Co VA, and Feb 10 in Garrett Co, Accident MD along Accident-Bittinger Rd.  A CACKLING GOOSE was spotted Feb 10 at New Bristow Village pond in Prince William Co VA.

Surprising numbers of ducks were reported, including WOOD DUCKs, a BLUE-WINGED TEAL, CANVASBACKS, a REDHEAD, a few COMMON EIDERs, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and some LONG-TAILED DUCKs.

Single RED-NECKED GREBEs were seen Feb 10 at Jones Point Pk in Alexandria VA, and near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River (Prince George's Co MD side).  A single EARED GREBE was reported Feb 10 at Riley's Lock.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVEs were seen, three Feb 6 in Dayton VA (Rockingham Co) and two Feb 8 in Selbyville DE (Sussex Co).

SANDHILL CRANEs continued Feb 6 & 8 along Bradshaw Rd in Kingsville MD (Baltimore Co MD).

Two RUDDY TURNSTONEs were seen Feb 10 at Bodkin Island in Queen Anne's Co MD.  On Feb 6, a WILSON'S SNIPE was at Trout Run WWTP, Garrett Co MD.

On Feb 7, 3 immature HERRING GULLs were seen at Lake Frederick (Frederick Co VA). GLAUCOUS GULLs continued pretty much all week, in Baltimore Co MD and the Ocean City area of Worcester Co MD.  Two FORSTER'S TERNs were seen Feb 10 at Black Hill Regional Park, Montgomery Co MD.

On Feb 8, a GREAT CORMORANT was seen at Kent Point marina in Queen Anne's Co MD, and on Feb 7, an AMERICAN BITTERN was seen at Poplar Island, Talbot Co MD.

A GREAT EGRET was seen Feb 10 in Fredericksburg VA, and on Feb 7, a LITTLE BLUE HERON MADE an appearance at Assateague I. NS (Worcester Co MD).  The same day, Deal Island WMA hosted a TRICOLORED HERON along Riley Roberts road (Somerset Co MD).

An OSPREY was spotted Feb 9 in Mountain Run Lake Park, in Culpeper Co VA.  On Feb 6, a GOLDEN EAGLE was seen from Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Talbot Co MD, and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted far to the west, near Accident MD (Garrett Co).  Two SNOWY OWLs were seen, one Feb 10 along Fowler Beach Rd, Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co DE, the other Feb 10&11 at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, St. Mary's Co MD.

On Feb 10, there were 2 sightings of RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, along Gibson Rd, and in Freeland along Freeland Rd (possibly the same bird), Baltimore Co, MD.

A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen Feb 9 near a quarry in Ashburn VA (Loudon Co), near Washington and Old Dominion Trail.  During Feb 6-10, a NORTHERN SHRIKE was at Pickering Creek AUDUBON Center.  At the MD Rte 5/Poplar Hill Rd intersection (Charles Co MD), a COMMON Raven made a brief appearance on Feb 7.

In Caroline Co MD, a BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was seen Feb 9&10 at the Poplar Neck Marsh.  During Feb 9-11, HOUSE WRENs made brief appearances, at David Force WMA (Howard Co MD), in Leedstown VA (Westmoreland Co), and continued along Army-Navy Drive in Arlington VA.  A WOOD THRUSH was reported Feb 9 along McClure Rd in Upper Marlboro MD (Prince George's Co).

At the north end of Shriver Road in Emmitsburg MD (Frederick Co), a LAPLAND LONGSPUR was reported on Feb 11.  Roughly 10 SNOW BUNTINGs were seen Feb 8-10 at North Point State Park, Baltimore Co MD.

CHIPPING SPARROWs were reported in Carroll Co MD on Feb 10&11.  The Laurel Hill Equestrian Center in Fairfax VA (Fairfax Co) hosted a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW Feb 8&10.  Two AMERICAN TREE SPARROWs were seen Feb 5 along Long Neck Road in St. Mary's Co MD, and across the Chesapeake Bay, a VESPER SPARROW was sighted Feb 5&10 in Dorchester Co at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW continued Feb 8&10 at Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville (MD).

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was reported Feb 9 at Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge in Fairfax Co VA.  A male Baltimore Oriole was seen Feb 11 at a feeder in Kent Co DE.

On Feb 10, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was spotted at Delaware Seashore SP – Burton's Island (Sussex Co).  Out-of-season COMMON YELLOWTHROATs were seen at 3 places in MD and VA, and MD hosted 5 PINE WARBLERs in 3 locations.

***

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, https://anshome.org/naturalist-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