Voice of the Naturalist

Date: December 12, 2017
Coverage: MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports/Comments/Questions(Email): voice@anshome.org
Compiler: Helen Patton
Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic states
(independent of NAS!)
Transcriber: Steve Cordle

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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, December 5, and was completed on Tuesday, December 12 about 2:40 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: SNOWY OWL in DC, DE, MD, and VA, HARRIS'S SPARROW in MD and VA, WESTERN TANAGER in VA and SHINY COWBIRD in MD

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST: waterfowl, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, BROWN PELICAN, COMMON GALLINULE, MARBLED GODWIT, gulls, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SHORT-EARED OWL, shrikes, lingering small birds, sparrows, and EASTERN MEADOWLARK.

TOP BIRDS

SNOWY OWLs seem to be starting another active winter in the area. Sightings include:
In DC:
A SNOWY OWL was flying on Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Streets, DC on December 9.
In Delaware:
A SNOWY OWL appeared in a variety of venues in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co. with sightings on December 5, 6 and 7.
In Maryland:
A SNOWY OWL was at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Saint Mary’s Co., MD on December 7. The SNOWY OWL in Harford Co., MD along Holy Cross Rd (NOT the Holy Cross Rd in Anne Arundel Co) continues with sightings on December 8 and 11. A SNOWY OWL was in Assateague SP, Worcester Co., MD on December 9.
In Virginia:
A SNOWY owl was at Dulles Airport, Loudoun Co., VA during the week. This OWL was joined by a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on December 11. A SNOWY OWL was on a dairy farm east of I-81 Exit 240 (Bridgewater), Rockingham Co., VA on December 9 and 10. On December 10, this OWL was also seen in Harrisonburg across from the sewage treatment building. By December 11, this OWL could be seen from the parking lot at 856 No. River Road.

The HARRIS'S SPARROW continued near the Anacostia River Trail, Prince George’s Co., MD with sightings on December 6, 7, 10 and 11. Another HARRIS'S SPARROW showed up in Page Co VA, just north of the White House Boat Ramp; it was seen Dec ember 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

A WESTERN TANAGER was in the Alanton neighborhood, Virginia Beach, VA on December 10.

The SHINY COWBIRD continued in the Kensington neighborhood of Bethesda, Montgomery Co., MD with sightings on December 5, 7, 9 and 10.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

Several hundred TUNDRA SWANS were visible from the Perryville Community Park Cecil Co., MD on December 10. Seven GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were at Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co., VA on December 5. Fifteen to Eighteen GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were at Deep Creek Lake, Garrett Co., MD on December 5 and 8. Ten GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE plus a ROSS’S GOOSE were on Long Meadow Farm Pond on December 11. SNOW GEESE were at Garrett College, Garrett Co., MD on December 6. A ROSS’S GOOSE was at Herrington Harbor, Anne Arundel Co., MD on December 6, 7, 8 and 10. A ROSS’S GOOSE was at Meadow Creek Road, Christiansburg, Montgomery Co., VA on December 9. A BRANT was in the Washington Channel, DC on December 10. Six CACKLING GEESE were at Bradford Lake, Garrett Co., MD on December 9

Waterfowl seen at Oxbow Lake, Anne Arundel Co., MD, on December 6 included 6 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 50 Northern SHOVELERS and 100 RING-NECKED DUCKS. A EURASIAN WIGEON was at George Mason Conference Center, Fairfax Co., VA on December 9.

A RING-NECKED PHEASANT was at Park Heights Ave in Owings Mills, Baltimore Co., MD on December 10.

A BROWN pelican was at Lake Churchill, Montgomery Co., MD on December 8.

A COMMON GALLINULE was at the Bayside Development Pond, Worcester Co., MD on December 7.

A MARBLED GODWIT was at the Craney Island Disposal Area, Virginia Beach, VA on December 7. One to three MARBLED GODWITS were at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co., DE on December 6, 7 and 8.

An ICELAND GULL was on Brown’s Island, Richmond City, VA on December 7. A 1st cycle ICELAND GULL was at the Annapolis Junction Recycle and Transfer Station, Anne Arundel Co., MD on December 9. An ICELAND GULL was a Dorsey Run Road, Jessup, Howard Co., MD on December 9. An ICELAND GULL was at Wilde Lake, Howard Co., MD on December 12. A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was at Stumpy Lake NA, Virginia Beach, VA seen during the week.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was flying north over a Nursery in Jarrettsville, Harford Co., MD on December 5. One to two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS roamed around Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE during the week. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen flying over the golf course at Elmer Derr Rd and South Renn Road, Frederick Co., MD on December 12.

Four to five SHORT-EARED OWLS were at the Konterra Drive fields and ponds, Prince George’s Co., MD on December 6 and 8. Three SHORT-EARED OWLS were on Russell Road, Garrett Co., MD on December 9.

A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was at the intersection of Burwells Bay Rd. and Purvis Lane in Isle of Wight Co., VA on December 10. A NORTHERN SHRIKE was in the Sully Woodlands, Fairfax Co., VA on December 8 and 11.

Some very late small birds were reported: a BLUE-HEADED VIREO on December 8 in a yard in Crozet, Albemarle Co., VA; another BLUE-HEADED VIREO in Bryan Park, Richmond City, VA on December 11; a PINE WARBLER coming to a suet feeder in the Owen Brown section of Columbia, Howard Co., MD on December 9; A BLACKPOLL WARBLER in Sligo Creek Park at the intersection of Maple and Sligo Creek Parkway, Montgomery Co.,MD on December 9 ; a WILSON’S WARBLER at Tormentor Lake, Isle of Wight Co., VA on December 10 and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Treasure Island Park, James City, VA on December 10..

Twelve AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were in a large mixed flock on Long Marsh Road north of Berryville, Clarke Co., VA on December 9. A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at the Laurel Hill Equestrian Center, Fairfax Co., VA on December 9. A LE CONTE’SSPARROW was at the Princess Anne WMA, Beasley Tract, Virginia Beach, VA on December 10. Six FOX SPARROWS were at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Fairfax Co., VA on December 10.

Five EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were seen On Caroll Boyer Road, south of the Stone Manor Inn, Frederick Co., MD on December 5.

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