Voice of the Naturalist

Date:  November 13 2018
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

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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, Nov 6, and was completed on Tuesday, Nov 13 at about 4:00 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: GLAUCOUS GULL in MD, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER in VA, CAVE SWALLOW in VA, RUSTY BLACKBIRD in MD, EVENING GROSBEAKs in DE, MD, and VA.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST: ROSS'S, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED, AND CACKLING GEESE, TRUMPETER, MUTE, and WHOOPER SWANs, ducks, pelagic seabirds, pelicans, egrets and herons, ibis, OSPREY, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, COMMON GALLINULE, SANDHILL  CRANE, AMERICAN AVOCET, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, shorebirds, POMARINE AND PARASITIC JAEGERs, BONAPARTE'S GULL, COMMON TERN, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, CHIMNEY SWIFT, hummingbirds, PEREGRINE FALCON, LEAST FLYCATCHER, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, EASTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, vireos, swallows, BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH, wrens, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, warblers, sparrows, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, tanagers, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, DICKCISSEL, BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

TOP BIRDS

A GLAUCOUS GULL was reported Nov 8 in Baltimore Co MD at Loreley Beach Meadows.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was seen Nov 11 from the hawk watch at Eastern Shore of VA NWR (Northampton Co).

A CAVE SWALLOW was reported Nov 11 from Eastern Shore of VA NWR (Northampton Co).

Poplar Island (Talbot Co MD) hosted a RUSTY BLACKBIRD on Nov 7.

EVENING GROSBEAKs showed up in surprising numbers this week. Singles were reported at Poplar Island (Nov 7) and West Ocean City Pond (Nov 11, Worcester Co MD); two were reported at the Easter Shore of VA NWR (Nov 11); three in a yard along Fox Run in Harford Co MD (Nov 7).  But a yard in Kent Co DE won the lottery with an eye-popping 10 EVENING GROSBEAKs on Nov 12.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

A ROSS'S GOOSE continued near Ellicott City MD (Howard Co) on Nov 6 & 7, and another was seen along Lankford Hwy VA (Accomack Co) on Nov 9. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE stayed at Preston Recycling Station / WWTP (Caroline Co MD) Nov 8-11. A CACKLING GOOSE was  present Nov 7-8 along Beach Rd of Chincoteague NWR (Accomack Co VA). Two more were seen Nov 12 at Silver Lake, Rehoboth DE (Sussex Co), and a fourth was seen Nov 12 at Black Duck Marsh, Accomack Co VA.

A total of about 10 MUTE SWANs were seen, mostly in MD. Up to 3 TRUMPETER SWANs were present Nov 10-11 at Chincoteague NWR, and another continued Nov 6 at Owensville pond in Anne Arundel Co MD. On Nov 9, a WHOOPER SWAN (probably domestic or escaped) was present in Kent Co DE near 3223 Halltown Rd.

Quite a few out-of-season ducks were reported. Two BLUE-WINGED TEAL were at Swan Harbor Farm Pk (Harford Co MD) on Nov 6, and three more were seen Nov 8 along Windsor Drive, Westminster MD (Carroll Co). A EURASIAN WIGEON was present Nov 8-9 along Beach Access Rd at Chincoteague NWR. A COMMON EIDER was spotted Nov 9-10 near the Toms Cove Visitor Center of Chincoteague NWR, and another was seen Nov 12 from the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch (Sussex Co DE). A SURF SCOTER was at Lk Frederick VA (Frederick Co) Nov 9-12. Lake Herrington at Herrington Manor SP (Garrett Co MD) hosted a single WHITE-WINGED SCOTER Nov 6-7. On Nov 6, a BLACK SCOTER was seen near Belle Haven Park Marina (Fairfax Co VA). A total of about 7 COMMON GOLDENEYEs were reported Nov 10-11, all in MD.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was reported Nov 10 at Point Lookout SP (St. Mary's Co MD).

Pelagic seabirds were seen Nov 7 80-100 km off the coast of Worcester Co MD. Three NORTHERN FULMARs were reported, two CORY'S SHEARWATERs, and one each GREAT and MANX SHEARWATERs.

Up to two AMERICAN WHITE PELICANs were present Nov 7-10 at Cape Henlopen SP, and singles  were reported Nov 10 at Eastern Shore of VA NWR and at Magotha Rd marsh, Northampton Co VA. At least one BROWN PELICAN was present Nov 9 & 11 in Cecil Co MD, at Glebe Rd over Scotchman's Creek and Hicks Point Marina.

GREAT EGRETs were reported Nov 7 along Spesutie Island Rd (Harford Co MD) and on Nov 8 at Violette's Lock (C&O Canal, Montgomery Co MD). SNOWY EGRETs were present Nov 7 at Bodkin Island (Queen Anne's Co MD), and Nov 11 near the Riley Roberts Rd turnoff for Deal Island WMA  (Somerset Co MD). CATTLE EGRETs were reported: one Nov 6 in Talbot Co MD, another Nov 9 along Egypt Rd in Dorchester Co MD, and a third Nov 11 at Wayne Ave, Stuarts Draft in Augusta Co VA. There were a number of reports of GREEN HERONs. One stayed all week at Ashby Pond Conservancy Site (Fairfax Co VA). MD hosted 2 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONs, one at Centennial Park in Howard Co Nov 6, the other Nov 8 at Baker Park in Frederick Co.

An immature WHITE IBIS was near Gordon's Pond at Cape Henlopen SP Nov 7-8. The day before, Nov 6, there were 3 GLOSSY IBIS AT Cape Henlopen SP.

On Nov 8, an OSPREY was spotted at Algonkian RP (Culpeper Co VA), and another was seen Nov 11 at Yowell Meadow Pk (Loudoun Co VA). GOLDEN EAGLEs were seen: Nov 9-10 at Pickering Creek Audubon Center (Talbot Co MD), Nov 10 in Accomack Co VA nr Cats Bridge, and Nov 11 at Chincoteague NWR (Parking Lot 1). NORTHERN GOSHAWKs were recorded, Nov 7 at Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch (Augusta Co VA), and Nov 8 & 11 at Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch.

Two to three COMMON GALLINULEs were present Nov 9-10 at West Ocean City Pond. At least one SANDHILL CRANE was present in Northampton Co VA Nov 10-11, with 5 sightings scattered around the southern part of the county.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was seen Nov 10 at Willis Wharf in Northampton Co VA. Northampton Co also hosted an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, seen Nov 10 in Cape Charles. Nov 6-11, Bombay Hook NWR (Kent Co DE) had up to 13 HUDSONIAN GODWITs. Two LEAST SANDPIPERs were spotted Oct 10 at E. A. Vaughn WMA (central; Worcester Co MD). WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERs were seen, one Nov 6 along Fowler Beach Rd (Sussex Co), the other Nov 7 at 
Poplar Island. Up to 12 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERs were at Bombay Hook NWR Nov 9 & 11. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER was present Nov 8 & 11 at Black Hill RP (boat ramp area; Montgomery Co MD), and another was seen Nov 11 at Lake Ashby in Fauquier Co VA.

A POMARINE JAEGER was reported Nov 6 by the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch, and a PARASITIC JAEGER was seen Nov 9 from the scenic overlook of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

BONAPARTE'S GULLs were seen, one Nov 6 at Swan Harbor Farm Park, and 4 Nov 9 at Piney Run Park (Carroll Co MD). Up to 3 COMMON TERNs were seen Nov 7 from the Sussex Co DE seashore.

In Selbyville DE (extreme southern Sussex Co), a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE was spotted on Nov 8. A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was seen Nov 10 in Susquehanna SP (Cecil Co MD), another the same day in Assateague SP (Worcester Co MD), and a third Nov 11 in Chincoteague NWR (Accomack NWR). Cape Henlopen SP hosted a couple of CHIMNEY SWIFTs Nov 6. A RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD was at the Visitor's Center of Eastern Shore of VA NWR on Nov 10 & 11. Two RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDs were reported from Augusta Co VA, one Nov 6 in Raphine, along Newport Rd, the other in Waynesboro, along Ox Rd.

A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen Nov 10 at the Longlea Retreat Center (Culpeper Co VA).

A LEAST FLYCATCHER was reported Nov 11 at the bayside peninsula of Assateague I. NS (Worcester Co MD). A GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER was seen Nov 11 at Brookside Gardens (Montgomery Co MD). Yowell Meadow Park, Culpeper VA hosted an EASTERN KINGBIRD Nov 11. A persistent NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen every day of the week at Sully Woodlands (Fairfax Co VA).

Single WHITE-EYED VIREOs were seen Nov 10 at Eastern Shore of VA NWR, and Nov 11 at Black Hill RP (Montgomery Co MD). A YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was reported Nov 10 at Willis Wharf. BLUE-HEADED VIREOs were reported at several locations in MD & VA.

A NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW was seen Nov 6 at Swan Harbor Farm Park. TREE SWALLOWS were observed Nov 12 in VA, four at Broadway WWTP (Rockingham Co) and four more C. M. Crockett Park (Fauquier Co). Several BARN SWALLOWs were observed at various locations in MD & VA. 

A BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was reported Nov 6 at Mountain Run Lake Park (Culpeper Co VA). On Nov 7, NW Branch Park (Montgomery Co MD) hosted a House Wren, and on Nov 6 & 12,  Sedge Wrens were reported at Cape Henlopen SP. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERs were reported, Nov 7 at Rock Creek Park (NW DC), and Nov 9 at Blackwater NWR (Wildlife Drive; Dorchester Co MD). On Nov 10, a SWAINSON'S THRUSH was spotted at Mockhorn Island WMA, GATR Tract (Northampton Co VA).

Several species of warbler were reported much more frequently than expected, including YELLOW, CAPE MAY, BLACKPOLL, and PALM. Also reported, less frequently, were NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE, TENNESSEE, ORANGE-CROWNED, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, YELLOW, PINE, PRAIRIE, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER.

A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was reported Nov 7 at Mount Pleasant Farm -Howard County (MD) Conservancy. CLAY-COLORED SPARROWs were reported, one Nov 7-8 at Masonville Cove (Baltimore City), another Nov 9 at Laurel Hill Equestrian Center (Fairfax Co VA). At least one LARK SPARROW was reported Nov 10 in Northampton Co VA, at Indiantown Rd – Station Lane Jct, and Willow Oak Rd. Three reports of VESPER SPARROWS were received, one Nov 7 at Schucks RP(Howard Co MD), one Nov 10 at Waterford Farm (restricted; Howard Co MD), and one Nov 10 at Merkle WMA (Prince George's Co MD). A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was reported Nov 6 & 11 at Joseph Funk Ln, Singers Glenn (Rockingham Co VA).

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen Nov 10 at E.A. Vaughn WMA. A SUMMER TANAGER was reported Nov 10 in a Harrisonburg VA yard (Rockingham Co), and a SCARLET TANAGER was seen in Clarke Co VA at Shenandoah University River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. A ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK continued Nov 6 & 8 along Whitt Rd (Harford Co MD), and another was spotted Nov 10 in a yard in Frederick Co VA. An INDIGO BUNTING was seen at Assateague I. NS on Nov 6. A Dickcissel was reported Nov 6 at Big Water Farm (private; Queen Anne's Co MD), and another was reported in Calvert Co MD Nov 6 & 8. BALTIMORE ORIOLEs were reported, Nov 6 at Swan Harbor Farm Park and Nov 11 along Upshurs Neck Rd, Quinby VA  (Accomack Co).

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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