Voice of the Naturalist

Date: September 19, 2017
Coverage: MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports/Comments/Questions(Email): voice@anshome.org
Compiler: Joe Coleman
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, September 12 and was completed on Tuesday, September 19 at 2:30 p.m. 

Information on noteworthy birds is presented below in taxonomic order, as set forth in the American Ornithological Society Checklist for North and Middle American Birds, as revised through the 58th Supplement (July 2017).

The top birds this week were SABINE'S GULL* in DC and MD, ROSEATE SPOONBILL* in VA, SOOTY TERN* in VA, and SWALLOWTAIL KITE* in VA.

Other birds of interest this week included waterfowl, EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL, AMERICAN AVOCET, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, STILT, BAIRD'S, and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, WILSON'S and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, PARASITIC JAEGER, BLACK TERN, COMMON TERN, ANHINGA, WHITE and GLOSSY IBIS, MISSISSIPPI KITE, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, flycatchers, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, sparrows including CLAY-COLORED and LARK, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, warblers including GOLDEN-WINGED, CONNECTICUT, and MOURNING, and DICKCISSEL. 

TOP BIRDS

A WOOD STORK was seen from the Kiptopeke SP Hawkwatch in Northampton Co, VA on Sept 17.

The juvenile SABINE'S GULL* that was spotted on Sept 4 over hydrilla mats in the Potomac River (DC waters) was last seen Sept 12 from the Washington Sailing Marina in Alexandria, VA. The other young SABINE'S GULL* was last observed in Montgomery Co, MD over the Potomac River from Violette’s Lock, C&O Canal, on Sept 12 and on the 13th, at both Sycamore Landing, C&O Canal, and farther upriver at Edwards Ferry.

Two SOOTY TERNS* were reported on Sept 13 from the Lower Lake Overlook, John H. Kerr Reservoir, Mecklenburg Co, VA.

A ROSEATE SPOONBILL* was seen and photographed Sept 16 at Hog Island WMA, Surry Co, VA. 

A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE* was seen from the Kiptopeke SP Hawkwatch in Northampton Co, VA on Sept 12, 13, 14, and 15.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

Several species of migratory waterfowl, including TUNDRA SWAN, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL, CANVASBACK, and LESSER SCAUP were seen at various locations in the reporting area during the week. Four BLACK SCOTERS continued throughout the week at North Beach, Calvert Co, MD.

EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILLS were heard on Sept 12 and 13 from the Allegany Highlands Trail near Helmstetter’s Curve, Allegany Co, MD and from Green Ridge State Forest, Campsite 17, Allegany Co, MD on Sept 18. One was also heard in western Albemarle Co, VA on Sept 15 and 17.

Single AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen at Swan Creek Wetland/Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access), Anne Arundel Co, MD throughout the week and one was at the Hurlock WWTP, Dorchester Co, MD on Sept 17.

Sightings of AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER in MD included one at the Aldino Sod Farm in Harford Co on Sept 13 and three at Swan Creek Wetland/Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access), Anne Arundel Co, MD on Sept 18.

A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen at Hurlock WWTP, Dorchester Co, MD on Sept 16 and 17. As many as five HUDSONIAN GODWITS were seen Sept 15 - 18 at Shearness Pool, Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE. A MARBLED GODWIT was seen Sept 18 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA. A RUDDY TURNSTONE was seen Sept 15 at the Staunton River SP, Halifax Co, VA. The STILT SANDPIPER in the Potomac River (DC waters) was seen again on Sept 17 from Tide Lock Park, Alexandria, VA. A STILT SANDPIPER was also seen at Rocky Gorge Reservoir-Browns Bridge, Howard Co, MD on Sept 12 and 13. A BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was seen Sept 13, 14, and 15 at the Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access), Anne Arundel Co, MD. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was among the shorebirds seen Sept 16 at the Nazarene Church Rd Wetlands, Rockingham Co, VA. A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen 13 and 15 at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE. One was also seen Sept 14 at Broadkill Marsh, Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE.

Sightings of WILSON'S PHALAROPE included one seen Sept 15 in DC waters from Tide Lock Park, Alexandria, VA; two through the 15th at Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access), Anne Arundel Co, MD; one at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, De on Sept 17;  and one on Sept 18 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA. Eleven RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were seen on Sept 13 at Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access), Anne Arundel Co, MD while four were seen there Sept 14. RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were also reported from Shad Landing, Pocomoke River SP, Dorchester Co, MD on Sept 14; from Punch Island Rd, Taylor’s Island, Dorchester Co, MD on Sept 16; one on Sept 17 at Morgantown, Charles Co, MD; two at the Target Distribution Center Pond, Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co, VA on Sept 14; and one at Bridgewater, Rockingham Co, VA on Sept 16.

A PARASITIC JAEGER was seen Sept 18 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA.

A BLACK TERN was observed Sept 12 over the Potomac River (DC waters) from the Alexandria, VA waterfront. Another BLACK TERN was seen Sept 13 in Garrett Co along Peat Moss Rd, Accident, MD. Two BLACK TERNS were seen at Hog Island WMA, Surry Co, VA on Sept 16. A COMMON TERN was seen Sept 14 at Violette’s Lock, C&O Canal, Montgomery Co, MD.

An ANHINGA was seen flying high over Lake Smith, Virginia Beach, VA on Sept 13.

A juvenile WHITE IBIS was seen Sept 12 at Schoolhouse Pond, Upper Marlboro, Anne Arundel Co, MD; one, probably the same, was seen the same day at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Anne Arundel Co. Two WHITE IBIS and a GLOSSY IBIS were seen at Staunton River SP in Halifax Co, VA and the Staunton View Public Use Area in Mecklenburg Co, VA on and off during the week.

A MISSISSIPPI KITE was seen Sept 16 at Oceana Naval Air Station (restricted access), Virginia Beach, VA on Sept 16. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were reported from two locations, one, an immature along Accotink Creek, Wakefield Park, Fairfax Co, VA and another on Sept 17 from the Mendota Fire Tower Hawkwatch, Washington Co, VA.  Numerous BROAD-WINGED HAWKS flew over the various hawk watches this past week with over 7,000 at Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro, VA on Sept 17.

A juvenile YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was seen Sept 14 at Violette’s Lock, C&O Canal, Montgomery Co, MD.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen Sept 12 at Snug Harbor, Anne Arundel Co, MD. Another OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Prince George's Co MD on Sept 13, 14, and 15. OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were also seen in VA with sightings at the Rockfish Valley Trail, Nelson Co on Sept 12; one at Laurel Run, Shenandoah Co, Sept 13; and another at the Conway-Robinson State Forest, Prince William Co, on Sept 16.

A YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was reported throughout the week at Mount Pleasant Farm, Howard Co (MD) Conservancy. Other reports of YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS in MD came from Big Water Farm (private), Queen Anne’s Co on Sept 15; at Governor Bridge Natural Area, Prince George’s Co on Sept 17; and at Home Run Baker Park, Talbot Co on Sept 17. There were several reports of YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER in VA including one at Leesylvania SP, Prince William Co, on Sept 16 and one at the Staunton View Public Use area, Mecklenburg Co, on Sept 17.  A LEAST FLYCATCHER was seen Sept 16 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA.

A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was seen Sept 13 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA.

Sparrow highlights included CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS at several locations, including a high of five individuals at Back Bay NWR in Virginia Beach, VA on Sept 14-18; and on Sept 15, 16, and 17 at Sunset Park, Ocean City, Worcester Co, MD.  A LARK SPARROW was also seen at Sunset Park on Sept 15. In Virginia, two LARK SPARROWS were seen at Back Bay NWR in Virginia Beach on Sept 12-14. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was seen Sept 18 at Swan Creek/Cox Creek DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, MD. 

A female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen with a mixed flock of European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds at Sky Meadows SP, Fauquier Co, VA on Sept 18.

Migrant warblers were seen at many locations during the week. Highlights included a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER on Sept 12 at Chat Field, Susquehanna SP, Harford Co, MD; a LAWRENCE’S WARBLER (hybrid) on Sept 12 at Turkey Point, Elk Neck SP, Cecil Co, MD; and a BREWSTER’S WARBLER (hybrid) on Sept 18 at Pine Lake, Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery Co, MD. CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were seen in MD on Sept 14 at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Prince George’s Co; on Sept 16 at MT Nebo WMA, Garrett Co; and at Swan Creek Wetlands/Cox Creek DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, on Sept 18. In VA a CONNECTICUT WARBLER was seen Sept 13 at a private residence on Dices Spring Rd, Augusta Co and on Sept 16 at the Switzer Lake Area, Rockingham Co. A MOURNING WARBLER was seen Sept 13 and 16 at the mini-train tracks, Pine Lake, Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery Co, MD. One also seen Sept 12 at the Swan Creek Wetland/Cox Creek DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, MD. Another MOURNING WARBLER was seen Sept 16 in Augusta Co, VA about halfway between Briery Branch Gap and the summit of Reddish Knob. A WILSON’S WARBLER was seen Sept 16 at Algonkian RP, Loudoun Co, VA. Another WILSON’S WARBLER was seen Sept 18 at Swan Creek Wetlands/Cox Creek DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, MD.

A DICKCISSEL was seen Sept 16 at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Hampton, VA. 

***

This week's report was based on reports on the DE, MD, VA, and WV list servers, and 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, e-mail or phone.

Thank you for your interest, and enjoy the birds.

*Of interest to the applicable state records committee