Voice of the Naturalist

Date: November 21, 2017
Coverage: MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports/Comments/Questions(Email): voice@anshome.org
Compiler: Rick and Nancy Sussman
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, November 14 and was completed on Tuesday, November 21 at 10:00 a.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 are WHITE-WINGED DOVE* in VA, GRAY KINGBIRD* in MD, LARK SPARROW in DC and HARRIS'S SPARROW* in MD.

Other birds of interest include waterfowl, RED-NECKED GREBE, SANDHILL CRANE, late shorebirds, jaegers, RAZORBILL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY and SHORT-EARED OWL, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, LOGGERHEAD and NORTHERN SHRIKE, vireos, swallows, wrens, sparrows and lingering warblers.

A WHITE-WINGED DOVE* was at a feeder in Chesapeake, VA on November 20, mid-day, lingering for more than an hour before being chased off by a squirrel.

A GRAY KINGBIRD* first found on November 7, at Big Water Farm (private), Queen Ann's Co, MD has been seen November 14 – November 20. Per the homeowners; "Anyone is welcome to come for the bird. Please park along Bennett Point Rd., not in our driveway. You can view the bird from where our driveway intersects with Bennett Point Rd. or through the gaps in the tree row along the road. Please do NOT go walking around the pastures or around the yard. The bird is usually on the sheep pasture fence and is easily viewable from the above locations."

A LARK SPARROW has been seen daily, November 14-November 20, frequenting both sides of the streambed reconstruction area north of Valley and Meadow at the National Arboretum in NE DC.

The HARRIS'S SPARROW* first found last week, has been seen daily November 14 through November 20, along the Anacostia River Trail, Prince George's Co, MD.

A farm pond in Forestville, Shenandoah County, VA held nine SNOW GEESE, along with seven ROSS’S GEESE, and two CACKLING GEESE on November 19, and another farm pond along Peat Moss Rd. in Garrett County, MD had four blue SNOW GEESE, 31 ROSS’S GEESE, and a whopping 48 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE the same day! A ROSS'S GOOSE was seen on November 15 and 19 at the Naval Academy Dairy Farm in Anne Arundel County, MD. Three CACKLING GEESE were at Centennial Park, Howard County, MD on November 19.

On November 14 and 15, a EURASIAN WIGEON was seen at West Ocean City pond, Worcester County, MD.

Four COMMON EIDERS, one drake and three hens, were seen on November 18, from the Indian River Inlet, Sussex County, DE. An immature male COMMON EIDER was seen and photographed at the Ocean City Inlet, Worcester County, MD, on November 19.

A male HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen and photographed at Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton County, VA, on November 19.

A single SURF SCOTER was seen at Carvins Cove Recreation Area, Botetourt, Co. VA, on November 14 & 15. An adult male SURF SCOTER was seen at the Ocean City inlet, Worcester County, MD on November 19.

WHITE WINGED SCOTER was continuing at Black Marsh, Baltimore County, MD on November 14 and North Point State Park November 17 and 18, also in Baltimore Co. Another was being seen in Botetourt Co., VA from November 15 through November 20.

RED-NECKED GREBES were at Belvoir Pond in Fauquier County, VA on November 14 & 15, at Sandy Point State Park, Anne Arundel Co, MD on November 15, and one in flight at Gunpowder Falls State Park, Baltimore County, MD on November 18.

Late RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS hanging on in the area include one seen at a feeder in Cypress Point, Virginia Beach, VA on November 15, and another reported at a feeder on November 16 & 18 at Occohannock Neck Rd., Northampton County, VA.

A VIRGINIA RAIL was found injured by the side of the road on November 14, at the LU lacrosse fields in Lynchburg, VA, and taken to a rehabber in Roanoke, VA.

SANDHILL CRANES seen this week included 2 adults and one immature seen flying together at Mosser Rd. marsh in Garrett County, MD on November 16, and one flying over at Occohannock Neck Rd. Northampton County, VA on November 18. Another single bird was seen in flight from the Bombay Hook NWR Visitor Center, Kent County, DE, on November 18. Four SANDHILL CRANES flew out of the marsh at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge (closed area) in Prince George’s County, MD on November 19. Yet another single bird flew past the Kiptopeke SP-Hawk Platform, Northampton County, VA on November 19.

A SORA was heard responding to a hand clap at Swan Creek Wetland, Anne Arundel County, MD on November 16.

A continuing COMMON GALLINULE was seen again at the West Ocean City Pond, Worcester County, MD, as reported on November 16.

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was at Swan Creek Wetland, Anne Arundel County, MD on November 14.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were at North Point State Park, Baltimore County, MD November 14 and 18 and North Beach marsh Calvert County, MD on November 14, 15, and 19.

Late LEAST SANDPIPERS were seen at North Point State Park, Baltimore County, MD and North Beach marsh Calvert County, MD on November 14.

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was continuing at North Beach marsh, Calvert County, MD on November 14 and 15.

SPOTTED SANDPIPERS were at Isle of Wight County Park, Worcester County, MD on November 14 and John H. Kerr Reservoir, Mecklenburg County, VA on November 18.

A single GREATER YELLOWLEGS was seen at a private residence in Prince George's County, MD on November 15, and another reported from Swan Harbor Farm Park in Harford County, MD on November 19.

A dark-morph juvenile POMARINE JAEGER, was seen from the Cape Charles Coastal Habitat NAP in Northampton County, VA on November 14. Another at the same location was seen on November 17.

An intermediate morph juvenile PARASITIC JAEGER was seen heading south from the Cape Charles Coastal Habitat NAP in Northampton County, VA on November 14, and on November 18, two or more were seen at Back Bay NWR, and a light morph adult was seen at Little Island Park, both in Virginia Beach, VA.

Two RAZORBILLS were sitting in the water in front of the pier before being flushed by a passing boater at Little Island Park, Virginia Beach, VA on November 18.

An AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was reported from Prime Hook NWR-Headquarters area, Sussex County, DE on November 19.

BROWN PELICANS were reported in low numbers from Anne Arundel, Calvert and Queen Anne's Co, MD on November 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19.

NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported from the Rockfish Gap Hawkwatch, Augusta County, VA on November 14, November 15, and November 17.

A juvenile dark-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen flying past the Rockfish Gap Hawkwatch, Augusta County, VA on November 14, another from the Kiptopeke Hawkwatch in Northampton County, VA on November 18, and another reported from the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch, Sussex County, DE on November 16.

An adult GOLDEN EAGLE was seen from the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch, Sussex County, DE, on November 20.

A SNOWY OWL was seen sitting among large rip rap rocks along the west dike road on Poplar Island, Talbot County, MD on November 15, and another was seen perched on a power line in Isle of Wight County, VA on November 16.

SHORT-EARED OWL sightings this week include one seen near dusk at the Konterra Drive fields and ponds, Prince George's County, MD and another heard in flight at Cape Charles, Northampton County, VA, both on November 18. Two, or possibly three SHORT-EARED OWLS were seen at Konterra Drive, Prince George’s County, MD on November 20.

A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, a hatch-year bird, was seen in the trees by the pond on Fisherman's Island NWR (restricted access), Northampton County, VA on November 17.

A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was continuing at the Smith Farm in Lunenburg County, VA on November 14 and November 16.

The wintering NORTHERN SHRIKE continued at Sully Woodlands, Fairfax County, VA on November 15, 16, and 19.

WHITE-EYED VIREOS were reported from Sandy Point State Park, Anne Arundel County, MD on November 16 and another from Masonville Cove, Baltimore County, MD November 18.

A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was seen and heard scolding in the company of other woodland birds on November 15, in Halifax County, VA.

CAVE SWALLOW reports came from Cape Charles Coastal Habitat NAP, Northampton County, VA on November 14, and one confirmed at the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch, Sussex County, DE on November 15.

A lone BARN SWALLOW was seen at Cape Charles Coastal Habitat NAP, Northampton County, VA on November 15.

A SEDGE WREN was seen briefly but well at Heron Point, Kent County, MD on November 17, and another was at Prime Hook, Fowler Beach Rd. Sussex County, DE on November 17 and 18.

MARSH WREN was reported daily November 14 through November 19 from the Anacostia River trail, Prince George's County, MD.

A pair of BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS foraging together at Hunting Creek Bridge, Fairfax County, VA were in keeping with the warm late season weather, on November 16.

A single SNOW BUNTING was seen at North Point State Park, Baltimore County, MD on November 15.

An interior race NELSON'S SPARROW was seen at Prime Hook NWR-Fowler Beach Rd. Sussex County, DE on November 18.

There were several sightings of LINCOLN'S SPARROWS this week, including one at Big Water Farm in Queen Anne's County, MD, on November 14 & 15, another at Mount Pleasant Farm, Howard County, MD on November 14. On November 18, one was seen well alongside Song Sparrow, at Cabin John Regional Park in Montgomery County, MD.

A late ORCHARD ORIOLE continued at Cromwell Valley Park in Baltimore County, MD on November 18.

Late and lingering warblers this week included a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER on November 14, in Halifax County, VA., and a TENNESSEE WARBLER on November 14, in Augusta County, VA. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen at Anacostia River trail, Prince George's County, MD on November 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19, another at Big Water Farm (private) in Queen Anne's County, MD on November 16, one at the Choptank River-Rte. 50 Bridge area of Talbot County, MD on November 17, and another in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, DC on November 18. A NASHVILLE WARBLER was in Berlin, Worcester County, MD on November 14, and another at a residence in Inwood, Berkeley County, WV on November 15, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS on November 17 at Patuxent River Park- Wooten's Landing, Anne Arundel County, MD and November 18 at Masonville Cove, Baltimore County, MD., YELLOW WARBLER November 14 and 17 along the Anascostia River Trail, Prince George's County, MD, and November 15 in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore County, MD. Finally, a WILSON'S WARBLER was seen on November 14 and 18, at Lake Kittamaqundi, Howard County, MD.

***

This week’s report was based on reports on the DE, MD, VA, and WV list servers, eBird records and various birding pages on Facebook.

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