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Voice of the Naturalist

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March 28, 2017
MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle

voice@anshome.org
Joe Coleman
Audubon Naturalist Society of the
   Central Atlantic states (independent of NAS!)
Steve Cordle
 

Reporting Guidelines  |  Archives 

Please consider joining ANS, especially if you are a regular user of the Voice (Senior $35; Individual $50; Family $65; Nature Steward $100; Audubon Advocate $200). The membership number is 301-652-9188, option 12; the address is 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815; and the web site is http://www.anshome.org.

This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Wednesday, March 22 and was completed on Tuesday, March 28 at 10:30 a.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 were PINK-FOOTED GOOSE* in DE, GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) in MD, PRAIRIE FALCON* in VA, and WESTERN TANAGER in VA.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST included waterfowl, EARED GREBE, EASTERN WHIP-POOR- WILL, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, KING RAIL, SORA, SANDHILL CRANE, shorebirds, RAZORBILL, BLACK-HEADED GULL, LITTLE GULL, ICELAND GULL, GREAT CORMORANT, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, AMERICAN BITTERN, GREEN HERON, YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, warblers, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, PAINTED BUNTING, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.

TOP BIRDS

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE* which has been seen near Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE, was last reported on March 23; at that time it was seen along Wells Rd just past the intersection with Buttonwood Rd.

The continuing GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) at West Meadow Park, Cecil Co, MD was most recently seen March 27. There was also one seen March 25 at the Ashton Tract, Augustine Wildlife Area, DE.

A PRAIRIE FALCON* was found and photographed on March 25 at the decommissioned Alexandria Power Plant in Alexandria, VA; it was seen again on the 26th and 27. It is being seen most frequently perched in various locations on the south side of the power plant. Because the bird periodically flies out over the Potomac, it can also be considered a DC sighting.

The WESTERN TANAGER at Settler's Mill, James City Co., VA was seen again on March 26.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

The CACKLING GOOSE at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Queen Anne's Co., MD was seen again on March 24 and 26.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was at Broadkill Marsh, Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE also on March 23. A EURASIAN WIGEON was seem March 25 at Mulberry Landing, Assawoman WMA, Sussex Co., DE. A LONG-TAILED DUCK continued at Lapidum, Harford Co., MD, through March 22. Two COMMON EIDERS were seen from the Lewes-Cape May ferry in Sussex Co., DE waters on 22.

The RED-NECKED GREBE at Loch Raven Reservoir, Baltimore, MD was seen as recently as March 26. The EARED GREBE at Buckroe Beach, Hampton Co, VA, was most recently seen on March 26.

An early EASTERN WHIP-POOR- WILL was heard at a residence in Hanover Co, VA early on the morning of March 28.

The RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD continued to be seen during the week at Wildewood Neighborhood Walk, St. Mary's Co MD.

A KING RAIL was calling from the marsh along the wildlife drive where the road is blocked at the Occoquan Bay NWR, Prince William Co, VA on March 25. A SORA was seen March 25 on the edge of a retention pond along Weanock Haul Rd, Charles City, Charles City Co, VA.

Six SANDHILL CRANES flew over Baker Park, Frederick, Frederick Co, MD on March 25. Two were seen again on March 27 along Peat Moss Rd, Garrett Co, MD in a corn field.

Shorebird numbers continued to increase this past week. Three PURPLE SANDPIPERS were seen March 25 at the Veterans Memorial at Chesapeake Beach, Calvert Co, MD. PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were seen in two different locations in Garrett Co, MD on March 25; 6 were at Herrington Manor SP and 13 were reported from Peat Moss Rd. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were displaying at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co., VA on March 25.

A RAZORBILL continued at Ft. Monroe, Hampton Co., VA with a report from March 26.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL found March 23 in the pond next to the Walmart, Colonial heights, VA, was seen again March 26. Another was seen throughout the week at Back River, Baltimore Co., MD. A LITTLE GULL was seen March 25 from Lapidum, Harford Co, MD. An ICELAND GULL was seen March 25 from the Lewes-Cape May Ferry in DE waters.

Six GREAT CORMORANTS were seen March 25 off of Kent Point, Queen Anne's Co, MD.

The AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN at the pier at the Essex Wastewater Treatment Plant, Baltimore, MD, was seen again on March 24 from Cox Point Park.

AN AMERICAN BITTERN was seen March 25 at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, NE DC. Another AMERICAN BITTERN was seen the same day in the cell north & west of the parking lot at the Julie Metz Wetlands Bank, in Woodbridge, Prince Wm Co, VA.

The GREEN HERON that over-wintered at Ben Brenman Park, Alexandria, VA, was last reported on March 21.

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were seen at a variety of locations including two at the Jones Fall Trail at Remington, Baltimore Co, MD, throughout the week.

A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen March 27 as it flew over a yard near Shepherdstown, Jefferson Co, WV.

A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen and photographed on March 27 at 20627 Old Forge Rd, Washington Co, MD. The continuing NORTHERN SHRIKE, at Sully Woodlands, Fairfax Co VA was seen as recently as March 26.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was seen and photographed March 25 at Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA. Four SNOW BUNTINGS were seen March 23 at Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA. Two SNOW BUNTINGS were seen March 25 at Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA.

Early migrating warblers included a BLACK-THROATED GREEN heard at Lake Matoaka, Williamsburg, VA on March 26.

The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at the Big Water Farm (private), Queen Anne's Co MD, was seen as recently as March 26. Two VESPER SPARROWS were seen March 26 at the Agricultural History Farm Park, Montgomery Co, MD. A VESPER SPARROW was seen March 26 at Swoope, VA along Trimbles Mill Rd. Two VESPER SPARROWS were seen along Berry's Ferry Road (CR 628) March 27; they were at the edge of a winter wheat field along the south border of Blandy Experimental Farm, Clarke Co, VA.

A male PAINTED BUNTING continues to be seen and photographed at a private residence in Berlin, Worcester Co, MD, with the most recent sighting on March 27.

The YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD at Hopkins Farm Pond, Harford Co., MD was last seen on March 22.

RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were seen throughout the area during the week including a small flock at the Occoquan Bay NWR, Prince William Co, VA on March 25.

***

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, http://anshome.org/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

Reporting Guidelines

The Voice of the Naturalist is written and recorded on Tuesday mornings. If you email your reports, please email voice@anshome.org, by Monday midnight to make sure they are received in time.

Reports prior to the preceding Tuesday will not be considered.

The area covered is (with rare exceptions) DC, MD, VA, and southern DE; all other reports should be sent to the appropriate rare-bird alert for the area in which the birds were observed.

Be sure to report only those birds that you actually saw, not ones that someone else told you about.

And please remember to include a phone number where you can be reached on Tuesday morning; if you can't be reached to verify a rare bird, your report will almost certainly not be used.

There are two main circumstances in which a bird sighting will not be reported on the Voice as a matter of policy. The first is if the report would jeopardize the bird's welfare:

Reports of species that are threatened or endangered at the state or federal level are generally not used, especially during nesting season--local Loggerhead Shrikes are an example; similarly, owls are not listed, with two exceptions--Snowy Owl and Short-eared Owl; and rails are also generally not mentioned; the rails at Huntley Meadows Park, VA, are an exception because birders stay on the boardwalk.

The second circumstance concerns private property: If the property owner does not want birders, the sighting will not be reported--at least in a way that identifies the location.

Please keep your reports concise (no lengthy trip reports, please), and provide the following information:

Full SPECIES NAME.

NUMBER of individuals of each species (estimates for big flocks are fine).

Age and sex, if relevant (important for gull observations, for example).

Location, including COUNTY and STATE (there are four Middletowns in MD).

DATE of observation ("today", "yesterday", "Saturday", etc., are not as helpful).

TELEPHONE NUMBER where you can be reached on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

DIRECTIONS to little known places (your favorite local hot spot may not be familiar to the Voice compiler or to other nonlocal people); page numbers and map coordinates from the DeLorme atlas/gazetteer are extremely helpful.

Access limitations, if any; and, for birds that are on private property, whether the owner does not want birders, if you know.

Unusual behavior seen.

For RARITIES, a description of features YOU ACTUALLY SAW (not what is in the field guides).

Thanks in advance for your reports. You can be sure that they will be read. Don't be disappointed if your sighting isn't mentioned; when there are a lot of reports, summary comments sometimes have to be made. There are times, however, when every report is used in writing the Voice, for example, during the hot days of summer. -- Voice of the Naturalist

 

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