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Voice of the Naturalist

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Transcriber:
September 1, 2015
MD/DC/VA/DE/WV panhandle

voice@anshome.org
Helen Patton
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 (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 Tuesday, August 25 and was completed on Tuesday, September 1, at 11:15 a.m.

The top birds this week were TRUMPETER SWAN* in MD, BROWN BOOBY* in VA and hybrid BREWSTER'S WARBLER* in MD and a LAWRENCE'S WARBLER* in VA.

Other birds of interest this week included TUNDRA SWAN, ducks, EARED GREBE, GREAT SHEARWATER, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, TRICOLORED HERON,, WHITE IBIS, possible ZONE-TAILED KITE, COMMON GALLINULE, AMERICAN AVOCET, plovers, sandpipers, terns, BLACK SKIMMERS, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, flycatchers,  PHILADELPHIA VIREO, COMMON RAVEN, warblers, LARK SPARROW and BOBOLINK. 

TOP BIRDS

Birders continued to observe a longstanding tagged TRUMPETER SWAN* at Lake Churchill l in Montgomery Co, MD, with the latest sightings on August 26, 29 and 30...

A BROWN BOOBY*, initially found and photographed last week, continued to be seen at the John H Kerr Reservoir, Mecklenburg Co., VA during the week.

There were reports of the Blue-winged/Golden-winged hybrids in the area. On August 29 a LAWRENCE'S WARBLER* was reported across from Leesylvania State Park, Prince William Co., VA. A BREWSTER’S WARBLER* was at Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore Co., MD also on August 29.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

On August 29, a TUNDRA SWAN was seen at a cattle farm along Starr Road in Queen Anne's Co, MD. Waterfowl also included sightings of several migratory duck species, including BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEAD, LESSER SCAUP, SURF SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS and RUDDY DUCK.

An EARED GREBE that was first found on August 15 continues at Swan Creek Wetland - Cox Creek, Anne Arundel Co, MD, with the sightings on August 25 and 26.

A GREAT SHEARWATER was seen from the Delaware Seashore SP, Sussex Co., DE on August 27.

Eight to eleven AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS continue at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE, with sighting on August 25, 26, 27 and 31. 

TRICOLORED HERONS were found at the Port Penn Impoundments, New Castle Co., DE during the week.

A WHITE IBIS was at intersection of Freeman Highway and Monroe Avenue, New Castle Co., DE on August 26.   Twenty-four WHITE IBIS were at the Bayside Campground, Assateague Island, Worcester Co., MD also on August 26. Eight to ten WHITE IBIS were at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE on August 27 and 31. An immature WHITE IBIS was at The Life of the Marsh trail on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., MD on August 28, 29 and 30. Five WHITE IBIS were on the Life of the Forest Trail, Assateague Island, Worcester Co., MD on August 31. Two GLOSSY IBIS were at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Talbot Co., MD on August 27.

A possible (and completely out-of-area) ZONE-TAILED KITE was observed at Lake Smith/Aragona/Independence area, Virginia Beach, VA on August 28.

A COMMON GALLINULE was spotted at the Southwest Area Park, Baltimore Co., MD on August 27.

142 AMERICAN AVOCETS were present at Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 25.

 An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was at Swan Creek dredge containment area, Anne Arundel Co., MD on August 25. On August 28 an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER plus a WILSON’S SNIPE were at Huntley Meadows, Park, Fairfax Co., VA.  The AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen again on August 30. A PIPING PLOVER was at the Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA on August 26.

A Shorebird survey at the Chincoteague NWR on August 28 turned up 199 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 842 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 59 PIPING PLOVER, 423 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 3 MARBLED GODWITS, 4,316 SANDERLING, 42 RED KNOTS, 229 LEAST SANDPIPER, 7 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, 11 PECTORAL SANDPIPER and 475 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. A WILLET was seen in the Washington Sailing Marine, Alexandria, VA on August 29, 30 and 31. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was at Point Lookout SP, Saint Mary’s Co., MD on August 29. Two HUDSONIAN GODWITS were at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co., DE on August 25. Three MARBLED GODWITS were at Skimmer Island, Ocean City, Worcester Co., MD on August 29, 30 and 31. A STILT SANDPIPER was at Gravelly Point, DC on August 29. Two STILT SANDPIPERS and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER were at the West OC Pond, Worcester Co., MD on August 30. A RED KNOT was on Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 26. A RED KNOT plus good numbers of WILLETS were at the Castaways Campground on August 30. A SANDERLING was at the Triadelphia Reservoir, Greenbridge, Howard Co., MD on August 30. BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS were seen in several areas including: the Gravel Hill DeDOT ponds, Sussex Co., DE on August 26, 29 and 31; Port Penn Impoundments, New Castle Co., DE on August 28; Old Morgantown Road, Garrett Co., MD on August 30 and Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE on August27 and 28. A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE on August 27 and 28.

One to two WILSON’S PHALAROPES and two RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 26. A WILSON’S PHALAROPE was at Hunting Creek, Alexandria, VA on August 28. A WILSON’S PHALAROPE was at a farm pond on Langford Road, Kent Co., MD on August 31. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co., De on August 27. The juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE which was spotted last week in the Potomac River (District of Columbia waters) from the Washington Sailing Marina in Alexandria, VA was seen again during the week. A  RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and three WILSON'S PHALAROPES were among the shorebirds at Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 25, which also included two WESTERN SANDPIPERS and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER.

 Two GULL-BILLED TERNS were at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co., DE on August 27. A GULL-BILLED TERN was at Skimmer Island, Ocean City, Worcester Co., MD on August 30. Two CASPIAN TERNS were flying down the Potomac, seen from the Mouth of the Monocacy, Frederick/Montgomery Cos., MD on August 28. Eight BLACK TERNS were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 25.A single BLACK TERN fluttered over the hydrilla mats at Dyke Marsh, Fairfax Co., VA on August 30. A ROYAL TERN was at the Port Penn Impoundments, New Castle Co., DE on August 28 and 29. A ROYAL TERN was at Black Walnut Point, Talbot Co., MD on August 30. CASPIAN, ROYAL and SANDWICH TERNS were at the Castaways Campground, Worcester Co., MD on August 30. Three more SANDWICH TERNS were on Skimmer Island on the same day.

Thirty-five BLACK SKIMMERS were on Skimmer Island, Ocean City, Worcester Co., MD on August 30.

A COMMON NIGHTHAWK was spotted in the Lake Smith Terrace of Virginia Beach, VA on August 25. Roughly 30 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS flew over a yard in Carroll Co., MD on August 27.  An estimate of over 60 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS flew over Layhill Park, Montgomery Co., MD on August 28. Forty-four COMMON NIGHTHAWKS in two groups flew over Darnestown, Montgomery Co., MD on August 29. Five COMMON NIGHTHAWKS flew around the Air Force Memorial, Arlington, VA on August 31.

On August 28, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were at several venues including:  Black Marsh, Baltimore Co., MD; Violette’s Lock, Montgomery Co., MD; Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore Co., MD and Hughes Hollow, Montgomery Co., MD.  An OLIVE-SiDED FLYCATCHER was also seen at Little Bennett Regional Park, Montgomery Co., MD on August 30. An ALDER FLYCATCHER was in a yard in Prince George’s Co., MD on August 28.  A WILLOW FLYCATCHER was at Elk Neck SP, Cecil Co., MD also on August 28.

A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was seen at Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore Co., MD on August 27.

A COMMON RAVEN has taken up residence at the old coal factory in north Old Town Alexandria, VA.  It has been seen flying from building to building during the past week.

Warblers increased in numbers and diversity, and this week ten or more warbler species were seen at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore Co, MD, Leesylvania State Park, Prince William Co., VA , Shenandoah National Park, VA and Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery Co., MD. Noteworthy warbler sightings included a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER at Rock Creek Park, DC on August 29; a BLUE-WINGED WARBLER at Terrapin Nature Park, Queen Anne’s Co., MD on August 26; both BLUE-WINGED and GOLDEN WINGED WARBLERS at Rock Creek Park, DC on August 30 and 31; a CONNECTICUT WARBLER at Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore Co., MD on August 29 and 31; a MOURNING WARBLER at Swan Creek dredge containment facility, Anne Arundel Co., MD on August 27; aMOURNING WARBLER at Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery Co., MD on August 28; another MOURNING WARBLER at Hashawha Environmental Center, Carroll Co., MD on August 30; A CERULEAN WARBLER at Terrapin Park, Queen Anne’s Co., MD on August 29;. Warblers also included one to several TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, BLACKPOLL and CANADA WARBLERS. 

A LARK SPARROW was at Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on August 27. On August 31 a LARK SPARROW was spotted at Ted Harvey WMA, Dent Co., DE.

Two BOBOLINKS were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on August 25, feeding the tall grasses.  

***

This week's 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, e-mail or phone.

Thank you for your interest, and good birding!

*Of interest to the 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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