Reports, comments, questions
|November 18, 2014
Audubon Naturalist Society of the
Central Atlantic states (independent of NAS!)
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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 11 and was completed on Tuesday, November 18 at 11:30 a.m.
The top birds this week were KING EIDER in VA, EARED GREBE in MD, LONG-TAILED JAEGER in DE, SNOWY OWL in MD, COUCH’S KINGBIRD* in MD, and WESTERN TANAGER* in VA.
Other birds of interest this week were waterfowl including GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, ROSS’S GOOSE, and TRUMPETER SWAN, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SANDHILL CRANE, POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGER, , BLACK-HEADED GULL, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, COMMON RAVEN, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, warblers, sparrows including LE CONTE’S, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, and BREWER’S BACKBIRD.
A drake KING EIDER was seen and photographed on the 15th at Queen Anne’s Landing along the causeway to the Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA; it was seen again on the 16th.
An EARED GREBE was seen Nov 16 at South Point, Worcester Co, MD.
A juvenile LONG-TAILED JAEGER flew by the Cape Henlopen, DE, Hawk Watch on the 16th
A SNOWY OWL was reported from Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on Nov 16 and seen and photographed in the rain on the 17th.
The birding news of the week was the COUCH’S KINGBIRD * found on the 11th at Mason Rd Pond just west of Rocky Gap in Allegany Co, MD. It was seen there the rest of the week though on some days there were many hours between sightings. While there were no reports of the bird on the 17th, it was seen the morning of the 18th. A map of where this bird was seen can be found by clicking on http://www.mdbirding.com/hotspot.html and typing in the name of the location, Mason Rd Pond. A Google Map will then come up so you can ask for directions.
A WESTERN TANAGER* turned up at a feeder in Settler’s Mill, James City Co, VA on the 10th and was reported again on the 12th, 13th and 17th. This is the same location a WESTERN TANAGER has visited every year since 2009. A WESTERN TANAGER* was also found on the 14th at the Bayside campground on the Assateague Island National Seashore, Worcester Co, MD; it was seen again on the 15th and 16th.
OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE turned up at a number of locations including the one at the Mainland Farm, James City Co, VA with a report as recently as the 17th. One was also found on the 16th at Willow Lake, Rockbridge Co, VA. The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, first found on the 10th at the Whittier Drive Pond, Frederick Co, MD, was seen throughout the week, along with a few CACKLING GEESE on the 11th and 12th. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found Nov 16 at Willow Lake, Rockbridge Co, VA, about a mile from the I-81 Raphine exit. A ROSS’S GOOSE was seen at Centennial Lake, Howard Co, MD on the 16th & 17th; one was also seen Nov 16 at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA. A TRUMPETER SWAN, which hatched in Toronto in 2013, was banded in Ontario, Canada in Feb 2014, was seen Nov 16 on Lake Churchill, Germantown, Montgomery Co, MD.
REDHEADS were seen at a few locations this past week. A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and a LONG-TAILED DUCK were seen Nov 15 at Riverbend Park, Fairfax Co, VA; the WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was also there on the 16th. A BLACK SCOTER was found at Rocky Gap SP, Allegany Co, MD on the 15th and the 16th. Three LONG-TAILED DUCKS were seen Nov 14 at the Triadelphia Reservoir, Howard Co, MD.
A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported from the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch, Augusta Co, VA, on November 13. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen Nov 15 circling with three Turkey Vultures above Schoolhouse Ridge battlefield, Harpers Ferry, WV. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK visited a backyard in Bethesda, Montgomery Co, MD, on Nov 16. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK flew over the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch on the 16th.
Eight SANDHILL CRANES flew over Ellicott City, MD on the 15th. The continuing SANDHILL CRANE at the Shearness Observation Tower, Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE was seen throughout the week.
A POMARINE JAEGER was seen Nov 16 at the Ocean City Inlet, MD. Several probable PARASITIC JAEGERS were harassing gulls at Ocean City, MD on the 14th and 15th. PARASITIC JAEGERS also passed by the Cape Henlopen, DE, Hawk Watch on Nov 12 and 13.
The continuing BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen at Papermill Flats/Loch Raven Reservoir, Baltimore Co, MD throughout the week.
As they have for years, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES continue to be seen at several locations in Northampton Co, VA as well as in Virginia Beach and one at its regular location in South Boston, Halifax Co, VA.
The WESTERN KINGBIRD which was found on Seaside Road, Northampton Co, VA last week, was seen again this week with reports almost every day in various locations between where Seaside intersects with Rte 662 and Rte 631.
The LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE continued to be seen along Mountain Valley Road in Rockingham Co, VA with the most recent report from Nov 16; it was a little ways north of where the road intersects with Moore’s Mill Rd. A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was also found Nov 16 in Clarke Co, VA and Jefferson Co, WV; it was along Shepherds Mill Rd at the VA/WV border.
A COMMON RAVENS was seen in Chesterfield Co, VA on Nov 11.
A SWAINSON’S THRUSH was found Nov 13 at Monticello Park, Alexandria, VA.
A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was found Nov 16 among a flock of about 100 Horned Larks at the Woodward Turf Farm in Remington, Fauquier Co, VA.
There was a Nov 14 report of SNOW BUNTINGS at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel islands, Northampton Co, VA.
A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER was seen Nov 15 at Weyanoke Sanctuary, Norfolk, VA. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS continued to turn up at a number of locations including one in a yard in DC on the 12th. Other late warbler sightings this past week included a MAGNOLIA WARBLER in Worcester Co, MD on the 15th and a BLACK-THROATED WARBLER in Howard Co, MD, the same day. An Audubon’s YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was found Nov 15 at the Bayside Development Pond, Worcester Co, MD and seen again on the 16th. A WILSON’S WARBLER was seen Nov 14 in a yard in Silver Spring, Montgomery Co, MD.
A VESPER SPARROW was seen Nov 15 at the Howard County Conservancy, Woodstock, MD. A LARK SPARROW was found Nov 16 at the Bayside Development Pond, Worcester Co, MD. An Ipswich SAVANNAH SPARROW was seen Nov 14 running along the dike between the NW and NE cells at theHurlock Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dorchester Co, MD. A LE CONTE’S SPARROW* was found on the 15th in the south corner of the pond in the North section of the E A Vaughn Wildlife Management Area, Worcester Co, MD. NELSON'S SPARROWS continue to be seen at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, with a report of four on the 11th. A LINCOLN’S SPARROW was seen Nov 11 at Occoquan Bay NWR, Woodbridge, Prince William Co VA; another was seen Nov 12 at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co, VA; and a 3rd on the 13th at Kingston Landing at Choptank River, Talbot Co, MD.
There were a number of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS sightings this past week.
Three BREWER’S BACKBIRD were found Nov 13 at Drummond’s Field/Mainland Farm, James City Co, VA.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
The Voice of the Naturalist is written and recorded on Tuesday mornings. If you email your reports, please email email@example.com, 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