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Voice of the Naturalist

Reports, comments,
   questions (email):  

June 28, 2016
MD/DC/VA central and southern DE/WV panhandle

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 (Individual $50; Family $65; Nature Steward $100; Audubon Advocate $200). The membership number is 301-652-9188, option 35; 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, June 21 and was completed on June 28 at 9:15 a.m.

Top birds this week are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK in VA, RUFF in DE, and ROSEATE TERN* in MD and DE.



The BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK in Virginia Beach, VA, continued to be seen at Lake Joyce and Shore Drive through the 28th.

A RUFF was found June 24 along Cods Rd, Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE.

A ROSEATE TERN* was found June 21 among other terns, including both SANDWICH and GULL-BILLED TERNS, on Skimmer Island, Ocean city, Worcester Co, MD. The ROSEATE TERN was relocated on the 24th, 25th, and 26th.Two ROSEATE TERNS were seen June 23 and 25 at the Point, Cape Henlopen SP, Sussex Co, DE.


TRUMPETER SWANS continue to be seen in the area with the one at the Broken Land/US29 Settlement Pond, Howard Co, MD, seen again on June 23. The one that has been at Lake Churchill, Germantown Montgomery Co, MD was seen again June 23 and one was also at the Renditions Golf Course, Anne Arundel Co, MD on the 23rd.

A NORTHERN PINTAIL and a NORTHERN SHOVELER were among the birds seen during the weekly survey at Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co, MD on June 24. The lingering female LONG-TAILED DUCK was seen again at Masonville Cove, Baltimore Co., MD on June 22, and 27. HOODED MERGANSERS continue to be seen at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun Co, VA (restricted access) with the latest sighting on June 25. A COMMON MERGANSER was at Southwest Area Park, Baltimore, MD on June 23.

Three NORTHERN GANNETS were seen June 27 at Calvert Cliffs SP, Calvert Co, MD.

An ANHINGA was seen at Harwood Mills Reservoir, York, VA on June 25.

An AMERICAN BITTERN flew over the York Co portion of Williamsburg, VA towards New Quarter Park on June 25. A LEAST BITTERN was among the birds at Hart-Miller on June 24. On June 24 a LEAST BITTERN was found at the Swan Creek Wetlands/Cox Creek DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, MD; NOTE: access is limited to weekdays at this site and sign-in is required. A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON continued to be seen throughout the week at New Windsor, Atlee Walking Path, Carroll Co., MD.

A MISSISSIPPI KITE was again seen flying over the central wetland at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co., VA, and this time on June 26.

A KING RAIL was seen June 26 at the Julie Metz Wetlands, Woodbridge, Prince William Co, VA.

Seventeen BLACK-NECKED STILTS and 2 AMERICAN AVOCETS were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co., MD on June 22. An AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and a BLACK-NECKED STILT were among the highlights at Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co, MD on June 24.

A LEAST TERN was seen June 25th circling around a pond at the Greenbelt Metro Station, Prince George's Co, MD. During the week both GULL-BILLED TERNS and SANDWICH TERNS were found on Skimmer Island, Ocean City, MD by people looking for the ROSEATE TERN*. The former were seen throughout the week while the SANDWICH TERNS were reported the 21st.

A BANK SWALLOW was seen June 23 flying over the Potomac River from Fletcher's Cove/Boathouse, NW DC. CLIFF SWALLOWS were seen darting under the bridge on Theodore Roosevelt Island, NW DC on June 24 and 26.

A GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER was seen and photographed along Old Legislative Rd, Garret Co, MD on June 23.

A HENSLOW'S SPARROW was along Old Legislative Rd, Garret Co, MD on June 22. DARK-EYED JUNCO was seen June 21 at Frying Pan Park, Fairfax Co, VA. Two lingering WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were found June 27 at Masonville Cove, Baltimore Co, MD.

A SUMMER TANAGER was seen June 26 along the Overlook Trail above the Great Falls National Historical Park Montgomery Co, MD.

DICKCISSELS continued to turn up at a number of locations including at Blank Road, Mt. Savage, Allegany Co., MD throughout the week and on June 25, 26, and 27 at the restricted Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Prince George's Co, MD. A DICKCISSEL was seen again, this time on the 22nd, along Broadfording Rd (near 15074), Washington Co., MD. Three DICKCISSELS were found in Highland Co, VA on June 23 south of Doe Hill along Rte 654.


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 enjoy the birds.

*Of interest to the applicable state 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:


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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