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Voice of the Naturalist

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Transcriber:
July 15, 2014
MD/DC/VA/DE/WV panhandle

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

Reporting Guidelines  |  Archives  |  Naturalist Sightings

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, July 8 and was completed on Tuesday, July 15 at 9:45 a.m.

The top birds this week were SOOTY SHEARWATER in MD and WILSON’S STORM-PETREL in MD and DE.

Other birds of interest this week included SNOW GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, MUTE SWAN, KING EIDER and various other ducks, NORTHERN BOBWHITE, RED-NECKED and HORNED GREBES, ANHINGA, WHITE IBIS, MISSISSIPPI KITE, WILSON’S PHALAROPE and various other shorebirds, GULL-BILLED, BLACK and SANDWICH TERNS, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, MERLIN, MARSH WREN, WILSON’S WARBLER, LINCOLN’S and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and orange SCARLET and SUMMER TANAGERS.

TOP BIRDS

Following Hurricane Arthur, seabird sightings included a SOOTY SHEARWATER in flight at the Ocean City Inlet, Worcester Co, MD on July 10. WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS also were seen in flight at the Ocean City Inlet on this date, as well as at several other locations, including at the end of Fowler Beach Road, Sussex Co, DE on July 8, 9 and 13 and in DE waters from the Lewes-Cape May ferry on July 10 and 12. In addition, two WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS were observed at the mouth of the Choptank River, Talbot Co, MD on July 12.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

Sightings of geese and swans included a SNOW GOOSE at 12 Stones Road Pond, Harford Co, MD on July 9, 11 and 13 and Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE on July 13, and a TUNDRA SWAN at Bombay Hook NWR on July 12. In addition, 18 MUTE SWANS were at Bethel Beach, Matthews Co, VA on July 11.

Sightings of ducks included a continuing female KING EIDER on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 9. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were at North Beach, Calvert Co, MD on July 8 (1), Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 9 (2) and Black Walnut Point, Talbot Co, MD on July 13 (1). BLACK SCOTERS were observed at various locations, including several locations in Sussex and Kent Cos, DE on July 7, 9, 10 and 11 (1-6), North Beach, Calvert Co, MD on July 8 and 9 (1) and Ocean City Inlet, Worcester Co, MD on July 10 (80). Four LONG-TAILED DUCKS were seen on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 9. Duck sightings during the week also included GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CANVASBACK, RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and RUDDY DUCK.

A NORTHERN BOBWHITE was heard along Turner Road in Calvert Co, MD on July 8, 10 and 11, and an adult and a juvenile were encountered along Old Bradley Road in Wicomico Co, MD on July 10.

A breeding adult RED-NECKED GREBE was at Violette’s Lock on the C&O Canal, Montgomery Co, MD on July 10-12. A breeding adult HORNED GREBE was seen at North Beach, Calvert Co, MD on July 9.

An ANHINGA was reported at a pond along Blackwater Road, Chesapeake Co, VA on July 13.

WHITE IBIS was seen at several locations during the week, including in Sussex Co, DE on July 8 (2), Truitt’s Landing, Worcester Co, MD on July 10 (1) and South Haven Beach, Matthews Co, VA on July 11 (8).

A MISSISSIPPI KITE was reported in flight over Virginia Beach, VA on July 8, 11 and 12. On July 13 two MISSISSIPPI KITES were observed perched high in a tree in a residential yard in Warrenton, Fauquier Co, VA, which is the same general area in which this species has nested in recent years.

Shorebird sightings included a WILSON’S PLOVER on Metompkin Island, Accomack Co, VA on July 8. This past week saw increasing evidence of shorebird migration, with WHIMBRELS on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD and at Ocean City Inlet, Worcester Co, MD; a MARBLED GODWIT in flight over Ocean City, Worcester Co, MD; STILT STANDPIPERS at Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD, Broadkill Beach marsh, Sussex Co, DE and Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE; a RED KNOT at the end of Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE; a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE; WESTERN SANDPIPERS at various locations, including North Beach, Calvert Co, MD, Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD, the Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA and Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE; and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD. Shorebird sightings also included BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET, SOLITARY and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WILLET (Western subspecies), RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, DUNLIN and LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS.

A GULL-BILLED TERN was seen at Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek, DMCF, Anne Arundel Co, MD on July 8, on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 9 and on Skimmer Island in Ocean City, Worcester Co, MD on July 12. BLACK TERNS were spotted at Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 9 (4), Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on July 9 (3) and Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on July 11 and 13 (1). SANDWICH TERNS were seen at various locations in Matthews Co, VA on July 11, at Assawoman Wildflife Area, Sussex Co, DE on July 11 (1) and on a sandbar at the end of Prime Hook Beach Road, Sussex Co, DE on July 13 (1).

A EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE was reported along Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, MD on July 9 and at the Bridgewater Retirement Community, Rockingham Co, VA on July 10.

A MERLIN was observed eating prey and in flight at Burke’s Garden, Tazewell Co, VA on July 12.

A continuing MARSH WREN was reported at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC on July 9.

A WILSON’S WARBLER was reported in Page Co, VA on July 13.

A LINCOLN’S SPARROW was seen at Finzel Swamp Nature Preserve, Garrett Co, MD on July 11. A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was spotted again in West Friendship Park, Howard Co, MD on July 7 and also reported at a home in Hampton, VA on July 10 and at the Edith Carrier Arboretum, Harrisonburg Co, VA on July 13.

An unusual all-orange SCARLET TANAGER was seen at Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, Howard Co, MD on July 13, and an all-orange SUMMER TANAGER was reported at Pennyfield Lock on the C&O Canal, Montgomery Co, MD on July 12.

***

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://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/support-ans/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 state, and include your name and a Tuesday morning contact, either e-mail or phone.

Thank you for calling, 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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