Date: 6/26/17 5:34 am From: Mary Ann Good via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] summer No. Harrier in Loudoun Co., June 25
While doing my annual 25-mile (with stops every half-mile) USGS Breeding Bird Survey route from Taylorstown south to Hibbs Rd. in Loudoun Co. yesterday morning, I was stunned to get great looks at a male No. Harrier 'Gray Ghost' just north of Paeonian Springs, on a short side road (Highland View) off Clarke's Gap Rd. I was standing with a wide overlook of fields sloping a bit away and with a wide sky view overhead. This guy came from behind me out over a small stand of woods and nearly over my head fairly low, then soared and flapped in a big arc over the fields and away south. I had a long look at him in good distance. The big white rump was immediately striking, as well as the patterning on the head, the gray coloring with pale underneath, and the long wings and especially tail--big guy. The VA Gold Book gives their Piedmont late date as April 30 and says rare mid-summer records suggest the possibility of local breeding.
This is about 28 miles, as the harrier flies, from where one was reported on the Voice on June 18 in Laytonsville, MD. It didn't state if this was a male or female (nor did the source eBird reports).