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
Hi birders,

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).

Mary Ann Good
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