Date: 12/26/17 9:23 am
From: Gerry Hawkins via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Voice of the Naturalist; Greater DC area; week ending 12/25/17
Hotline: Voice of the Naturalist
Date: 12/26/2017
Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports, comments and questions: <voice...>
<mailto:<voice...>
Compiler: Gerry Hawkins
Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central
Atlantic States (independent of NAS)
Transcriber: Steve Cordle

Please consider joining ANS, especially if you are a regular user of the
Voice of the Naturalist (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 <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, December 18 and was
completed on Tuesday, December 26 at 8:00 a.m.

Information on noteworthy birds is presented below in taxonomic order, as
set forth in the American Ornithological Society Checklist for North and
Middle American Birds, as revised through the 58th Supplement (July 2017).

The top birds this week were BARROWıS GOLDENEYE* in MD, BLACK-LEGGED
KITTIWAKE* in VA, SNOWY OWL in DE, MD and VA, HARRISıS SPARROW* in MD and
VA, SHINY COWBIRD* in MD, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER* in VA and WESTERN
TANAGER* in VA.

Other birds of interest this week included SNOW, ROSSıS, GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED and CACKLING GEESE, TRUMPETER SWAN, EURASIAN WIGEON, COMMON
EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, LONG-TAILED DUCK, RED-BREASTED
MERGANSER, RED-NECKED GREBE, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, KING RAIL, SORA,
SANDHILL CRANE, AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS,
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, ICELAND GULL (Kumlienıs), GREAT
CORMORANT, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, AMERICAN BITTERN, CATTLE EGRET, OSPREY,
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, GOLDEN EAGLE, SHORT-EARED OWL, LOGGERHEAD and NORTHERN
SHRIKES, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, CAVE SWALLOW, SEDGE WREN, RED CROSSBILL, LAPLAND
LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, CLAY-COLORED, LARK and WHITE-CROWNED (Gambelıs)
SPARROWS, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, BREWERıS BLACKBIRD, ORANGE-CROWNED,
BLACK-AND-WHITE and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA,
YELLOW and PALM WARBLERS and SCARLET TANAGER.

TOP BIRDS

For the seventh winter in a row a BARROWıS GOLDENEYE* may be found at The
Elms Environmental Center (private) in St. Maryıs Co, MD. The most recent
sighting of this bird was on December 23.

A continuing young BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE* was seen at the Stumpy Lake
Natural Area in Virginia Beach, VA on December 19, 21 and 22. A young
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE* also was photographed at 4208-4398 Elbow Road in
Virginia Beach, VA on December 21, which perhaps was the same bird.

The historic irruption of SNOWY OWLS this winter continued in the reporting
area, with sightings in all jurisdictions except DC. In Delaware a
continuing SNOWY OWL was seen all week along Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook
NWR, Sussex Co, and another SNOWY OWL was spotted along Lighthouse Road in
Sussex Co on December 24. Two SNOWY OWLS were seen in Harford Co, MD: along
1077-1099 Federal Hill Road and nearby Falling Branch Park on December 20,
21 and 22 and at various locations along the waterfront in Havre de Grace on
December 20-23. Elsewhere in Maryland a SNOWY OWL was found on a jetty at
Masonville Cove in Anne Arundel Co on December 22; along 442-465 and 650-880
Springs Road in Garrett Co on December 23; on Grantsville Truck and Trailer
from Route 169 in Garrett Co on December 23; on a sign for exits 32 and 33
northbound on I-95 in Prince Georges Co on December 23; and along W
Watersville Road in Mt. Airy, Carroll Co on December 24. In Virginia, a
SNOWY OWL was seen again at the Mt. Crawford McDonaldıs in Rockingham Co on
December 19; a private farm in Franklin Co on December 20, 21 and 23; and on
a jetty and pier in West Point, King William Co on December 22 and 23.

Continuing HARRISıS SPARROWS* were seen along a short spur to a boat ramp
off the Anacostia River Trail in Prince Georgeıs Co, MD on December 23 and
24 and near the White House Boat Ramp in Page Co, VA on December 22.

A SHINY COWBIRD* continues near the intersection of Parkwood Drive and
Franklin Street in the Kensington neighborhood in Bethesda, Montgomery Co,
MD, with the most recent sighting on December 22.

On December 25 a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER* was photographed at 103 Exeter
Court in James City Co, VA.

A male WESTERN TANAGER* has been seen almost daily since it returned to a
residential feeder in Settlersı Mill, Williamsburg, VA on December 2 for the
seventh consecutive winter.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

During the week a stray SNOW GOOSE was found at several locations in
Maryland: McDonogh Pond in Baltimore Co on December 19-23; Quarry Lake in
Baltimore Co on December 20; Centennial Lake in Howard Co on December 24;
Kershnerıs Pond in Frederick Co on December 22 and 24; and Amberly in Anne
Arundel Co on December 23 and 24.

Three continuing ROSSıS GEESE were seen at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE on
December 19, and a single ROSSıS GOOSE was found along Cartanza Road in Kent
Co, DE on December 22. In Maryland a single ROSSıS GOOSE was spotted at
Kershnerıs Pond in Frederick Co on December 22 and 24; Deep Creek
Lake-McHenry in Garrett Co on December 24; and Cumberland-Terminus in
Allegany Co on December 24 and 25. In addition, on December 23 and 24 a
first county record ROSSıS GOOSE was spotted in a flock of CANADA GEESE at
the Hagerstown Mall ponds along Hagers Crossing Drive in Washington Co,
which was the only county in Maryland that this species had not been
recorded prior to this sighting. In Virginia six continuing ROSSıS GEESE
were seen at a private farm along 427-1123 Lara Road in Lancaster Co on
December 19. Sightings of ROSSıS GOOSE in Virginia also included three
individuals at Sherwood Lakes in Virginia Beach on December 21; and single
individuals at Falls Mills Lake in Tazewell Co on December 20 and 2498
Meadow Creek Road in Montgomery Co on December 22.

On December 21 eight GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were seen at Bombay Hook
NWR, Kent Co, DE. Sightings of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in Maryland
included 18 individuals at Deep Creek Lake-McHenry in Garret Co on December
22, 24 and 25; two individuals at Cumberland-Terminus in Allegany Co on
December 24 and 25; and a single individual at Blackwater NWR in Dorchester
Co on December 23. Sightings of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in Virginia
included 16 individuals reported at Leonardıs Pond in Rockingham Co on
December 25; eight individuals at Snow Goose Pond in Chincoteague NWR,
Accomack Co on December 19; and a continuing individual at the Lake
Monticello Golf Course in Fluvanna Co on December 21, 22 and 24.

Sightings of CACKLING GEESE included a reporting area high 11 individuals at
Whittier Lake in Frederick, Co, MD on December 19, and a single individual
at Deep Creek Lake-McHenry in Garrett Co, MD on December 22. Reports of
CACKLING GEESE in Virginia included a high of five individuals at the New
Bristow Village pond in Prince William Co on December 23 and 25, and
continuing individuals along 1432 Rainbow Forest Drive in Botetourt Co on
December 19 and the Huntingwood Apartments pond in Lynchburg on December 20
and 21.

A banded TRUMPETER SWAN was seen at Lake Elkhorn in Howard Co, MD through
December 23. A tagged TRUMPETER SWAN also was found at Deep Creek
Lake-McHenry in Garrett Co, MD on December 24 and 25. In Virginia two tagged
TRUMPETER SWANS were seen at Seven Islands (private) in Rappahannock Co on
December 23. In addition, resident TRUMPETER SWANS in Fauquier Co were seen
at several locations, including two individuals at Warrenton Reservoir on
December 19 and three individuals at the Environmental Studies on the
Piedmont, Clifton Farm field station on December 20.

A male EURASIAN WIGEON was seen at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in
Montgomery Co, MD on December 19, 20 and 21 and at Rileyıs Lock on the C&O
Canal in Montgomery Co, MD on December 21. In Virginia, 1-2 EURASIAN WIGEONS
were seen at Swan Cove in Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA on December 19,
22, 23 and 24. A COMMON EIDER was seen at the end of Fowler Beach Road in
Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on December 19. Sightings of HARLEQUIN DUCK
were limited to two individuals at the Ocean City Inlet in Worcester Co, MD
on December 24. A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER visited Masonville Cove in Baltimore,
MD on December 20. Inland LONG-TAILED DUCKS included two continuing
individuals at Dyke Marsh WP in Fairfax Co, VA on December 21-24 and two
individuals at a private farm lake in Augusta Co, VA on December 19 and 24.
Inland diving ducks also included a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER at
Cumberland-Terminus in Allegany Co, MD on December 24 and 25 and three
RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS at Falls Mills Lake in Tazewell Co, VA on December
20.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was spotted at the Ocean City Inlet in Worcester Co, MD
on December 24 and Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA on December 25.

During the week out-of-season RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS visited feeders at
two locations in Virginia Beach, VA: Camp Pendleton Military Reservation
(restricted access) on December 20 and Cypress Point-North Point Court on
December 25.

A KING RAIL was encountered along Carters Mill Road in Henrico Co, VA on
December 20 and 25. A SORA was seen again at the Craney Island Disposal Area
(restricted access) in Portsmouth, VA on December 21.

A continuing SANDHILL CRANE was seen in a field along 6376-6388 East Jack
Jouett Road in Louisa Co, VA on December 19, 20, 21 and 25, and 1-2
continuing SANDHILL CRANES were seen at Algonkian Nature Preserve in Loudoun
Co, VA on December 22 and 24. On December 20 18 calling SANDHILL CRANES were
photographed in flight above a private farm in Montgomery Co, MD. In
Maryland SANDHILL CRANES also were seen again in fields along I-95 between
Pfeffers and Raphel Roads in Baltimore Co, with four individuals reported on
December 22.

High numbers of AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen at Broadkill Marsh in Prime Hook
NWR, Sussex Co, DE and the Craney Island Disposal Area (restricted access)
in Portsmouth, VA, with high counts 65 and 197 individuals at these
respective locations on December 21, but only two AMERICAN AVOCETS were
reported at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE during the week, on December 21.
Noteworthy shorebirds also included four continuing BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS on
mudflats along Wildlife Drive at Blackwater NWR in Dorchester Co, MD on
December 22 and one individual at the Craney Island Disposal Area
(restricted access) in Portsmouth, VA on December 21; a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
at the North Beach marsh in Calvert Co, MD on December 24; an AMERICAN
OYSTERCATCHER at the same and at Indian River Inlet in Sussex Co, DE on
December 21; six apparent LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS inland at the Cumberland
Marsh NAP in New Kent Co, VA on December 23; and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER at the
same on December 23 and at the Kerr Reservoir-Tailrace Park in Mecklenburg
Co, VA on December 25.

On December 20 an ICELAND GULL (Kumlienıs) was found on the beach off the
end of 31st Street and between 39th and 40th Streets in Virginia Beach, VA.

GREAT CORMORANTS were seen at several locations, including 13 individuals at
Point Lookout SP in St. Maryıs Co, MD on December 19; nine individuals at
Bloody Point Lighthouse in Queen Anneıs Co, MD on December 22; seven
individuals at Jack Creek Park in Anne Arundel Co, MD on December 24; and
five individuals at Black Walnut Point in Talbot Co, MD on December 19.
Reports of GREAT CORMORANT at the Indian River Inlet in Sussex Co, DE and
Ocean City Inlet in Worcester Co, MD were limited to one individual at the
former on December 20. In Virginia two GREAT CORMORANTS were spotted at the
Stumpy Lake pier in Virginia Beach on December 23.

On December 19 a single AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was seen along Fowler Beach
Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE. The high number of wintering AMERICAN
WHITE PELICANS reported during the week at Blackwater NWR in Dorchester Co,
MD was 28 individuals on December 24. In Virginia 15 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS
were photographed in flight over Chesconessex Schooner Bay in Accomack Co on
December 24.

An AMERICAN BITTERN continues at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington,
DC, with the most recent sighting on December 22. An AMERICAN BITTERN also
was found along the Anacostia River Trail in Prince Georgeıs Co, MD on
December 24.

On December 24 a single CATTLE EGRET was spotted along 9684-9698 Bay Road in
Dover AFB, Sussex Co, DE. CATTLE EGRETS continue in fields along Romancoke
Road and nearby areas in Stevensville, Queen Anneıs Co, MD, with a high of
five individuals reported on December 22.

A late OSPREY was seen at Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek DMCF (restricted
access) in Anne Arundel Co, MD on December 19; the Dutch Gap Conservation
Area/Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield Co, VA on December 21; and
Mill Creek-CNHP in James City Co, VA on December 23. A continuing
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen along Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex
Co, DE on December 19-24, and 1-2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were seen at nearby
Broadkill Marsh on December 21, 22 and 24. A continuing ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
was seen at Dulles Airport in Loudoun Co, VA on December 22 and 24.
Noteworthy raptors also included wintering GOLDEN EAGLES in Highland Co, VA
and a GOLDEN EAGLE soaring over the Wisp Resort in Garrett Co, MD on
December 24.

SHORT-EARED OWLS continue at Cedar Point WMA in Charles Co, MD, with two
individuals seen at dusk on December 21.

A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was found along Richmond Road in Rappahannock Co, VA on
December 19, 20, 23 and 24, and a continuing LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen at
the Smith Farm in Lunenburg, VA on December 24. A NORTHERN SHRIKE* continues
at the Sully Woodlands in Fairfax Co, VA for the second consecutive winter,
with the most recent sighting on December 19.

An out-of-season BLUE-HEADED VIREO was found at Fort Boykin Historic Park,
Isle of Wight, VA on December 24.

On December 21 a single CAVE SWALLOW was spotted in flight at Fishermanıs
Island NWR (restricted access) in Northampton Co, VA.

A SEDGE WREN was found at Grandview NP in Hampton, VA on December 22 and New
Point Comfort NAP in Matthews Co, VA on December 23.

On December 24 15 RED CROSSBILLS were seen in the Switzer Lake Area in
Rockingham Co, VA.

On December 20, 22, 24 and 25 1-2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were spotted on the
beach at the end of Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE. On
December 24 three continuing LAPLAND LONGSPURS were found with HORNED LARKS
along 368-382 Resolutions Road in Colonial Beach, Westmoreland Co, VA.
Sightings of SNOW BUNTINGS included a week high 42 individuals reported
along Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on December 24. In
Virginia, two SNOW BUNTINGS were found at Kiptopeke SP in Northampton Co on
December 19 and 23.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues at the Laurel Hill Equestrian Center in
Fairfax Co, VA, with the most recent sighting on December 25. A LARK SPARROW
continues at a restoration stream area at the National Arboretum in
Washington, DC, with the most recent sighting on December 19. A continuing
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Gambelıs), a western subspecies that is prone to
wander, was seen at Big Water Farm (private) in Queen Anneıs Co, MD on
December 20.

A continuing BALTIMORE ORIOLE was seen at Dyke Marsh WP in Fairfax Co, VA on
December 21 and along the Jefferson Park Trail in Charlottesville, VA on
December 25. In Maryland a BALTIMORE ORIOLE visited a feeder at 7226 Lasting
Light Way in Howard Co on December 23. On the same day a BREWERıS BLACKBIRD
was reported at the Cedar Run Wetlands-Phase 6 in Fauquier Co, VA.

Sightings of ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER included single individuals at the
Gwynns Falls Trail South in Baltimore Co, MD on December 19; Swan Creek
Wetland-Cox Creek DMCF (restricted access) in Anne Arundel Co, MD on
December 19; and Quarry Place in Baltimore Co, MD on December 21 and 23; as
well as a continuing individual at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington,
DC on December 24. Sightings of ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in Virginia included
single individuals at Daingerfield Island in Alexandria on December 21; the
Hunting Creek area and the Laurel Hill Equestrian Center in Fairfax Co on
December 21; and C. M. Crockett Park in Fauquier Co on December 25, and
three individuals in the City Point area of Hopewell on December 24.

During the week several out-of-season warblers found in the reporting area
rivaled colorful holiday ornaments, including a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER at
Ancarrowıs Landing in Richmond City Co, VA on December 19 and 21; a
NASHVILLE WARBLER at the Craney Island Disposal Area (restricted access) in
Portsmouth, VA on December 21; an AMERICAN REDSTART in the City Point area
of Hopewell, VA on December 24; a NORTHERN PARULA along the Jefferson Park
Trail in Charlottesville, VA on December 20 and 21; a YELLOW WARBLER at
Anacostia Park in Washington, DC on December 21, 22 and 23; and PALM
WARBLERS at several locations, including five Western PALM WARBLERS at 23039
Ninetown Road in Ridgley, MD on December 22.

On December 23 a SCARLET TANAGER was photographed at Lake Taylor in Norfolk,
VA.

Best wishes to all this holiday season and during the coming year!

***

This weekıs report was based on reports on the DE, MD, VA, and WV list
servers, eBird records and various birding pages on Facebook.

The Audubon Sanctuary Shop (301-652-3606, http://anshome.org/naturalist-shop
<http://anshome.org/naturalist-shop> )is an excellent source for guidebooks
and many other nature-related titles.

To report bird sightings, e-mail your report to <voice...>
<mailto:<voice...> . 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



















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