Date: 6/30/18 1:53 pm From: Stephen Eccles via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [VA-bird] Possible Broad-winged Hawks, Fairfax County
Around 10.30 this morning, near Rutherford Park (where Guinea Road crosses Long Branch), Fairfax County, I saw a buteo circling high overhead. I checked it out, expecting a Red-shouldered, a common breeders here. The sun was strong, making viewing quite difficult. Nevertheless, the tail pattern was quite clearly that of a Broad-winged. Then I spotted another bird, somewhat higher still. Same thing - a clear Broad-winged tail pattern.
Broad-wings do breed occasionally in the general area, but I haven't seen one in the breeding season Fairfax County for many, many years (and then only in the Clifton area). I do see a few in migration each year, though.
Because of the lighting conditions, and the relative rarity of this species here during the breeding season, I am reluctant to record this sighting for the Virginia Breeding Atlas, unless I find them again, or someone else has also spotted this species in this general area..