Date: 6/11/19 8:23 am
From: Hugh Vandervoort <hughva...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Red-headed Woodpecker and Common Ravens nesting in Anne Arundel Co (long)
The RH Woodpeckers were very active this morning. Most of the action
was to the left of the bridge.
Excellent directions.

Annapolis, MD
My Birding Blog
http://hughvandervoort.com/

On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 2:30 PM Phil Davis <pdavis...> wrote:
>
> Hi MDBirders:
>
> Each year, Barbara and I do an annual breeding bird survey for BGE and the USFWS on the power line right-of-way (ROW) in the Davidsonville/Gambrills area of Anne Arundel County near our home. This effort supports the BGE/USFW Integrated Vegetative Management Project.
>
> Red-Headed Woodpeckers
> Yesterday, while doing our survey on the ROW that crosses MD Rt 450 in Gambrills, we found two Red-headed Woodpeckers interacting (Atlas code = Probable Breeding). Today, we went back and found a nest cavity that the pair is using (Atlas code = Confirmed Breeding).
>
> The good news is that BGE will allow birders to access a portion of the ROW to see these birds.
>
> Directions:
>
> 1. Orient yourself to the intersection of St. Stephen's Church Road and MD Rt 450 in Gambrills, MD.
>
> 2. From this intersection, drive about .5 mile west on Rt 450. You will pass under the BGE ROW and then, on the right, you will see a gate that leads into the ROW on the right (north) side of Rt 450. Park here. Try to allow room for multiple cars. A Google Earth placemark for this spot is attached to this message.
>
> 3. The access gate is currently open and there is a macadam walkway. Walk in (towards the north). About 100 yards in there is a wooden bridge. This is the limit of your access. DO NOT CROSS THIS BRIDGE. There are some issues with the bridge and BGE does not want you on or past the bridge.
>
> 4. When you reach the bridge, turn around and look back toward Rt 450. Scan to the right (i.e., to the west) along the edge of the woods that sits next to the road. There is a row of about 14 bare, light-colored dead snags in the wetlands at the edge of the woods. Count about 10-12 snags from L to R and that will put you on or close to the snag in which the woodpeckers are nesting. The nest cavity faces you and is maybe 10-15 feet from the top. The snag will be about 75-100 yards from you, so "killer" photos are not possible but you can see the birds easily with binoculars. People will be far enough from the nesting cavity that the birds should not be bothered.
>
> The birds have been seen on other snags in the wetland and they also will fly up the hill to the edge of the woods at the top of the hill. We also watched one bird fly to the south side of Rt 450 today.
>
> Interestingly, during both of our encounters, we did not hear any vocalizations.
>
> Along the grassy hillside you might also see/hear Blue Grosbeaks, Yellow-billed Chats, Field Sparrows, Eastern Towhees, Common Yellowthroats, Indigo Buntings, etc. Three Osprey were also hanging around the power stanchions, yesterday.
>
> Red-headed Woodpeckers are uncommon in Anne Arundel County. There appears to be only about 10 records, across the county, this year. Nesting is very rare in the county, according to the 2nd MD Breeding Bird Atlas. Red-headeds nest later than Red-bellied Woodpeckers.
>
> So, that's the situation. If you go to see them, please respect BGE's wishes. If anyone asks you about your presence, tell them you have the permission of Mr. Chris Fallon, the BGE ROW manager for that area.
>
>
> Common Ravens
> So, while we were at the same spot, yesterday, we had two ravens sitting on the power stanchions on the south side of Rt 450. Later, they flew, as a pair, over to the north side (Atlas code = probable breeding). On this winter's Annapolis Christmas Bird Count, our counting party had a raven on the BGE ROW nearby. We live close to here and lately, during her morning walks, Barbara has been hearing ravens near the ROW that passes through our development. I thought I saw one on a power stanchion along Rutland Road recently, while I was driving, but I could not confirm it. We did not see them in the area this morning, but they are certainly around and, apparently, nesting.
>
> So, while you are in the area, keep your eyes and ears open for them.
>
> Good birding!
>
> Phil
>
> ===================================================
> Phil Davis, Secretary
> MD/DC Records Committee
> 2549 Vale Court
> Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA
> 301-261-0184
> <pdavis...>
> ===================================================
>
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