Date: 1/7/21 6:28 am
From: Scott Priebe <falco57...>
Subject: [va-bird] Re: Brief Summary of the Fort Belvoir CBC, 2 Jan 2021
Kurt, Please consider adding Common Raven to the checklist as an expected species.
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________________________________
From: <va-bird-bounce...> <va-bird-bounce...> on behalf of Kurt Gaskill <dmarc-noreply...>
Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2021 8:21:02 AM
To: <va-bird...> <va-bird...>
Cc: 'mdbirding' <mdbirding...>
Subject: [va-bird] Brief Summary of the Fort Belvoir CBC, 2 Jan 2021

Brief Summary of the Fort Belvoir CBC, 2 Jan 2021
Maryland and Virginia Birders,

Based upon preliminary reporting, the Ft Belvoir CBC tallied 114 species,
about 2 species over the average during my tenure as compiler. This total
is surprising given the pandemic likely depressed participation. Hence, the
results are a testament to the skills and commitment of our volunteers.
Furthermore, this fine showing is also due to the dedication and efforts of
the CBC Sector Leaders. I am grateful for all the volunteer contributions to
the count.

Although I cannot comment on species concentration at this time, I can touch
upon the highlights of which I am aware. Top species was undoubtably the
Clapper Rail at Huntley Meadows and a first record for the count; its
presence, now for over 2 months, is likely unprecedented on the east coast.
Also amazing was the report of Evening Grosbeak in the Pohick Creek area of
the Fort Belvoir base (not publicly accessible); a species not seen on this
count for over 20 years and an indication of the extent of the northern
finch irruption.

Adding to these amazing species was an incredible showing of other rails
across the circle. In addition to the Clapper Rail, Huntley Meadows
delivered a Sora. And, a boat trip into the marshes of Pohick Creek produced
multiple King Rail, Virginia Rail and Sora reports. Plus 2 Virginia Rails
were found in the Jackson Abbott marshes and one was found off the Neabsco
Creek marsh boardwalk. Additionally, the King Rail at Occoquan Bay NWR was
also recorded. To this observer, enhanced effort to learn more about rail
distribution in our area is merited.

The Cackling Goose on the Veteran's Park of Woodbridge ballfields, seen by
dozens, was tallied. A Northern Saw-whet Owl was heard in the early morning
hours at Leesylvania SP (opened for the count by special permission) and
multiple Merlin reports in the Leesylvania/Julie Metz/Huntley Meadows areas
are gladly welcomed. Baltimore Orioles in the Laurel Hill area of Fairfax
County were observed.

Difficult to find, but more regular species were noted such as displaying
American Woodcock at Occoquan Bay NWR and Fort Belvoir, multiple Wilson's
Snipe reports, Laughing Gull at Leesylvania SP, American Pipit off the
Piscataway boardwalk plus Pine Warbler at Occoquan Regional Park, multiple
Palm Warblers, and two Common Yellowthroats. (I note that Yellow-rumped
Warblers were in relatively low numbers this count.) And there were
widespread reports of Purple Finch and Pine Siskin.

Common Raven was reported in a few places, including the Mason Neck
peninsula. This is about 1-2 miles (as the corvid flies!) from the Indian
Head and Chapman Forest areas. The expansion of Common Raven into Virginia
coastal areas has been well-documented by the recent Breeding Bird Atlas.

Lastly, count week species were Horned Grebe and Orange-crowned Warbler.

Again, a major Thank You to All The Volunteers on Count Day!

Kurt Gaskill, Ft B compiler





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