DC Area, 12/6/2016


Resplendent Quetzal,©BirdQuest

Hotline:     Voice of the Naturalist
Date:        12/6/2016
Coverage:    MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports, comments and questions: voice@anshome.org=20
Compiler:    Gerry Hawkins
Sponsor:     Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central
               Atlantic States (independent of NAS)
Transcriber: Steve Cordle=20

Please consider joining ANS, especially if you are a regular user of
the Voice (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.AudubonNaturalist.org.

This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon
Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Tuesday,
November 29 and was completed on Tuesday, December 6 at 10:15 a.m.=20

Information on noteworthy birds is presented below in taxonomic order,
as set forth in the American Ornithologists' Union Checklist for North
and Middle American birds, as revised through the 57th Supplement
(July 2016).

The top birds this week were RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in MD, LESSER
GOLDFINCH* in VA, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER* in MD and VA, WESTERN
TANAGER* in VA, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD in MD and BULLOCK'S ORIOLE* in
VA. =20

Other birds of interest this week included GREATER WHITE-FRONTED,
SNOW, ROSS'S and CACKLING GEESE, TRUMPETER SWAN, EURASIAN WIGEON,
COMMON EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, WHITE-WINGED and BLACK SCOTERS,
LONG-TAILED DUCK, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, SANDHILL CRANE, AMERICAN
AVOCET, PIPING PLOVER, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER,
BLACK-HEADED and ICELAND GULLS, RED-THROATED LOON, GREAT CORMORANT,
AMERICAN WHITE and BROWN PELICANS, CATTLE EGRET, GREEN HERON, GLOSSY
IBIS, RED-TAILED HAWK (NORTHERN), GOLDEN and BALD EAGLES, SHORT-EARED
OWL, LOGGERHEAD and NORTHERN SHRIKES, CAVE SWALLOW, BLACK-CAPPED
CHICKADEE, EVENING GROSBEAK, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING,
ORANGE-CROWNED and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULA, PALM,
BLACK-THROATED GREEN, PRAIRIE and WILSON'S WARBLERS, VESPER, LARK, LE
CONTE'S, LINCOLN'S and WHITE-CROWNED (GAMBEL'S) SPARROWS, PAINTED
BUNTING, DICKCISSEL and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.=20
  =20
TOP BIRDS

A continuing young female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was seen in Wildewood,
St. Mary's Co, MD on December 1-3.=20

A continuing first state record LESSER GOLDFINCH* was last seen in a
residential back yard in Virginia Beach, VA early in the morning on
November 29. If it returns the homeowner intends to provide new
directions for those interested in looking for this bird.=20

After a four-day absence a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER* was again seen
in a mixed species flock in or near Tydings Memorial Park, Harford Co,
MD on December 2-6. On November 30 a resident of Fairfax, VA reported
a brief appearance by another BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER* in his
yard.=20

A male WESTERN TANAGER* has been seen almost daily since it returned
to a residential feeder in Settlers' Mill, Williamsburg, VA on
November 4 for the eighth winter in a row.

On November 29 and 30 and December 1 a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was
spotted in a large starling, cowbird and blackbird flock in a field
near the entrance to North Point SP and nearby in Baltimore Co, MD.=20

On December 2 a male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE* was photographed at Back Bay
NWR, Virginia Beach, VA. This bird was originally spotted in the
parking lot area near the trailhead for the Kuralt Trail and flew to
the right side of the gravel road just after the nearby ponds.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

On December 4 four GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE visited Shearness Pool
at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE. On December 4 and 5 two GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, and on December 4 a single continuing SNOW GOOSE,
were seen in Deep Creek Lake, Garrett Co, MD. Three continuing ROSS'S
GEESE were seen at North Point SP, Baltimore Co, MD all week,
typically in a cove at the southern end of the park during the day and
in fields near the park entrance early in the morning and around
sunset. A continuing CACKLING GOOSE at Silver Lake in Rehoboth, Sussex
Co, DE was most recently reported on December 1.=20

A longstanding tagged TRUMPETER SWAN that frequents Lake Churchill and
nearby Gunner's Lake in Montgomery Co, MD was last seen at the former
location on December 5.=20

A EURASIAN WIGEON was spotted in a very large number of ducks in Tubby
Cove at Eastern Neck NWR, Kent Co, MD on December 1 and 2 and at the
Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on December 2. Noteworthy
diving ducks included a COMMON EIDER and a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER at
Grandview Nature Preserve, Hampton, VA on December 2; a COMMON EIDER
at Indian River Inlet, Sussex Co, DE on December 3; and a COMMON EIDER
off the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen SP, Sussex Co, DE on December 4.
Two continuing HARLEQUIN DUCKS were reported at the Ocean City Inlet,
Worcester Co, MD on December 4. Inland, a female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
was photographed at Dyke Marsh WP, Fairfax Co, VA early in the morning
on December 4 and a male BLACK SCOTER was photographed in Sandy River
Reservoir from the end of Gates-Bass Road in Prince Edward Co, VA on
December 2-4. In addition, on December 5 four LONG-TAILED DUCKS were
discovered at Rocky Gap SP, Allegany Co, MD.=20

Late RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS included a continuing female at a
feeder in Virginia Beach, VA on November 29 and December 3.

On December 4 two continuing SANDHILL CRANES were seen along Rock
Lodge Road in Garrett Co, MD.=20

Large numbers of AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen during the week at Bombay
Hook NWR, Prime Hook NWR and Lewes, DE, with a high of 90 individuals
at Prime Hook NWR-Broadkill Marsh on December 2. On the same day eight
AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen at the Craney Island Disposal Area,
Portsmouth, VA. On December 3 an AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER made an
unusual appearance at Upper Hooper's Island in Dorchester Co, MD.
Other noteworthy shorebirds included a continuing late PIPING PLOVER
at Swan Cove, Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA on December 2-4 and a
high of four late LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co,
DE on December 3 and 4.=20

On December 4 a BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen again at Swan Cove in
Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA. An ICELAND GULL was present for a
short period in the Washington Channel side of Hains Point,
Washington, DC early in the morning on December 4.=20

An inland RED-THROATED LOON was seen at the C & O Canal =96 Violette's
Lock, Montgomery Co, MD on November 29 and December 1.=20

Sightings of GREAT CORMORANT included an area high ten individuals at
Island #4 at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Northampton Co, VA on
December 3 and six individuals at Black Walnut Point, Talbot Co, MD on
December 1 and 3. A single GREAT COROMORANT was reported at Ocean City
Inlet, Worcester Co, MD on December 4 and 5. =20

On December 2 six AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were seen in flight at Back
Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA. AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS continue at
Blackwater NWR, Dorchester Co, MD, with a high of 45 individuals
reported along Wildlife Drive on December 3. BROWN PELICANS continue
to move up the Chesapeake Bay, with highs of 300 and 285 individuals
at the east and west ends of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Queen Anne's
Co and Anne Arundel Co, MD, respectively, on December 4.=20

CATTLE EGRETS included an area high 12 individuals along Morris Neck
Road in Virginia Beach, VA on December 4 and five individuals as far
north as Little Creek Horse Pasture in Kent Co, DE on November 30 and
December 1, 3 and 5. On December 4 a very late GREEN HERON was found
at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Hampton, VA.=20

A single GLOSSY IBIS was seen at Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA on
December 2 and 4.=20

On December 4 a dark form of the RED-TAILED HAWK (NORTHERN) that is
considered by some authorities to be a separate subspecies was
photographed near the intersection of Route 213 and Lynch Road in Kent
Co, MD. A GOLDEN EAGLE was seen perched and in flight along the
Shenandoah River from Locke's Mill Road in Clark Co, VA on December 1
and in flight over the Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Talbot Co, MD
on December 3. On December 1 observers at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
in Waynesboro, VA saw a GOLDEN EAGLE and 18 BALD EAGLES, which tied
the second-highest single day count for BALD EAGLES in the history of
this hawk watch and broke its prior all-time season record for BALD
EAGLES of 280 by ten.  =20

On December 3 two SHORT-EARED OWLS were photographed along Port Mahon
Road in Kent Co, DE, and on December 4 one was photographed over
Shearness Pool at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE. At dusk on December 4
two SHORT-EARED OWLS were seen at the top of the hill and in the field
across from the ponds along Bells Lane in Staunton, VA.=20

The continuing NORTHERN SHRIKE* at the Sully Woodlands in Fairfax Co,
VA was seen all week. On December 4-6 another NORTHERN SHRIKE was
found along 123-132 Bens Point Road in Queen Anne's Co, MD. On
December 2-4 a continuing LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen along Featherbed
Road, about 0.5 mile south of the intersection with Rt. 340 in Clarke
Co, VA, and on December 3 another apparent LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen
perched on a wire along Route 50 about 1.3 miles east of the entrance
to Blandy Experimental Farm/State Arboretum of Virginia in the same
Virginia county. On December 4 a continuing LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen
along Burwells Bay Road a short distance north of the intersection
with Purvis Lane in Isle of Wight, VA.=20

On December 2 a single CAVE SWALLOW was photographed in flight over
Swan Creek Wetland-Cox Creek, Anne Arundel Co, MD.=20

An irruption of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES in the reporting area
continued, with confirmed sightings including two individuals at Swan
Harbor Farm Park, Harford Co, MD on December 2; one continuing
individual at Mt. Vista Park, Baltimore Co, MD on December 4; one
individual at Blairs Valley Lake, Washington Co, MD on December 2; one
individual at Blandy Experimental Farm/State Arboretum of Virginia,
Clarke Co, VA on December 3; one individual at Whitaker Woods, Cecil
Co, MD on December 4; one individual at Hydes Roads Park, Baltimore
Co, MD on December 4; and one individual at Tydings Memorial Park,
Harford Co, MD on December 5.

On December 3 an EVENING GROSBEAK was photographed at a feeder at 5624
Dumfries Road, Fauquier Co, VA.=20

On December 1 and 3-5 a high of eight LAPLAND LONGSPURS, and on
December 1 and 3 a high of four SNOW BUNTINGS, were seen along
Cartanza Road in Kent Co, DE. On December 3 a single LAPLAND LONGSPUR
was briefly seen with the three continuing SNOW BUNTINGS on the rocks
and short grass near the end of Crystal Pier at North Point SP,
Baltimore Co, MD. Also in Maryland, an area high 95 SNOW BUNTINGS were
counted during the regular weekly survey of Hart-Miller Island in
Baltimore Co on December 5, and 12 SNOW BUNTINGS were found on Battery
Island in Harford Co on the same day. In Virginia a high of eight
continuing SNOW BUNTINGS were seen in sand dunes at First Landing SP
in Virginia Beach on November 29 and December 3-5, and seven SNOW
BUNTINGS were found at the Craney Island Disposal Area in Portsmouth
on December 2.=20

Individual ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen at Tydings Memorial Park,
Harford Co, MD on December 1; Piscataway Park, Prince George's Co, MD
on December 2 and 4; and Mount Pleasant Farm-Howard County
Conservancy, Howard Co, MD on December 5, and two ORANGE-CROWNED
WARBLERS were seen at Burton's Island in Delaware Seashore SP, Sussex
Co, DE on December 2 and 4. Late migratory warblers included a
NASHVILLE WARBLER and a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER found at Tydings
Memorial Park, Harford Co, MD on December 3; a NORTHERN PARULA
photographed at Blandair Park, Howard Co, MD on December 3; PALM
WARBLERS at several locations; a PRAIRIE WARBLER photographed at
Princess Anne WMA-Beasley Tract, Virginia Beach, VA on December 4; a
continuing WILSON'S WARBLER at the south end of the picnic area at
Dyke Marsh WP, Fairfax Co, VA on December 2 and 4; and a
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at False Cape SP, Virginia Beach, VA on December
4.  =20

On December 3 and 4 a VESPER SPARROW was seen in the same area as the
SNOW BUNTINGS at First Landing SP, Virginia Beach, VA. A LARK SPARROW
was seen again at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA on December 1-5 and
at Magothy Bay Natural Area Preserve, Northampton Co, VA on December
3. On December 4 a LE CONTE'S SPARROW was photographed at Princess
Anne WMA-Beasley Tract, Virginia Beach, VA. Two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS
were found along the Richmond-Danville Trail in Pittsylvania Co, VA on
December 2, and one was found on the north side of Lake Roland in
Baltimore Co, MD on December 4 and at Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore
Co, MD on December 5. A white-lored WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (GAMBEL'S)
was found during the weekly survey of Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore
Co, MD on December 5. =20

On December 4 a female PAINTED BUNTING was seen at 816 Davenport Lane,
Virginia Beach, VA. A continuing DICKCISSEL was most recently seen at
a residential feeder in Charlottesville, VA on December 4.=20

Late songbirds also included individual BALTIMORE ORIOLES at a feeder
in Lynchburg, VA on November 29 and 30 and December 1, 2 and 4; a
feeder at 13534 Seashore Highway, Sussex Co, DE on December 1;
Piscataway Park, Prince George's Co, MD on December 2; the National
Arboretum, Washington, DC on December 3 and 4; and Dyke Marsh WP,
=46airfax Co, VA on December 4.  =20

***

This week's 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/shop)is
an excellent source for guidebooks and many other nature-related
titles.

To report bird sightings, e-mail your report to voice@anshome.org.
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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