ABA's Birding News >> Virginia

Virginia bird news by date

Updated on July 28, 2016, 7:40 am

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28 Jul: @ 07:31:41 Re: Atlas Codes [Paul Woodward]
27 Jul: @ 10:52:02  VABBA2 July Update [Ashley Peele]
26 Jul: @ 16:50:36  RFI: Prince William Landfill Mississippi Kites [Donald Sweig]
26 Jul: @ 16:09:02  Fwd: eBird Report - Staunton View Public Use Area, Jul 26, 2016 [Jeff Blalock]
26 Jul: @ 10:55:56  white ibis, bank swallows, dickcissel, redhead in Northern Neck Jul 25 [Frederick Atwood via va-bird]
26 Jul: @ 07:36:16  Voice of the Naturalist, greater DC area, 7/26/2016 [Gerry Hawkins]
25 Jul: @ 18:25:49  Summering Sandhill Cranes - Augusta County [Herbert Larner via va-bird]
25 Jul: @ 13:37:46  Huntley Meadows Monday Morning Boardwalk [Harry Glasgow via va-bird]
25 Jul: @ 13:06:24  VA eBird Articles of Interest [Brian Taber via va-bird]
24 Jul: @ 20:24:09  Chickadee identification [William Leigh]
24 Jul: @ 19:07:08  Wythe County, TRSWs [Patty Elton]
24 Jul: @ 15:48:30  Fwd: eBird Report - Dyke Marsh, Jul 24, 2016 [Larry Meade via va-bird]
24 Jul: @ 15:44:08  Mississippi kite redux [Marc Ribaudo]
24 Jul: @ 15:17:01 Re: Prince William Co. landfill Mississippi kites [Phil Silas via va-bird]
24 Jul: @ 14:36:00  Great Falls Walk (Fairfax County) [Marshall Rawson via va-bird]
24 Jul: @ 14:35:02  H. Fenton Day memorial bench at Kiptopeke State Park [T. M. Day]
24 Jul: @ 14:27:56  Prince William Co. landfill Mississippi kites [Marc Ribaudo]
24 Jul: @ 13:25:17  Mississippi Kites at Halifax County [Jeff Blalock]
24 Jul: @ 13:22:44  Mississippi Kites Kites Prince William landfill [James Fox]
24 Jul: @ 12:17:39  recommended site: Sully Historic Site (Fairfax) [Stephen Johnson]
24 Jul: @ 10:19:32  Passing the Torch [Brenda Tekin]
24 Jul: @ 08:27:10  Redheaded woodpeckers at Berryville Chet Hobert park, Clarke county [Teri]
24 Jul: @ 07:18:45  Huntley Meadows [Lee]
24 Jul: @ 07:08:17  Huntley meadows [Lee]
23 Jul: @ 13:13:45  where to report banded Eagle [Stephen Johnson]
23 Jul: @ 12:53:38  Swoope, VA; 7/22/16 [Marshall Faintich]
23 Jul: @ 12:08:20  Shorebirds Augusta County [Herbert Larner]
23 Jul: @ 10:49:28  Blue Ridge Bird Walk July 23 [delandjoyce]
23 Jul: @ 09:32:31  Chestnut-sided Warbler, Waterford VA [Nicole Hamilton]
22 Jul: @ 17:26:22 Re: Pitts Creek, Chincoteague causeway & 1 MD posting, June 22, 23 (&28). quail disaster. [David Matson]
22 Jul: @ 09:56:33  Pitts Creek, Chincoteague causeway & 1 MD posting, June 22, 23 (&28). quail disaster. [Harry Armistead]
22 Jul: @ 08:02:22  Virginia Avian Records Committee Announcements [Bill Williams]
21 Jul: @ 19:46:15  Mississippi Kite and Peregrine Falcon - 7/20/16 and 7/21/16 [janet anderson via va-bird]
21 Jul: @ 18:46:08  test message: Tangier I. area, July 19. [Harry Armistead]
21 Jul: @ 14:35:24  Mississippi kite (adult) [Dick Bauder]
21 Jul: @ 13:59:02  The Hawk and the Gnatcatcher [Marshall Faintich]
21 Jul: @ 13:45:40 Re: Birding Swoope & Bells lane [Herbert Larner via va-bird]
21 Jul: @ 13:44:12  Birding Swoope & Bells lane [Herbert Larner]
20 Jul: @ 21:46:08  Mississippi kite near Greenspring park [Donald Sweig]
20 Jul: @ 16:48:50 Re: Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond [Marlene Condon via va-bird]
20 Jul: @ 13:27:52  FW: DC Area, 7/19/2016 [Joe Coleman]
20 Jul: @ 10:33:00 Re: Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond [KEN LIPSHY]
20 Jul: @ 09:55:38  Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond [KELLY K]
19 Jul: @ 21:11:46  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Jamestown Island [Nicholas Newberry]
19 Jul: @ 19:21:44  Mississippi Kites at Green Spring Gardens-Alexandria, VA 7/19/16 [janet anderson via va-bird]
19 Jul: @ 18:22:33  4 Mississippi Kites - Kings Grant, Virginia Beach - 19 Jul 2016 [Rob Bielawski]
19 Jul: @ 13:41:37  Birding in Bar Harbor and Acadia NP, ME [Rowe, Richard A, 'Dick']
19 Jul: @ 13:14:56  Fledgling Cowbird with Dark-eyed Junco [KELLY K]
19 Jul: @ 13:01:52  Huntley Meadows/Little Blues and King Rail [Rich Rieger via va-bird]
19 Jul: @ 10:23:49  Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch needs your help [Laubach, Victor E. (Vic) (vel8n)]





Subject: Atlas Codes
Date: Thu Jul 28 2016 7:31 am
From: grackling AT att.net
 
      Another code you have to be careful using this time of year is
H= In Appropriate Habitat
You need to be sure the sighting is within the safe breeding dates
for the species since many birds are post-breeding wanderers.

Paul Woodward

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 13873 (20160728) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

http://www.eset.com



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Subject: VABBA2 July Update
Date: Wed Jul 27 2016 10:52 am
From: ashpeele AT vt.edu
 
Hello Fellow Birding Folk,



Summer is waning, but Atlas volunteers are still picking up a good deal of breeding activity.  I encourage you to keep getting out and birding in the morning or evening, when bird activity is highest.  We’re heading back into to the ‘transition’ time between breeding and migration, good evidence of breeding can still be picked up in this hot summer weather.



Here’s a cool example!  A colleague in my building is covering the main Blacksburg Atlas block.  She still needed to confirm Eastern Kingbird.  Lo and behold, as as she gazed out her window on Monday and chatted about a research project, she saw a perched Kingbird start begging and another swoop in and feed it!  Bam!  Breeding confirmation, while at work.  J  Take that, Pokemon Go!



Also exciting, we’ve now hit 12,492 checklists submitted to our Atlas portal!  Collectively, 228 species have been identified, 171 have been confirmed, and 43% of our priority blocks are receiving data.  Fantastic for our first season!  Let’s see if we can bump our block-level confirmations up with a few more late-season species confirmations.



Now all this being said, here are a couple breeding codes to use cautiously as we head into the last months of summer:



Singing Male (S) – the earlier migrants may now be starting to trickle back through VA.  Remember to be careful of ‘non-breeders.’  For example, if you pick up an early Blackpoll Warbler making his way south and singing as he goes, don’t give him a breeding code.  He’s just passing on through.



Recently fledged young (FL).  We’re late enough in the season that many young birds are now full grown and off on their own, despite still having juvenile plumage.  If you observe such juveniles with no parents in evidence, fully independent and feeding themselves, then use caution.  They may have ranged far from where they were born at this point in the year (especially resident species like cardinals, robins, etc.).

*A good rule of thumb to remember: if a juvenile’s tail feathers are shorter than the adults, it probably was born locally.



On the flip side, be sure to start paying closer attention to late-nesting species like American Goldfinches.  AMGO breeding confirmations are starting to trickle in around the state, so keep an eye out!



Be sure to reference the Breeding Season Guidelines charts for more info on transition times for migratory species (when they start moving south). 



Thanks for all you folks have done over this first breeding season.  You’ve helped ensure that the Atlas project started off with a bang and all of your efforts are appreciated. 



PS – Registered Atlas volunteers and eBird contributors should have received notice that they were added to the new Atlas email list-serv.  If you do not and would like to be on this list, please send me a quick email to let me know.





Ashley Peele, PhD

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator

www.vabba2.org | ebird.org/atlasva

www.facebook.com/vabba2

---

Conservation Management Institute, Virginia Tech

1900 Kraft Drive, Suite 250

Blacksburg, VA 24061

(540) 231-9182 office

(540) 231-7019 fax

ashpeele@vt.edu

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Subject: RFI: Prince William Landfill Mississippi Kites
Date: Tue Jul 26 2016 16:50 pm
From: skybirds.d AT gmail.com
 
 Does anyone know if the Mississippi kites are still being seen in numbers over the Prince William landfill?
I was thinking about driving down from Falls Church tomorrow but it's a long way to go if the kites are gone.
Thank you for any info available.
Donald Sweig
Falls Church, Virginia

Sent from my iPad
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Subject: Fwd: eBird Report - Staunton View Public Use Area, Jul 26, 2016
Date: Tue Jul 26 2016 16:09 pm
From: jcbabirder AT gcronline.com
 
Greetings to all

I spend 6 hrs this morning at Staunton River View Park in Mecklenburg County.

There were some shorebirds with most of them up River on the Staunton as well as the three immature White Ibis.

Saw 7 Bald Eagles with all of them young with only one with some white head feathers.

Not a bad day before it got too hot.


> Staunton View Public Use Area, Mecklenburg, Virginia, US
> Jul 26, 2016 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM
> Protocol: Traveling
> 0.75 mile(s)
> Comments: Just at 0600 hrs had a flock of 12-15 birds that were white with black fly down the Dan River and down towards Clarksville. They were not gulls or terns or egrets. From the size of the birds and the color pattern I am thinking American Avocets but when I first saw them I lost them in the background of the trees and by the time I found them again they were flying away from me. I looked all morning to see it they returned but never did see them again.
> 49 species (+3 other taxa)
>
> Canada Goose 15
> Wood Duck 15
> Mallard 3
> duck sp. 10
> Double-crested Cormorant 4
> Great Blue Heron 8
> Great Egret 15
> Little Blue Heron 2
> Green Heron 5
> White Ibis 3 Large long legged wader, dingy grayish neck and head and white breast and belly with dark back and wings. Long pinkish curved bill and dirty pinkish legs. They were just too far to get a picture.
> Black Vulture 8
> Turkey Vulture 10
> Osprey 2
> Bald Eagle 7 Counted six on the mudflats and along the shoreline together with another flying around overhead.
>
> One of the birds was turning into an Adult with some white feathers in head and tail.
> Red-tailed Hawk 1
> hawk sp. 1 Flew in and harassed three of the Bald Eagles on the shoreline.
> Killdeer 8
> Spotted Sandpiper 7
> Solitary Sandpiper 1
> Lesser Yellowlegs 2
> Least Sandpiper 7
> Pectoral Sandpiper 3
> Semipalmated/Western Sandpiper 1
> Caspian Tern 2
> Mourning Dove 3
> Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3
> Chimney Swift 1
> Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2
> Belted Kingfisher 2
> Red-headed Woodpecker 1
> Downy Woodpecker 2
> Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
> Eastern Phoebe 1
> Great Crested Flycatcher 1
> Eastern Kingbird 1
> White-eyed Vireo 5
> American Crow 15
> Fish Crow 15
> Cliff Swallow 1
> Carolina Chickadee 4
> Tufted Titmouse 9
> Carolina Wren 7
> Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10
> Eastern Bluebird 6
> Ovenbird 1
> Northern Parula 1
> Pine Warbler 1
> Eastern Towhee 1
> Northern Cardinal 7
> Red-winged Blackbird 10
> Common Grackle 1
> American Goldfinch 8
>
> View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch...
>
> This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/content/atlas...)
>

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Subject: white ibis, bank swallows, dickcissel, redhead in Northern Neck Jul 25
Date: Tue Jul 26 2016 10:55 am
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
Yesterday I birded some of my favorite spots in King George and Westmoreland counties on the Northern Neck and also did quick stops at some shorebird places in King William Co on the Middle Peninsula.  Unfortunately most of the exciting birds were on private property so I cannot reveal their exact locations per requests of the landowners.I found 93 species but only two warbler species (many yellowthroats and one yellow warbler). Also one chat.

An immature White Ibis was at a shallow marshy pond on a private farm in Leedstown. This was a year bird for me. I had one at this same location July 30, 2008 The landowner had found 6 Glossy Ibis here on Saturday but they were not present yesterday.
A male redhead and ring necked duck were at a pond at private location 1 in King George. 


At private location 2 in King George,  I found a pair of Dickcissels; another year bird for me.  The male was singing repeatedly from atop some shrubs.
At LaGrange Lane in King George there were 2 pied-billed grebes and 2 ruddy ducks.
Mass exodus of cliff swallows. I checked out the route 301 Rappahannock River Bridge in Port Royal for cliff swallows and all except one bird had gone.  It looks like there were over 200 active nests on the bridge this year.  Likewise at the Mattaponi River bridge in Walkerton (King and Queen), all the cliff swallows had left.  A dozen or so were on the wires at the nearby Woodbury Rd turf farm.
Most amazing was the huge numbers of Bank Swallows around today.  1610 were perched on the wires at the beginning of Westmoreland Berry Farm Rd in Westmoreland County. Seems like the last week of July is great for migrating bank swallows in this area: Last year on July 24, I had 555 on wires in King George. On July 30 2008 I had 1550 bank swallows along Cottage Farm Rd near Leedstown (Westmoreland).

In Tappahannock at the bridge over the Rappahannock R (Essex Co) I saw an adult Peregrine unsuccessfully chase an agile swallow sp.
Hoping for an Upland Sandpiper, I looked for shorebirds at several locations including some private ones and at Woodbury Rd Turf Farm (stay on paved road), Frog Hollow (stay on paved road) and The Pocket and had the following shorebird totals: (Total/number of sites)
Killdeer 84/7
Spotted Sandpiper 2/2
Solitary Sandpiper 6/1
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Least Sandpiper 13/4 (5 at Woodbury)

Semipalmated Sandpiper 1 (Woodbury)
Pectoral Sandpiper 9/2 (8 at Woodbury)

All the bestFred Atwood
Frederick D. Atwood Flint Hill School, 10409 Academic Dr, Oakton, VA 22124 703-242-1675 http://www.agpix.com/fredatwoo... http://www.flinthill.org http://tea.armadaproject.org/t... https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
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Subject: Voice of the Naturalist, greater DC area, 7/26/2016
Date: Tue Jul 26 2016 7:36 am
From: maineusa AT comcast.net
 
Hotline:     Voice of the Naturalist
Date: 7/26/2016
Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle
Reports, comments and questions: voice@anshome.org
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 (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.o...
.

This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon
Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Tuesday, July
19 and was completed on July 26 at 7:30 a.m. Information on noteworthy
birds during this week 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 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK* in VA, RUFF
in MD and PACIFIC LOON* in DE.

Other birds of interest this week included TRUMPETER SWAN, BLUE-WINGED
TEAL, REDHEAD, SURF and BLACK SCOTERS, KING RAIL, SORA, COMMON
GALLINULE, SANDHILL CRANE, BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET,
BLACK-BELLIED and PIPING PLOVERS, UPLAND SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, STILT
and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, GULL-BILLED and BLACK
TERNS, BLACK SKIMMER, COMMON LOON, BROWN PELICAN, AMERICAN and LEAST
BITTERNS, SNOWY EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, CATTLE EGRET, WHITE and
GLOSSY IBIS, MISSISSIPPI KITE, GREAT HORNED OWL, COMMON RAVEN, CLIFF
SWALLOW, RED CROSSBILL, TENNESSEE WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, CERULEAN
and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and DICKCISSEL.

TOP BIRDS

On July 19 a single BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK* was seen in flight
from the causeway to Jamestown Island, James City Co, VA; and on July
24 six BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS* were photographed by a pond near
the 18th hole at the Nicklaus Golf Course in Northampton Co, VA.

A male RUFF found in the marshy impoundment at Swan Farm Harbor Park,
Harford Co, MD on July 18 was seen again early in the morning on July
19.

An apparent immature PACIFIC LOON* was seen near the red lighthouse
off The Point in Cape Henlopen SP, Sussex Co, DE on July 22 and
photographed and filmed there on July 25. If accepted by the Delaware
Bird Records Committee, this would be a new state record for DE.

OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST

A longstanding tagged adult TRUMPETER SWAN at Lake Churchill in
Montgomery Co, MD was most recently reported on July 19. A continuing
TRUMPETER SWAN also was seen again at the stormwater pond on the east
side of the Broken Land Parkway exit off Route 29 in Howard Co, MD on
July 19-23.

Small numbers of migratory ducks were seen in the reporting area
during the week. These included a male BLUE-WINGED TEAL in a pond near
99 Oakwood Drive in Rockingham Co, VA on July 19; a male REDHEAD at a
private pond along Kings Highway in King George Co, VA on July 25; a
male SURF SCOTER at Assateague Island NS, Worcester Co, MD on July 23;
and 2-3 BLACK SCOTERS at Cape Henlopen SP, Sussex Co, DE on July 23
and 25.

Encounters with KING RAILS at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co, VA on
July 19 and in the prior week suggest that this species nested there
for the first time in many years. A KING RAIL, as well as a juvenile
VIRGINIA RAIL and a COMMON GALLINULE, were found along Green Dumpster
Road on Deal Island, Somerset Co, MD on July 25. A family of SORAS,
another member of the rail family, was seen again at the Nazarene
Church Wetlands in Rockingham Co, VA on July 18, 19, 21 and 23.

A single SANDHILL CRANE continues at a small pond near Mayne's Tree
Farm and in fields along nearby roads in Frederick Co, MD, with the
latest sighting on July 25. On July 25 two summering SANDHILL CRANES
were seen again along Kiddsville Road (Fishersville) in Augusta Co,
VA.

Highlights of the early stages of shorebird migration included large
numbers of AMERICAN AVOCETS at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE and the
Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA, with a week high 81 and
174 individuals at these respective locations on July 20 and July 21,
respectively. Concentrations of BLACK-NECKED STILT, a frequent
companion of the AMERICAN AVOCET, included an area high 74 individuals
at the Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on July 21 and 38
individuals along Big Stone Beach Road in the Milford Neck Wildlife
Area, Kent Co, DE on July 24. A single BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was
photographed at Swan Creek Wetland ? Cox Creek, Anne Arundel Co, MD on
July 20 and 21, and a single PIPING PLOVER was photographed at
Grandview Nature Preserve, Hampton, VA on July 24. Two UPLAND
SANDPIPERS were spotted at the Salisbury Airport, Wicomico Co, MD on
July 21. Four WHIMBRELS were found along Savages Ditch Road in
Delaware Seashore SP, Sussex Co, DE on July 23 and one was spotted
along Prime Hook Beach Road in Sussex Co, DE on July 24. A WHIMBREL
also was seen at Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach, VA on July 22. The area
highs of STILT SANDPIPER consisted of 14 individuals along Big Stone
Beach Road in the Milford Neck Wildlife Area, Sussex Co, DE on July 25
and ten individuals at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE on July 24. A
single WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was spotted at the Craney Island
Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on July 21 and along Port Mahon Road in
Kent Co, DE on July 22. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE also was seen at the
Craney Island Disposal Area on July 21 and near the bridge along Cods
Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on July 19 and 24.

An area high nine GULL-BILLED TERNS, including young, were observed at
the Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA on July 21. Noteworthy
terns also included a single BLACK TERN seen in flight from Tydings
Memorial Park, Harford Co, MD on July 19 and a continuing BLACK
SKIMMER observed during the regular weekly survey of Hart-Miller
Island, Baltimore Co, MD on July 20.

On July 22 a basic-plumaged COMMON LOON was at Back Bay NWR, Virginia
Beach, VA, which likely was the same individual seen there on July 16.

Six BROWN PELICANS were observed at Swan Creek Wetland ? Cox Creek in
Anne Arundel Co, MD on July 19, a likely result of the increasing
presence of this species along the coasts of DE, MD and VA and
Chesapeake Bay.

On July 19 an AMERICAN BITTERN was seen in flight from Green Dumpster
Road on Deal Island, Somerset Co, MD. Sightings of the elusive LEAST
BITTERN consisted of three and two individuals encountered on July 21
at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Anne Arundel Co, MD and Dyke Marsh WP,
Fairfax Co, VA, respectively, and individual sightings at several
other locations.

Post-breeding dispersal produced a SNOWY EGRET at Kenilworth Aquatic
Gardens, Washington, DC on July 23 and 24, LITTLE BLUE HERONS, mostly
juveniles, at several locations, including an area high five at
Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co, VA on July 24, and a single CATTLE
EGRET at Swan Harbor Farm Park, Harford Co, MD on July 19.

A WHITE IBIS was seen at several locations as far north as central DE,
with a high of six individuals near the intersection of Cods and 13
Curves Road in Sussex Co on July 25 and individual sightings at four
other locations in Kent and Sussex Counties. Sightings of GLOSSY IBIS
at coastal locations included an area high 280 individuals along Big
Stone Beach Road in the Milford Neck Wildlife Area, Kent Co, DE on
July 24 and 94 individuals along Green Dumpster Road on Deal Island,
Somerset Co, MD on July 25. Inland two GLOSSY IBIS were photographed
in Charles City, VA on July 24.

At least ten MISSISSIPPI KITES were observed in flight over the Prince
William Landfill in Prince William Co, VA on July 24. Sightings of
this increasingly common species elsewhere in Virginia included two
individuals over Runt Powell Farm in Halifax Co on July 24; 1-2
individuals over Green Spring Garden Park and nearby Vale Road in
Fairfax Co on July 19, 20 and 21; four individuals along Kings Landing
Circle in Virginia Beach on July 19; and a continuing individual over
Waverly Hills and nearby in Arlington Co on July 20 and 21.

On July 24 a resident of Washington, DC was surprised to find a GREAT
HORNED OWL perched in a tree in his back yard in the Dalecarlia
Parkway/Reservoir area.

Lowland COMMON RAVENS included a family of four in flight above Fort
George G. Meade, Anne Arundel Co, MD on July 20.

A small number of nesting CLIFF SWALLOWS continue to be observed at
the Georgetown Reservoir and the pedestrian bridge to Theodore
Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC.

On July 23 several RED CROSSBILLS were again seen at Briery Branch Gap
and nearby in Rockingham Co, VA.

Noteworthy sightings of warblers, which are all presumably early
migrants, included a TENNESSEE WARBLER photographed along Burning
Mines Road SW near the Mountainview Landfill in Allegany Co, MD on
July 23, a pair of AMERICAN REDSTARTS reported along Turkle Pond Road
in Sussex Co, DE on July 22, and a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER photographed
in a residential yard in Loudoun Co, VA on July 23. Warbler highlights
also included two CERULEAN WARBLERS at each of Billmeyer WMA, Allegany
Co, MD and Mint Springs Valley Park, Albemarle Co, VA on July 23.

On July 22 two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were encountered at different
locations at Masonville Cove, Baltimore Co, MD, where they are
apparently spending the summer.

The only reports of DICKCISSEL during the week were a continuing male
along Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on July 20,
24 and 25.

***

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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Subject: Summering Sandhill Cranes - Augusta County
Date: Mon Jul 25 2016 18:25 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
Hello all

On my way home from work I decided to take Kiddsville Rd.( Fishersville ) home & as I got near the entrance to the subdivision on the left -- the two Sandhill Cranes walked across the road from the small pond on the right . I have received several reports of them still in the area but this is the first time I have seen them in about 3 weeks .

Allen Larner
Staunton
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Subject: Huntley Meadows Monday Morning Boardwalk
Date: Mon Jul 25 2016 13:37 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
The breathtaking heat notwithstanding, 20 birders gathered for today's Huntley Meadows Monday Morning Boardwalk.  We tallied 46 species which has not been an unusual count for this time of year and in this heat.  Our highlights included 4 Little Blue Herons (one adult and 3 juveniles) ; an oddly plumed Downy Woodpecker that we suspect is the bird that was reported as a Sapsucker over the weekend; and a juvenile Great Blue Heron accompanied by an adult.   The sweat flowed, binoculars steamed up, and the sun baked, but it was still a great day.
Canada Goose  14
Wood Duck  5
Mallard  2
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  6
Little Blue Heron  4
Green Heron  5
Osprey  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Solitary Sandpiper  2
Mourning Dove  4
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  2
Chimney Swift  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  5
Northern Flicker  2
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  3
Acadian Flycatcher  6
Eastern Phoebe  2
Great Crested Flycatcher  2
Eastern Kingbird  3
Red-eyed Vireo  3
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  1
Tree Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  5
Carolina Chickadee  8
Tufted Titmouse  4
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  6
Eastern Bluebird  5
American Robin  17
Gray Catbird  5
European Starling  1
Common Yellowthroat  5
Song Sparrow  1
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  5
Indigo Bunting  3
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Common Grackle  150
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  3

The Monday Morning Birdwalk has been a weekly event at Huntley Meadows since 1985. It takes place every week, rain or shine (except during electrical storms, strong winds, or icy trails), at 7AM (8AM from November  through March), is free of charge, requires no reservation, and is open to all. Birders meet in the parking lot at the Park's entrance at 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA. Questions should be directed to Park staff during normal business hours at (703)768-2525.

Harry GlasgowFriends of Huntley Meadows Park
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Subject: VA eBird Articles of Interest
Date: Mon Jul 25 2016 13:06 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 

I'd like to publicly thank Arun Bose for his work, for a number of years, posting articles of interest about VA birds, to the VA eBird portal. The point of having the portal is for the purpose of educating about various VA issues. I know I speak for all the VA eBird partners in thanking him...VSO, VA Game Dept, VA Audubon Council, Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge and Coastal VA Wildlife Observatory.

Please welcome Rob Bielawski, who will now take on that important task.

Brian Taber
Coastal VA Wildlife Observatory
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Subject: Chickadee identification
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 20:24 pm
From: leightern AT msn.com
 
All,

I want to know if it's possible to rule out hybrid Chickadees for the area I am canvassing for the VABBA2 project up near Reddish Knob. Elevation is around 3700 which I hear is good for Black-capped Chickadees. Most show messy bib, clear white cheek patches without gray tones near the nape, faded white hokey stick on wings but no rust color showing on sides and flank. I am thinking the lack of rufous on the side maybe due to worn plumage. Also a few shots show a bird with lots of dark splotches is this bird molting or is this a very young individual? I have attached three photos to this email but there are more shotss on my flikr site if anyone wants to chime in with their take on these guys.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

[https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8131/28243300740_5dc06615fd_b.jpg][https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8131/28243300740_5dc06615fd_b.jpg]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
[https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/28526774085_4839bf4c27_b.jpg][https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/28526774085_4839bf4c27_b.jpg]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
[https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7612/28449073151_0554d4ea51_b.jpg][https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7612/28449073151_0554d4ea51_b.jpg]




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Subject: Wythe County, TRSWs
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 19:07 pm
From: joeandpattyelton AT gmail.com
 
The Tree Swallows are gathering by the thousands along the New River in
Ivanhoe. Best place for viewing is Shady River Road near the USGS gaging
station.

Patty Elton, Wythe County
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Subject: Fwd: eBird Report - Dyke Marsh, Jul 24, 2016
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 15:48 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 

The weekly Friends of Dyke Marsh sponsored bird walk held every Sunday at 8:00 AM was fairly routine for a July morning. The biggest surprise was the large number of Great Egrets in the area. I counted 112 out on the river and we later found a few more along Haul Road. We also saw both Caspian and Forster's Terns, a family of Great-crested Flycatchers and two Yellow Warblers. 44 species in all.

Larry Meade
Merrifield, VA




Dyke Marsh, Fairfax, Virginia, US
Jul 24, 2016 8:07 AM - 10:51 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments: Submitted from eBird Android 1.2.3
44 species

Canada Goose 145
Mallard 80
Great Blue Heron 11
Great Egret 115 Actual count - Large number on Hunting Creek flats, 3 seen from Haul Road boardwalk
Black Vulture 1
Osprey 6
Bald Eagle 3
Laughing Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 400
Caspian Tern 3
Forster's Tern 2
Mourning Dove 17
Chimney Swift 20
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 5
Eastern Kingbird 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 1
Fish Crow 12
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Purple Martin 4
Tree Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 1
Carolina Chickadee 7
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 4
American Robin 2
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 5
Common Yellowthroat 3
Yellow Warbler 2
Northern Cardinal 6
Indigo Bunting 3
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Orchard Oriole 1
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 4
House Sparrow 6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch...

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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Subject: Mississippi kite redux
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 15:44 pm
From: moribaudo AT verizon.net
 
About 15 minutes ago I saw my 12th Mississippi kite of the day, a single bird soaring low over Benita Fitzgerald Drive in Dale City.

Marc Ribaudo
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Subject: Prince William Co. landfill Mississippi kites
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 15:17 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 

Five about 15 minutes ago, one there now.
Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 24, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Marc Ribaudo wrote:
>
> I went to the landfill after receiving the post from James Fox, arriving around 2:45. Yes, 10
> kites over the big hill. Hard to get a count as they were stooping and
> soaring over length of the mound. I saw 1 other kite along Minnieville Road
> at the VFW post.
>
> Marc Ribaudo
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Subject: Great Falls Walk (Fairfax County)
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 14:36 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
This morning our group of three tallied 33 species on an abbreviated walk through the picnic area and upstream along the river. Next weekend promises to be cooler and we look forward to a larger group.  This regular Sunday walk meets at 8:00 am in the visitors center parking lot.  All are welcome to join us. -- Marshall Rawson, McLean VA

Canada Goose 4
American Black Duck 2
Mallard 8
Double-crested Cormorant 18
Great Blue Heron 2
Black Vulture 12
Turkey Vulture 4
Mourning Dove 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
Chimney Swift 18
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 2
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 6
Fish Crow 8
Carolina Chickadee 1
Tufted Titmouse 6
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3
Eastern Bluebird 4
Song Sparrow 1
Scarlet Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Baltimore Oriole 1
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 3
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Subject: H. Fenton Day memorial bench at Kiptopeke State Park
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 14:35 pm
From: blkvulture AT gmail.com
 
 Greetings,

As many of you know, Fenton Day was one of the most roving birders in the
state, right up until his unexpected death in mid-June of this year. His
keen interest in keeping a list of birds in every county in Virginia
brought him in contact with birders from every corner of the state. He
became locally involved with some of those birders and their projects, as
well as participated many different Christmas Bird Counts. One annual event
that Fenton was particularly fond of and was a regular participant was the
Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Festival. Fenton guided
countless bird walks during the festival, and was as familiar a face as
anyone involved.

The Birding Festival committee plans to install a bench in honor of Fenton
at Kiptopeke State Park. Roberta Kellam has set up a GoFundMe account to
help raise funds for the bench, and I have linked it below. The goal is to
have the money raised as soon as possible, with hopes that the bench could
be installed before this year's Birding Festival which is 6-9 October. If
you can spare a few bucks, please consider a donation.

https://www.gofundme.com/2drxn...


Cheers,

Todd

Todd Michael Day
Jeffersonton, Virginia
blkvulture@gmail.com
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Subject: Prince William Co. landfill Mississippi kites
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 14:27 pm
From: moribaudo AT verizon.net
 
I went to the landfill after receiving the post from James Fox, arriving around 2:45.  Yes, 10
kites over the big hill. Hard to get a count as they were stooping and
soaring over length of the mound. I saw 1 other kite along Minnieville Road
at the VFW post.

Marc Ribaudo
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Subject: Mississippi Kites at Halifax County
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 13:25 pm
From: jcbabirder AT gcronline.com
 
Greetings all

Went down to Runt Powell farm to look for the Mississippi Kites this morning and I wasn't disappointed. I found them within just a few minutes and saw two flying around for several minutes but they were too far away to tell if either of the two were juveniles or adults.

I saw them do three nose dives that are great to watch.

From my iPhone

May God Bless and Keep You

Jeff Blalock
103 Elizabeth Court
South Boston VA 24592
434-572-8619 Home
434-470-4352 Cell
jcbabirder@gcronline.com


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Subject: Mississippi Kites Kites Prince William landfill
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 13:22 pm
From: jmsfox11 AT gmail.com
 
Hi everyone,
Jason Strickland just called to tell me that he has about 10 Mississippi
Kites soaring over the Prince William Landfill!!! So anyone in the area
might want to stop by there.

James Fox
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Subject: recommended site: Sully Historic Site (Fairfax)
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 12:17 pm
From: stevejohnson2 AT verizon.net
 

Hello birders,

This morning (24 July) was my 11th Atlasing visit of this season, to Fairfax County's Sully Historic Site, right off Route 28 near Dulles Airport.

I'm writing to tell you that this is an under-birded site. According to eBird, there are only 3 reports there (ever) besides mine.

Some reasons to bird there:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2 today)
White-eyed Vireo (present and singing, May through today)
Indigo Bunting (usually 3-4, one today)
Nesting Bluebirds (have been there this whole season)
Wood Thrush (pair together, last week)
Both Orioles

and always a good showing, for example today I had 25 species on a hot day in late July.

To bird here, you can stick to the mown paths and see plenty; or if you spray or use high boots, there are also substantial edges along several powerline cuts, and a gasline cut along the East boundary.

There are woods with dense undergrowth to the SW of the main public area, and more open woods to the SE. To get to the latter, you do have to wade through some of the unmown, fallow areas along the power lines. There is also a mulched path through the woods near the parking lot and buildings.

There is a gate and sign saying they open at 11 AM. But I think that just means the gift shop. The gate has never been closed when I arrive early in the morning. They do close it at 5:30 PM, but it opens automatically for departing vehicles, like the gate at Occoquan NWR.

Finally, in line with Kurt Gaskill's habit of reporting nearby food opportunities, I'll report that there is a WaWa store along the entrance road. Their hoagies are a distant imitation, but one of the better ones, of a proper Philadelphia sandwich, for my money.

The breeding indications have been few and far between this week, for the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas. But the birds are still breeding - I counted two Bluebird babies in the nest boxes at Rock Hill District Park this morning!!

Cheers--
Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia


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Subject: Passing the Torch
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 10:19 am
From: brenda AT birdsofvirginia.com
 
Dear Hawk Watching Friends,

At the encouragement and persistence of Miriam Moore, a group of four individuals visited the overlook atop Afton Mountain to look for migrating raptors that one September day in 1976. From those early years and with the many dedicated volunteer counters, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch has become a premier hawk watching site and the collected data is now electronically submitted to HAWKCOUNT.org, a long term project of Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) that documents migrating raptors.

My first visit to the hawk watch was about 1995 after reading an article in the Monticello Bird Club newsletter. It was a Saturday in September, a pleasant and sunny day. When I walked around the back side of the hotel the patio was filled to capacity. I remember being greeted by quite a few folks and was immediately invited to join in. They were calling out and identifying species of raptors with absolute certainty on ID, picked out in that BIG bright sky. All I saw were tiny distant specs. Then someone said "kettle" and you could feel the excitement build. Crista Cabe was one of the counters that day. I remember hearing the fast "clicking" of the clicker. Folks were pointing and excitedly commenting on the unfolding event - a massive wave of Broad-wings streaming in, coming across the gap straight toward us. A newbie to hawk watching I was having difficulty in locating the source of the pandemonium. It also didn't help matters that I had a pair of cheap binocula
rs. The wave broke up into two large groups and kettled, a term I quickly learned that day. They were so close that it was like watching a 3-D movie. I had never heard of a Broad-winged Hawk before I arrived that day. And there they were, a massive swirling hive of them! It was then I knew I was hooked, line and sinker! Over the next few years I made increasing visits, sitting, watching, learning and asking lots of questions before I felt comfortable enough to try my hand as a counter.

In 1999 my dear friend and mentor, John Irvine, had the faith and I'm sure a fair amount of hope to entrust me with the responsibilities as coordinator to continue the work and vision for Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch.

It was a challenge I was ready and more importantly, willing to take on. I look back, recalling the many hours watching the skies with fellow hawk watchers, "sharing the moment," or staring at blank bright blue sky, and even watching from inside a vehicle being buffeted by strong bitterly cold NW winds. As long as the birds were flying, cold, wind, fog, rain and yes, even ice and snow, dedicated volunteer counters have kept the watch.

Over the past 15 years Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch friends and volunteer counters have come and gone. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to too many including Yulee Larner, one of the original Rockfish Gap raptorians. Yulee was very knowledgeable and always more than willing to help in any way. She also kept us on the straight and narrow when it came to documenting the rarities that would show up at the hawk watch and I sometimes expect to receive one of her emails reminding me to submit a report. The list of past volunteer raptorians also includes Bill Minor, who for years coordinated the annual Linear Study, Robert Barbee with a talent for drawing, Dick Morton who traveled from New Jersey each September to spend 1-2 weeks during the peak Broad-winged flights, and Harold Dunning from North Carolina. Then there were our regular volunteers--Mozelle Henkle, one of the four original founders of the hawk watch, Walter and Robert Plank, and Jean Brodwater. Jean and I would often times
meet up at the hawk watch and swap stories during those slow times. She was a cautious birder, careful to note specific details on a bird and then discuss. She was a great teacher!

I have been very fortunate to have made new friends and met countless visitors over the past 15 years and it has been a privilege and an honor to have served as coordinator.

After long and careful consideration, it is time to pass the torch on to Vic Laubach. Many of you have come to know Vic. He is an excellent hawk watcher, skilled in identifying even those "distant specs." But it's his dedication and proven skills in leadership that will continue to direct Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch to a new generation of hawk watchers.

We can expect new things to come under Vic's guidance so join me in welcoming him as the new Coordinator for Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch.

Brenda
Brenda Tekin
Stuart's Draft, VA

Sent from my iPhone


Brenda
Brenda Tekin
Stuart's Draft, VA

Sent from my iPhone
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Subject: Redheaded woodpeckers at Berryville Chet Hobert park, Clarke county
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 8:27 am
From: ivory1888 AT gmail.com
 
While at atlasing  today at Chet Hobart park in Berryville, Stephenson SE, I found many redheaded woodpeckers near the electrical transformer station. I stopped at the VFW shelter Poke stop, cut through the ballfields and picked up the jogging trail clockwise. I cut through the pine trees where pine warblers nest. The RHWOs are occupying a nest hole in a telephone pole behind the transformer station. They are very active and vocal.
Teri Holland
Berryville, Va
Sent from the field
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Subject: Huntley Meadows
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 7:18 am
From: leesheehanmiller AT gmail.com
 
5 little blue herons immature and mature currently 8:15 am

More to follow.

Sent from my iPhone
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Subject: Huntley meadows
Date: Sun Jul 24 2016 7:08 am
From: leesheehanmiller AT gmail.com
 
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker by lodge encroaching on bench. Interesting time of year, mature male.

Also in same area, 2 red eyed vireo feeding cowbird.

Sent from my iPhone
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Subject: where to report banded Eagle
Date: Sat Jul 23 2016 13:13 pm
From: stevejohnson2 AT verizon.net
 

We found a banded Bald Eagle at Occoquan Reservoir on Thursday.

I reported it to the Patuxent web site for banded birds at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl. But besides that site, is there any particular place for reporting Eagles, especially in the Potomac / Chesapeake / D.C. area?

Thanks -

Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia

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Subject: Swoope, VA; 7/22/16
Date: Sat Jul 23 2016 12:53 pm
From: marshall AT faintich.net
 
43 avian species, including 6 shorebird species, Great Egret, Red-headed
Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, and Grasshopper Sparrow. Report and photos:




http://www.faintich.net/Blog20...



___________________________

Marshall Faintich

Nellysford, VA

marshall@faintich.net

www.faintich.net

In real life, the shortest distance between two points is never a straight
line, so you might as well enjoy the journey !!

____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________





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Subject: Shorebirds Augusta County
Date: Sat Jul 23 2016 12:08 pm
From: larnersky AT mindspring.com
 
Hello all



Before going to the store I ventured out at Smith's Lake in Swoope to see if
any more shorebirds came in . Some have departed & new ones took their
place . But all in all a good assortment of early Sandpipers are staring to
show up . Below is a list of what I saw .



Killdeer -- 6



Spotted -- 3 same ones from the other day .



Solitary -- 9 no new ones



Lesser Yellowlegs --1 still there



Pectoral Sandpiper -- 3 new arrivals .



Allen Larner

Staunton





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Subject: Blue Ridge Bird Walk July 23
Date: Sat Jul 23 2016 10:49 am
From: delandjoyce AT peoplepc.com
 
Thirteen birders came for the monthly, 4th Saturday, birdwalk at Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Loudoun County. It was hot, above 80 at 8 am, and humid. We did the Homestead Loop, which kept us in the shade most of the time. Birds were rather quiet and a total of 28 species were recorded as follows:

Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Easter Wood-pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great-crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
American Goldfinch

Del Sargent
Purcellville
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Subject: Chestnut-sided Warbler, Waterford VA
Date: Sat Jul 23 2016 9:32 am
From: nicole AT gilandnicole.com
 
Yesterday in our yard, I was excited to see a Chestnut-sided warbler! I will
post the sighting along with photos to eBird later today

Nicole Hamilton
Waterford, VA




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Subject: Pitts Creek, Chincoteague causeway & 1 MD posting, June 22, 23 (&28). quail disaster.
Date: Fri Jul 22 2016 17:26 pm
From: wrenpt AT gmail.com
 
​One observation in accord with Harry's observation(s) about Bobwhite:

My "work home" is along the south side of Onancock Creek.

A federally incentivized Wildlife Management Area is a short distance away.

From our home, last Summer, I could hear Bobwhite calling daily from three
directions, including one finding some purpose in the pear tree of the
front yard.

This year, not a single call of Bobwhite, not even Mockingbird mimicking of
them.

I ask around, as I travel the Shore, and anecdotal observations are zero
this year.

Non-systematic, to be sure, yet in accord, ecologically, with Harry's words.

David Matson

On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Harry Armistead <
harryarmistead@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I tried to send a much more expansive version of this earlier but it
> didn’t “take”, perhaps being too long and/or having too much MD
> information. Here’s a much shortened version with only 1 Maryland segment
> (an unforgettable evening).
>
>
> LOWER EASTERN SHORE, JUNE 22-23 & 28, 2016. Fireflies, Queen Anne’s Lace,
> moderate warmth, and (for the most part) fair skies with low humidity.
> QUAIL DISASTER CONTINUES.
>
>
> “I shall return to drowse in this still place/That wears the ageless shawl
> of Queen Anne’s Lace.” from ‘Rigby’s Folly’ by Lysbeth Boyd Borie, 1966.
>
>
> Chincoteague causeway, Pitts Creek (& 1 MD segment):
>
>
> JUNE 22. PITTS LANDING, ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA. Where we hope to end up
> tomorrow (but do not). 7:15-7:30 P.M. Bald Eagle 2, Barn Swallow 12,
> Purple Martin 6, Mourning Dove 12, European Starling 45, Common Grackle 65,
> Red-winged Blackbird 6, Common Yellowthroat 1, Laughing Gull 12. Nice
> launch area near the mouth of Pocomoke River. Beautiful, extensive,
> brackish marsh. MILES ROAD, nearby to the east: a field with 145 Glossy
> Ibis, 7:40 P.M.
>
>
> JUNE 23, THURSDAY. CHINCOTEAGUE CAUSEWAY, VA. At sunrise today the bird
> spectacle is as impressive here as most any I’ve ever seen anywhere, and
> that includes Antarctica, Africa, and Australia. Really! A cacophony of
> calling: thousands of Laughing Gulls, plus displaying Willets, and in full
> cry: Clapper Rails, Fish Crows, Black-necked Stilts, and Boat-tailed
> Grackles. Off to the north is a large colony of hundreds of egrets plus a
> few Brown Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants, Little Blue and
> Tricolored Herons. I’m here 5:30-6:45 A.M. Hundreds of Laughing Gulls
> rise up to harass a Bald Eagle. Pairs of Willets chase Herring Gulls.
>
>
> There are 3 eagles in the area causing mayhem. Lots of ibis: 380 White
> and 145 Glossy. A few Black-crowned Night Herons. Along the causeway,
> without trying to do a complete check, I see 8 adult stilts and 2 sets of 2
> downy young, all N of the road. There’s a small colony of Common Terns on
> the shells out from where the oysterbeds are, and numerous American
> Oystercatchers. One out-of-place male Blue Grosbeak. One Gull-billed
> Tern. There are Royal Terns bearing minnows, headed north somewhere.
> Dozens of calling Forster’s Terns. Less prosaic: 2 d.o.r. deer near the
> NASA facility.
>
>
> HALLWOOD NW Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block, Accomack County.
> 8:30-10:30, mostly driving around, familiarizing with the roads some more,
> often in torrential rains with thunder and lightning, strong enough so that
> I almost pull over. But find 27 species anyway, including my 1st
> Yellow-throated Warbler in this block plus 2 Bald Eagles, 8 Indigo Buntings
> (very common here), and a Yellow-breasted Chat.
>
>
> PITTS CREEK, ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA, in the extreme NW part of the VA Eastern
> Shore just S of the MD line. This is a delightful 5.1-mile canoe trip with
> Sue Rice, former manager of Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge.
> A big thanks to Sue for acquiring a canoe, competent steering from the
> stern, and good company. Thanks also to those who gave us helpful
> information beforehand: Curtis Badger, Hal & Joanne Laskowski, and Richard
> & Vicki Pearsall. And to Kurt Gaskell for information on nearby Bullbegger
> Creek.
>
>
> I’m especially indebted to Jim Brighton for stimulating my interest in
> this area in the first place. Pitts Creek has classic tea-colored waters.
> We put in at Duns Swamp Road at the MD line at 1, delayed by a jimcorker
> storm in the morning. The first 2 miles or so the creek is bordered by
> deciduous, bottomland swamp studded with a few cypresses, blooming Swamp
> Magnolias, Poison Ivy, Red Maples, and rose bushes. It is a very
> southern-like in atmosphere. There are stumps out in the creek that are
> sodden and bare until topped off a few feet above waterline with lush
> vegetation. Fallen trees in a few places we have to negotiate. Some of
> the deciduous trees have slightly swollen buttresses in the manner of
> tupelos farther south.
>
>
> As Pitts widens the forest recedes and is replaced by extremely lush,
> freshwater aquatic swamp plants such as Arrow Arum, Pickerel Weed, and
> Spatterdock (I think; I’m not a botanist). The effect is a setting that
> seems near wilderness (except for occasional houses and 4 decrepit
> blinds). The freshwater vegetation is as rank and extensive as any
> semi-tropical river in Florida. Farther downstream Marsh Hibiscus,
> Cattails and Phragmites diversify the vegetation and Loblolly Pine hammocks
> are common.
>
>
> The tide and wind are rising against us; we quit early, but nevertheless
> cover c. 3/4 or 4/5 of the portions of Pitts in this atlas block (Hallwood
> NW), then have to haul a heavy canoe 0.3 miles to the nearest road. Canoe
> 1-4:15, are in atlas block noon - 6:45 P.M. Fresh water vegetation the
> entire length of our paddle. Several times our very quiet canoe surprises
> at close range large fish that startle us with their splashes.
>
>
> 48 species. Complete list: Canada Goose 230, Wood Duck 6 (+5 downy
> young), Mallard 2, Great Blue Heron 2, Snowy Egret 1, Black Vulture 2,
> Turkey Vulture 6, Bald Eagle 7 (+ a pine hammock nest, another off Dunns
> Swamp Road), Laughing Gull 11, Forster’s Tern 4, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning
> Dove 8, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Red-bellied
> Woodpecker 1, Great Crested Flycatcher 3, Eastern Kingbird 3, White-eyed
> Vireo 6, Red-eyed Vireo 3, Blue Jay 1, American Crow 3, Fish Crow 3, Purple
> Martin 17, Tree Swallow 1,
>
>
> Barn Swallow 2, Carolina Chickadee 2 (1 emerging from a tree cavity),
> Tufted Titmouse 4, Marsh Wren 4, Carolina Wren 4, Eastern Bluebird 2,
> American Robin 5, Northern Mockingbird 3, European Starling 6, Cedar
> Waxwing 1, Prothonotary Warbler 9, Common Yellowthroat 8, Pine Warbler 1,
> Yellow-throated Warbler 2, Chipping Sparrow 4, Grasshopper Sparrow 1,
> Summer Tanager 1, Northern Cardinal 6, Blue Grosbeak 1, Indigo Bunting 11,
> Red-winged Blackbird 12, Common Grackle 31, Orchard Oriole 4, American
> Goldfinch 1.
>
>
> NON-AVIAN TAXA: Tiger Swallowtail 1, Green Tree Frog a chorus of #?,
> Painted Turtle 12, deer 5, Gray Squirrel 4 (plus 1 d.o.r.). Dozens of
> rather large, amber-colored dragonflies.
>
>
> JUNE 28, FERRY NECK, ‘Rigby’s Folly’ (Armistead property), Talbot County,
> MD. 1.1” rain last night. Good. An 8” skink, front porch. Listen to
> Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique' during dinner, 98.5, National Youth
> Orchestra (composed of 16-18-year-olds), conductor, Charles Dutoit. During
> the segment’ The Witches’ Sabbath’, as if on cue, big thunder and lighting
> outside, near the house. A few minutes later, 8:45 P.M., on our front
> porch, the thunder and lightning continue, accompanied by steady but light
> rain. Dozens of Fireflies glimmer under the shade trees. A few Cope’s
> Gray Tree Frogs cut loose with their rasping trills. The great storm
> passes slowly to the south, the thunder coming 15-20 seconds after the
> lightening. Celestial tympani. What a show.
>
>
> QUAIL DISASTER CONTINUES. Maryland birdlife, Spring 2016, p. 33, spring
> count 2015, 339 observers in 20 counties find 24 Northern Bobwhite. The
> Chat, Fall 2015, p. 159, NC spring count 2015, 473 observers in 21 “areas”
> find 18. Total for the 2 states: 42 by 812 observers. Back when I did 3
> Breeding Bird Surveys each year in Dorchester County, MD, I’d come close to
> 42 on any given one on any given day. Anyone know the main reason for the
> decline?
>
>
> FAVORITE ROAD SIGN: “Paint ball and vegetables, ahead on right.”
>
>
> Best to all. - Harry Armistead.
>
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> unsubscribe, or modify your preferences please visit
> http://mailman.listserve.com/l... ***
>



--
David Matson
Suffolk and Onancock, Virginia
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Subject: Pitts Creek, Chincoteague causeway & 1 MD posting, June 22, 23 (&28). quail disaster.
Date: Fri Jul 22 2016 9:56 am
From: harryarmistead AT hotmail.com
 
I tried to send a much more expansive version of this earlier but it didnt take, perhaps being too long and/or having too much MD information.  Heres a much shortened version with only 1 Maryland segment (an unforgettable evening).  


LOWER EASTERN SHORE, JUNE 22-23 & 28, 2016. Fireflies, Queen Annes Lace, moderate warmth, and (for the most part) fair skies with low humidity. QUAIL DISASTER CONTINUES.


I shall return to drowse in this still place/That wears the ageless shawl of Queen Annes Lace. from Rigbys Folly by Lysbeth Boyd Borie, 1966.


Chincoteague causeway, Pitts Creek (& 1 MD segment):


JUNE 22. PITTS LANDING, ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA. Where we hope to end up tomorrow (but do not). 7:15-7:30 P.M. Bald Eagle 2, Barn Swallow 12, Purple Martin 6, Mourning Dove 12, European Starling 45, Common Grackle 65, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Common Yellowthroat 1, Laughing Gull 12. Nice launch area near the mouth of Pocomoke River. Beautiful, extensive, brackish marsh. MILES ROAD, nearby to the east: a field with 145 Glossy Ibis, 7:40 P.M.


JUNE 23, THURSDAY. CHINCOTEAGUE CAUSEWAY, VA. At sunrise today the bird spectacle is as impressive here as most any Ive ever seen anywhere, and that includes Antarctica, Africa, and Australia. Really! A cacophony of calling: thousands of Laughing Gulls, plus displaying Willets, and in full cry: Clapper Rails, Fish Crows, Black-necked Stilts, and Boat-tailed Grackles. Off to the north is a large colony of hundreds of egrets plus a few Brown Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons. Im here 5:30-6:45 A.M. Hundreds of Laughing Gulls rise up to harass a Bald Eagle. Pairs of Willets chase Herring Gulls.


There are 3 eagles in the area causing mayhem. Lots of ibis: 380 White and 145 Glossy. A few Black-crowned Night Herons. Along the causeway, without trying to do a complete check, I see 8 adult stilts and 2 sets of 2 downy young, all N of the road. Theres a small colony of Common Terns on the shells out from where the oysterbeds are, and numerous American Oystercatchers. One out-of-place male Blue Grosbeak. One Gull-billed Tern. There are Royal Terns bearing minnows, headed north somewhere. Dozens of calling Forsters Terns. Less prosaic: 2 d.o.r. deer near the NASA facility.


HALLWOOD NW Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block, Accomack County. 8:30-10:30, mostly driving around, familiarizing with the roads some more, often in torrential rains with thunder and lightning, strong enough so that I almost pull over. But find 27 species anyway, including my 1st Yellow-throated Warbler in this block plus 2 Bald Eagles, 8 Indigo Buntings (very common here), and a Yellow-breasted Chat.


PITTS CREEK, ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA, in the extreme NW part of the VA Eastern Shore just S of the MD line. This is a delightful 5.1-mile canoe trip with Sue Rice, former manager of Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge. A big thanks to Sue for acquiring a canoe, competent steering from the stern, and good company. Thanks also to those who gave us helpful information beforehand: Curtis Badger, Hal & Joanne Laskowski, and Richard & Vicki Pearsall. And to Kurt Gaskell for information on nearby Bullbegger Creek.


Im especially indebted to Jim Brighton for stimulating my interest in this area in the first place. Pitts Creek has classic tea-colored waters. We put in at Duns Swamp Road at the MD line at 1, delayed by a jimcorker storm in the morning. The first 2 miles or so the creek is bordered by deciduous, bottomland swamp studded with a few cypresses, blooming Swamp Magnolias, Poison Ivy, Red Maples, and rose bushes. It is a very southern-like in atmosphere. There are stumps out in the creek that are sodden and bare until topped off a few feet above waterline with lush vegetation. Fallen trees in a few places we have to negotiate. Some of the deciduous trees have slightly swollen buttresses in the manner of tupelos farther south.


As Pitts widens the forest recedes and is replaced by extremely lush, freshwater aquatic swamp plants such as Arrow Arum, Pickerel Weed, and Spatterdock (I think; Im not a botanist). The effect is a setting that seems near wilderness (except for occasional houses and 4 decrepit blinds). The freshwater vegetation is as rank and extensive as any semi-tropical river in Florida. Farther downstream Marsh Hibiscus, Cattails and Phragmites diversify the vegetation and Loblolly Pine hammocks are common.


The tide and wind are rising against us; we quit early, but nevertheless cover c. 3/4 or 4/5 of the portions of Pitts in this atlas block (Hallwood NW), then have to haul a heavy canoe 0.3 miles to the nearest road. Canoe 1-4:15, are in atlas block noon - 6:45 P.M. Fresh water vegetation the entire length of our paddle. Several times our very quiet canoe surprises at close range large fish that startle us with their splashes.


48 species. Complete list: Canada Goose 230, Wood Duck 6 (+5 downy young), Mallard 2, Great Blue Heron 2, Snowy Egret 1, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 6, Bald Eagle 7 (+ a pine hammock nest, another off Dunns Swamp Road), Laughing Gull 11, Forsters Tern 4, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning Dove 8, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Red-bellied Woodpecker 1, Great Crested Flycatcher 3, Eastern Kingbird 3, White-eyed Vireo 6, Red-eyed Vireo 3, Blue Jay 1, American Crow 3, Fish Crow 3, Purple Martin 17, Tree Swallow 1,


Barn Swallow 2, Carolina Chickadee 2 (1 emerging from a tree cavity), Tufted Titmouse 4, Marsh Wren 4, Carolina Wren 4, Eastern Bluebird 2, American Robin 5, Northern Mockingbird 3, European Starling 6, Cedar Waxwing 1, Prothonotary Warbler 9, Common Yellowthroat 8, Pine Warbler 1, Yellow-throated Warbler 2, Chipping Sparrow 4, Grasshopper Sparrow 1, Summer Tanager 1, Northern Cardinal 6, Blue Grosbeak 1, Indigo Bunting 11, Red-winged Blackbird 12, Common Grackle 31, Orchard Oriole 4, American Goldfinch 1.


NON-AVIAN TAXA: Tiger Swallowtail 1, Green Tree Frog a chorus of #?, Painted Turtle 12, deer 5, Gray Squirrel 4 (plus 1 d.o.r.). Dozens of rather large, amber-colored dragonflies.


JUNE 28, FERRY NECK, Rigbys Folly (Armistead property), Talbot County, MD. 1.1 rain last night. Good. An 8 skink, front porch. Listen to Berliozs Symphonie Fantastique' during dinner, 98.5, National Youth Orchestra (composed of 16-18-year-olds), conductor, Charles Dutoit. During the segment The Witches Sabbath, as if on cue, big thunder and lighting outside, near the house. A few minutes later, 8:45 P.M., on our front porch, the thunder and lightning continue, accompanied by steady but light rain. Dozens of Fireflies glimmer under the shade trees. A few Copes Gray Tree Frogs cut loose with their rasping trills. The great storm passes slowly to the south, the thunder coming 15-20 seconds after the lightening. Celestial tympani. What a show.


QUAIL DISASTER CONTINUES. Maryland birdlife, Spring 2016, p. 33, spring count 2015, 339 observers in 20 counties find 24 Northern Bobwhite. The Chat, Fall 2015, p. 159, NC spring count 2015, 473 observers in 21 areas find 18. Total for the 2 states: 42 by 812 observers. Back when I did 3 Breeding Bird Surveys each year in Dorchester County, MD, Id come close to 42 on any given one on any given day. Anyone know the main reason for the decline?


FAVORITE ROAD SIGN: Paint ball and vegetables, ahead on right.


Best to all. - Harry Armistead.

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Subject: Virginia Avian Records Committee Announcements
Date: Fri Jul 22 2016 8:02 am
From: billwilliams154 AT gmail.com
 
Greetings Fellow Birders,

The Virginia Avian Records Committee (VARCOM) recently added *Zone-tailed
Hawk* to the Official List bringing the state’s species total to 472.

On 6 July 2016 the American Ornithologists’ Union [AOU] published its
“Fifty-seventh Supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union [AOU]
*Check-list
of North American Birds*” in the journal Auk: Ornithological Advances (Vol
133, 2016, pp. 544-560). This supplement “summarizes decisions made between
April 15, 2015 and April 15, 2016 by the AOU’s Committee on Classification
and Nomenclature-North and Middle America.”

The full article may be accessed at
http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/...

Thanks to the excellent work of VARCOM Secretary, Wendy Ealding, VARCOM
Voting Member, Gerry Hawkins, and VSO Webmaster, Rob Bielawski, all of the
recent AOU taxonomic changes have been incorporated into Virginia’s
Official List, the VARCOM Review List and the VSO Field Checklist. Each of
these revised documents is available on the VSO/ VARCOM websites.

There were no AOU lumps or splits that affected Virginia’s lists.
Nevertheless, for those who are still getting used to falcons taxonomically
sequenced after woodpeckers, hold on to your tripods as you prowl about
these AOU revisions.

Through mid-July VARCOM’s recently implemented Expedited Review Procedures
had fast-tracked 15 media-rich eBird records through “Accepted” status.

On behalf of VARCOM members Lee Adams, Todd Day, Adam D’Onofrio, Wendy
Ealding, Gerry Hawkins, Kieran Kilday, Ellison Orcutt, and Mike Stinson
Bill Williams, Chairman
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Subject: Mississippi Kite and Peregrine Falcon - 7/20/16 and 7/21/16
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 19:46 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
7/21/16

1 Mississippi Kite seen at North 18th Street and Upton Street in Arlington,
VA - and Glebe Road and Route 66 in Arlington, VA

1 Peregrine Falcon seen outside my office window at Baileys Crossroads,
Falls Church, Fairfax County, VA

7/20/16

1 Mississippi Kite seen at North 19th Street and Upton Street in Arlington,
VA

Janet M. Anderson
City of Falls Church, VA
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Subject: test message: Tangier I. area, July 19.
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 18:46 pm
From: harryarmistead AT hotmail.com
 
SHANKS ISLAND, VA, & SMITH ISLAND, MD, JULY 18-19, 2016.


JULY 18, MONDAY. Drive from Philadelphia to Crisfield, MD. At Wilmington it is 97 degrees F. A roadkill Woodchuck south of Seaford, DE, Route 13. Then Crisfield Budget Inn (formerly Pines Motel) where I lodge with John Weske. This motel is still nice (very cool room) but the swimming pool contains a huge pile of dirt. Five of the largest pines, had been healthy trees, have been unaccountably topped off. What remains are stubs 20 feet high. Just plain ugly.


A halfway decent meal at the (extremely) unpretentious Cafe Milano: cheese ravioli, garlic bread, and salad with (of course) Italian dressing. Rainbow outside.


A Great Crested Flycatcher calls behind our room and Laughing Gulls fly low overhead. Two jimcorker storms (the kind Floyd Parks calls toadstranglers and frog chokers) each last about half an hour in the evening, the deluge torrential, with impressive thunder and lightning right over the motel. John hears some Fowlers Toads when he arrives at 10:45 P.M. Tomorrow morning we will see a petit pois-sized toadlet right outside the motel room door, capable of hopping many times its length.


JULY 19, TUESDAY. 16 of us launch in 2 boats from Somers Cove Marina at 8 A.M., returning at 2 P.M. Our party has numerous good folks from the U.S.D.A. (based at Blackwater N.W.R.) and USF&WS personnel from Blackwater and Eastern Neck N.W.R.s, and a few others. Weather is good: fair, winds NW 10+ then diminishing somewhat, temps in the 80s. Were headed to Shanks I., VA, c. 3 mi. N of Tangier I., 2 mi. S of the MD/VA line, to band young Brown Pelicans. Shanks I. & Cheeseman I. basically dont exist anymore.


What is left of Shanks and Cheeseman has migrated E and is now a long strip of beach contiguous with the expansive saltmarsh of South Point Marsh. The beach is topped by a dune-like ridge rising 3-4 foot above the beach per se, well-vegetated, and has thousands of lush, dark green tussocks of Panicum (panic or switch grass). Many of the pelican nests are on top of these tussocks, some 1-2 feet above ground level, high and dry. No Willets today, probably already departed as they do every year in late July.


Most of the Double-crested Cormorant nests are vacated, their young fledging long before the pelicans. At one time I carefully estimate 950 flight-capable cormorants in sight from one place. Fringing much of the sandy beach are sod banks, exposed as the whole thing continues to shift eastwards, overtaking the marsh. There is some Sea Rocket, making this habitat very similar to coastal beach vegetation. We work most of this beach-dune area, for 1,000 feet or so, anywhere there are pelican nests.


SMITH ISLAND, MD, the area around EWELL. On the way to Shanks our boats motor up Big Thorofare and slowly through the channel past Ewell, with Goat Island on the N side of the channel (it still has goats, which we see), then out to Chesapeake Bay, passing Swan I. and the 2 very long and also very low rock jetties.


Consequently, as we do not stop, there is not much I can do about the birdlife in < 0.5 hours we are here. Swan Island, adjoining the N jetty, has a healthy, small tree hammock and lots of nesting herons visible in it today. When I first visited here in 1978 (cf. Maryland birdlife, Summer birds of lower Chesapeake Bay islands in Maryland, September 1978, pp. 99-151), there were no trees.


Even back then, as it still seems now, the adjacent marsh was emergent, building up. In 1978, 1979 & 1980 I spent a week each year at the height of the breeding season, based in the Glenn L Martin N.W.R. house in Ewell. During those times of intensive field work I did not see one Brown Pelican. Their 1st attempted breeding in Virginia was in 1986.


EWELL AREA: American Black Duck 8, American Oystercatcher 1, Great Egret 24, Little Blue Heron 2, Osprey 4, Purple Martin 40, Fish Crow 6, Yellow-crowned Night Heron 1, Boat-tailed Grackle 1 (carrying food), Tricolored Heron 1, Red-winged Blackbird 3.


SHANKS ISLAND, VA. Today we band 545 Brown Pelican and 73 Double-crested Cormorant chicks. These are preliminary totals. With numerous discrete strings of bands and 4-5 banders an exact, official count always has to come later after the starting band inventory is examined. John Weske is in charge, gives us all an orientation. Since he mentions the effects of DDT on pelicans and other birds I put in a plug after his talk for a fine new book, DDT Wars by Charles F. Wurster (Oxford U. Pr., 2015, 213p.). Shanks is one of the most remote areas in Chesapeake Bay, near wilderness.


Birds noted there: Northern Harrier 1 (flushed a Glossy Ibis), Seaside Sparrow 9, Tricolored Heron 5, American Black Duck 1, Yellow-crowned Night Heron 1, Black-crowned Night Heron 2, Osprey 4, Marsh Wren 1, American Oystercatcher 8, Fish Crow 7, Barn Swallow 7, Great Egret 6, Snowy Egret 2, Little Blue Heron 2, Red-winged Blackbird 4, Royal Tern 16, Laughing Gull 1, Caspian Tern 1, Herring Gulls 100s, and Great Black-backed Gull dozens/scores.


I think we band 95%+ of all pelican chicks that are bandable. There are numerous nests of very small pelican chicks (with no feathers or down), called, naked chicks, as it were. There are no chicks too large to band, that is, well-feathered, that fly away or otherwise escape (the catchable big ones called bruisers). The chicks we band are the whitish ones, called whiteys, or downies, verging on the larger sizes of that category, on their way to becoming bruisers.


For the past 5 or so years this area has boasted 1,000+ pairs of pelicans. It is thought that many of those birds are now breeding farther north on Holland I., Dorchester County, MD, where a banding foray will be held in a few weeks.


I try to note all pelican nests that still have eggs, not very many, and think I found all of such. Six with 1 egg, two with 2 eggs, seven with 3 eggs, one with 1 egg & 1 young, one with 2 eggs & 1 young, and two with 1 egg & 2 young for a total of 19 such nests. I dont see any cormorant nests with eggs but see 7 dead cormorants, no dead pelicans.


NON-AVIAN TAXA: 1 Cabbage White, 60-70 Seaside Dragonlets, a few other dragonflies. Invariably a few pelican chicks regurgitate due to stress, some of this involving sizable Menhaden, 10 inches or so. I only see 2 Herring Gull nests, with 2 and 1 egg respectively, and just a few large chicks that have retreated out onto the water.


I dont feel comfortable as a pelican bander. I do have the strength and skill to make a good crimp on the bands, but it takes effort. And after a few dozen bandings tendonitis sets in. Feeling a bit tuckered out today, I do not participate in the cormorant banding, that takes place apres pelican banding. So I wimp out, return to the boat to hydrate, sit in the welcome shade, and scan for birds over the marsh. So my role today is as a bird catcher.


I sustain, if that is the word, 6 small bruises, one cut, and a slight contusion on my hands and arms compliments of the pelis. In the heat of banding, the fog of field work, these are not noticed until later in the day. Not as bad as it may sound. All are minor. As we age bruising is easier. For pelican wranglers these blemishes might be considered a badge of honor, and, although it is just a BIT of a stretch, be held analogous to the facial scar from German dueling (called a Schmiss), or, for that matter, receiving the stigmata.


After the banding and boat trips John Weske heads for Ocracoke I., NC, a c. 7-hour drive trailering his boat, too, and ferry trip, to follow by 2 days of banding Royal Terns there. He is 79, with seemingly easily-sustained endurance. My own drive is 4 hours, considerable, but when I get home I have nothing to do but rest, write, pay bills, take naps, and watch TV for several days.


One good sign of a congenial boat outing is that, after the boats are pulled, the participants stand around chatting, often resting their arms on the boat gunwales, recounting the highlights, or otherwise discoursing on a variety of things. Good conversation is a challenge until after the end of such forays. I chip in some, plugging another fine book, on Red Knots: The narrow edge: a tiny bird, an ancient crab & an epic journey by Deborah Cramer (Yale, 2015, 293p.)


Another nice aspect of an intense banding foray such as this is that it gives an almost exact total for the number of young there are, and also, 6-7% of the birds banded will be heard from again in some capacity, found washed up on a Florida beach, shot in Cuba, etc. The pelican banding of Dave Brinker and John Weske and all the volunteers has shown that very seldom do the Chesapeake birds ever get north up the Gulf past St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, and environs.


Best to all. - Harry Armistead.
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Subject: Mississippi kite (adult)
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 14:35 pm
From: richardsbauder AT gmail.com
 

Circling for several minutes over N 19 St and Upton St Arlington 7/21 3:30 pm
Sent from my iPhone
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Subject: The Hawk and the Gnatcatcher
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 13:59 pm
From: marshall AT faintich.net
 
Report and photos:




http://www.faintich.net/Blog20...



___________________________

Marshall Faintich

Nellysford, VA

marshall@faintich.net

www.faintich.net

In real life, the shortest distance between two points is never a straight
line, so you might as well enjoy the journey !!

____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________





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Subject: Birding Swoope & Bells lane
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 13:45 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
I forgot to add in the 2 least Sandpiper that were at Smith's Lake .

Allen Larner
Staunton
--------------------------------------------
On Thu, 7/21/16, Herbert Larner wrote:

Subject: [Va-bird] Birding Swoope & Bells lane
To: va-bird@listserve.com
Cc: shenvalbirds@yahoogroups.com
Date: Thursday, July 21, 2016, 2:41 PM

Hello all



After getting off work this morning I treked off to the
Swoope area to see
if any mud flats have developed at Smith's .  With the
some what " dry spell
" there was a good amount of mud flats at Smith's & a
few Shorebirds to boot
. Killdeer --12  ,Spotted Sandpiper --3 ,Solitary
Sandpiper -- 9 & Lesser
Sandpiper -- 2 . There was one Great Egret & about 10
young Wood Duck .
Also at Smith's & along Cattleman Rd next to Middle
River I heard or saw a
total of 12 Willow Flycatchers  including a family
group of Willow's along
the banks of Smith's Lake .  As I was leaving the area
along Cattlemans Rd
up near & on Livick Rd I ran into a group of 75 + hatch
year & molting adult
Bobolink .The number of young VS adult Bobolink was 60 %
young to 15 % adult
.  Also in the mix of Bobolink there was a group of at
least 60 Eastern
Meadowlarks with about 25 %  adult birds in various
stages of molt . 





Allen Larner

Staunton

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Subject: Birding Swoope & Bells lane
Date: Thu Jul 21 2016 13:44 pm
From: larnersky AT mindspring.com
 
Hello all



After getting off work this morning I treked off to the Swoope area to see
if any mud flats have developed at Smith's . With the some what " dry spell
" there was a good amount of mud flats at Smith's & a few Shorebirds to boot
. Killdeer --12 ,Spotted Sandpiper --3 ,Solitary Sandpiper -- 9 & Lesser
Sandpiper -- 2 . There was one Great Egret & about 10 young Wood Duck .
Also at Smith's & along Cattleman Rd next to Middle River I heard or saw a
total of 12 Willow Flycatchers including a family group of Willow's along
the banks of Smith's Lake . As I was leaving the area along Cattlemans Rd
up near & on Livick Rd I ran into a group of 75 + hatch year & molting adult
Bobolink .The number of young VS adult Bobolink was 60 % young to 15 % adult
. Also in the mix of Bobolink there was a group of at least 60 Eastern
Meadowlarks with about 25 % adult birds in various stages of molt .





Allen Larner

Staunton

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Subject: Mississippi kite near Greenspring park
Date: Wed Jul 20 2016 21:46 pm
From: skybirds.d AT gmail.com
 
I had two excellent and extended views of a Mississippi kite soaring and hunting near the intersection of Vale Street and Marionet Street, which is near Greenspring park, between four and five this afternoon.
My friend Bob Augustine, who called to tell me that the birds were there, says this has been a reliable location both this year and last year, for seeing Mississippi kites.
Donald Sweig
Falls Church, Virginia


Sent from my iPad
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Subject: Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond
Date: Wed Jul 20 2016 16:48 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 

I gave talks in Shenandoah National Park from 2002 to 2014. During that time there were always plenty of juncos. They had plenty to eat, courtesy of the lights left on all night all around the Lodge. It wasn't a good place for the perpetuation of moths that wasted their time circling lights instead of mating. The bats took them by night as the insects circled the lights and the juncos picked them off the walls at daybreak where the exhausted moths rested.

Sincerely,
Marlene


-----Original Message-----
From: KEN LIPSHY
To: KELLY K
Cc: va-bird
Sent: Wed, Jul 20, 2016 1:58 pm
Subject: Re: [Va-bird] Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond

Interesting! They are all around Skyland lodge. I did not remember them around in prior years so I took a few pictures


Kenneth A. Lipshy
Www.crisismanagementleadership.com

> On Jul 20, 2016, at 10:54 AM, KELLY K wrote:
>
> When a rain storm moved across Skyline yesterday, I took shelter in the Big
> Meadow lodge. On the way in, I spotted a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird
> begging in a tree. Then a Dark-eyed Junco landed and fed the cowbird a
> green caterpillar.
>
> The tree they were in is the same one where I saw a fledgling Dark-eyed
> Junco foraging with an adult Dark-eyed Junco earlier in the season.
> Meanwhile, another junco was hopping around the parking lot. This one was
> slate colored.
>
> The juncos are marked as "rare" here, however, I have been seeing them at
> the lodge, at the wayside, and at some of the pullouts throughout this
> breeding season. The juncos at the lodge are very easy to spot.
>
> Kelly Krechmer
> Fauquier County
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Subject: FW: DC Area, 7/19/2016
Date: Wed Jul 20 2016 13:27 pm
From: joecoleman AT rstarmail.com
 
FYI Joe



Hotline: Voice of the Naturalist

Date: 7/19/2016

Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle

Reports, comments and questions: voice@anshome.org

Compiler: Helen Patton

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 (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.o....



This is the Voice of the Naturalist, a service of the Audubon Naturalist Society. This report covers the week starting Tuesday, July 12 with sightings through July 18 and was completed on July 19 at 12:40 p.m.



Top bird this week is RUFF in MD.



Other birds of interest this week included SNOW GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, ducks, NORTHERN BOBWHITE, RED-THROATED LOON, ANHINGA, herons, kites, RED-TAILED HAWK, rails, SANDHILL CRANE, BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET, shorebirds, terns, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, WHIP-POOR-WILL, PEREGRINE FALCON, CLIFF SWALLOW, warblers, sparrows and DICKCISSEL.



TOP BIRDS



A RUFF was seen July 13 on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD. Another RUFF was at Swan Harbor Farm, Harford Co, MD on July 18 and 19,



OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST



A SNOW GOOSE was at Cranberry Reservoir, Carroll Co, MD on July 16. A TUNDRA SWAN was at the Hurlock WWTP, Dorchester Co, MD on July 16. A REDHEAD was at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (Horsehead), Queen Anne’s Co, MD on July 15. A trip to Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co, MD on July 13 encountered NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, REDHEAD and GREEN-WINGED TEAL plus BROWN PELICANS and an immature LITTLE BLUE HERON.



A NORTHERN BOBWHITE was at Hughes Road, Montgomery Co, MD on July 13.



A RED-THROATED LOON was at the Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA on July 15.



An ANHINGA was at the Carson Wetland, Prince George’s Co, VA on July 13.



An AMERICAN BITTERN was at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE on July 13. An AMERICAN BITTERN was on Green Dumpster Road on Deal Island, Somerset Co, MD on July 19. A LEAST BITTERN was seen west of Harrington on Welch Road in Kent Co, DE on July 13, 16 and 17. A LEAST BITTERN was at Occoquan Bay NWR, Prince William Co, VA on July 16. Two LEAST BITTERN were at Greenfield, Charlotte Co, VA on July 17. A white morph of the GREAT BLUE HERON was at Lake Jackson, Prince William Co, VA on July 14. Two LITTLE BLUE HERONS were at the Lily Pons Water Gardens, Frederick Co, MD on July 17 and 18. A TRICOLORED HERON was on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 13. A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was near the intersection of Drake Road and Williams Road, Allegany Co, MD on July 13. Five YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were at New Windsor on the Atlee Walking Path, Carroll Co, MD on July 14.



A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was observed on Rte. 360 between Lottsburg and Callao, Northumberland Co, VA on July 12. Two MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale, VA on July 12, 14 and 16. Another MISSISSIPPI KITE was at Upton and North 19th Street in Arlington, VA on July 13 and 14.



Two fledgling RED-TAILED HAWKS were in the scaffolding of the Hirschhorn Museum, DC screaming for their parents on July 13.



Three KING RAILS were at Occoquan Bay NWR, Prince William Co, VA on July 16. Two KING RAILS were at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax Co, VA on July 17, Two SORA and more than five VIRGINIA RAILS were at the Nazarene Church Rd Wetlands, Rockingham County, VA on July during the week.



A SANDHILL CRANE was at Grier’s Pond, New Castle Co, DE on July 13. A SANDHILL CRANE was seen on the Mayne Tree Farm driveway during the week near Buckeystown, Frederick Co, MD. Another SANDHILL CRANE was on Buckeystown Pike, Frederick Co, MD on July 16, 17 and 18.



As many as 30 BLACK-NECKED STILTS along with as many as 74 AMERICAN AVOCETS were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 13.



A MARBLED GODWIT was on Jamestown Island, James City, VA on July 18. STILT and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE were among the shorebirds at Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co, MD on July 13. Two to three PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were at Chincoteague NWR, Accomack Co, VA on July 16 and 17. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER and 11 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were at the North Beach marsh, Calvert Co, MD on July 18.



Two to three LEAST TERNS were at Augustine WA, New Castle Co, DE on July 14 and 17. Three BLACK TERNS were seen July 13 at Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co, DE. Four BLACK TERNS were seen July 13 at Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD. A SANDWICH TERN was at the Dameron Marsh NAP, Northumberland Co, VA on July 16.



Two to three EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES were in Selbyville, Sussex Co, DE on July 13.



Two WHIP-POOR-WILLS were at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (private) on July 17.



Three PEREGRINE FALCONS flew over downtown Silver Spring, Montgomery Co, MD on July 13.



As many as 6 CLIFF SWALLOWS were at the Rte. 328 Bridge, Caroline Co, MD on July 15.



A CERULEAN WARBLER was in the Catoctin Mountains, Frederick Co, MD on July 15. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was at the Youghiogheny River Lake, Garrett Co, MD on July 13.



One to six SEASIDE SPARROWS were on Poplar Island, Talbot Co, MD on July 13. Three SEASIDE SPARROWS were at the Guinea Marsh, Gloucester Co, VA on July 13.



Three DICKCISSELS were on Hughes Road, Montgomery Co, MD on July 16.



***



This week's report was based on reports on the DE, MD, VA, and WV list servers via the ABA Internet links, and on eBird records.



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.

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Subject: Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond
Date: Wed Jul 20 2016 10:33 am
From: wuzupdoc12 AT msn.com
 
Interesting! They are all around Skyland lodge. I did not remember them around in prior years so I took a few pictures


Kenneth A. Lipshy
Www.crisismanagementleadership.com

> On Jul 20, 2016, at 10:54 AM, KELLY K wrote:
>
> When a rain storm moved across Skyline yesterday, I took shelter in the Big
> Meadow lodge. On the way in, I spotted a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird
> begging in a tree. Then a Dark-eyed Junco landed and fed the cowbird a
> green caterpillar.
>
> The tree they were in is the same one where I saw a fledgling Dark-eyed
> Junco foraging with an adult Dark-eyed Junco earlier in the season.
> Meanwhile, another junco was hopping around the parking lot. This one was
> slate colored.
>
> The juncos are marked as "rare" here, however, I have been seeing them at
> the lodge, at the wayside, and at some of the pullouts throughout this
> breeding season. The juncos at the lodge are very easy to spot.
>
> Kelly Krechmer
> Fauquier County
> *** You are subscribed to va-bird as wuzupdoc12@msn.com. If you wish to unsubscribe, or modify your preferences please visit http://mailman.listserve.com/l... ***
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Subject: Correction and update: juncos at Big Meadows and beyond
Date: Wed Jul 20 2016 9:55 am
From: tripacct1 AT gmail.com
 
When a rain storm moved across Skyline yesterday, I took shelter in the Big
Meadow lodge. On the way in, I spotted a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird
begging in a tree. Then a Dark-eyed Junco landed and fed the cowbird a
green caterpillar.

The tree they were in is the same one where I saw a fledgling Dark-eyed
Junco foraging with an adult Dark-eyed Junco earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, another junco was hopping around the parking lot. This one was
slate colored.

The juncos are marked as "rare" here, however, I have been seeing them at
the lodge, at the wayside, and at some of the pullouts throughout this
breeding season. The juncos at the lodge are very easy to spot.

Kelly Krechmer
Fauquier County
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Subject: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Jamestown Island
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 21:11 pm
From: nickenew1 AT gmail.com
 
Fellow mid summer “Doldrum” birders,

Sort of on a whim I decided to take my kayak out for an evening paddle to check out the gravel bar visible from the Jamestown Island causeway while it was low tide. A very powerful storm system just swept through the area and Brian Taber who I’d met for the first time this morning had mentioned that shorebirds sometimes drop in after such storms (with “Western” Willet, American Avocet, Short-billed Dowitcher and Marbled Godwit having made appearances recently at the gravel bar I figured I’d try my luck). I put in the kayak at the last pull off from the Colonial Parkway before the access gates to Jamestown Island, which close at 4:30pm, and made it to the gravel island and back without anything much out of the ordinary and no shorebirds to speak of. As I was pulling my kayak out of the water I heard a totally alien call and looked up to see a large, dark waterfowl flying towards me (about 20 minutes after sunset at this point). As it approached I saw the prominent white wing stripe of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck. The duck then turned (originally flying towards me from the James River, up Powhatan Creek) a 180 and flew off generally in the direction of Hog Island WMA. If anyone can get out to Hog tomorrow to check for it there that would be great, otherwise any small ponds in the area or potentially the gravel bar tomorrow morning when the gates open at 8:30 would be good places to check.

A better description and a photo of the sky with a dark smudge are on my eBird list. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch...

Best,
Nick
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Subject: Mississippi Kites at Green Spring Gardens-Alexandria, VA 7/19/16
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 19:21 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 

July 19, 2016

1 Adult and 1 Immature Mississippi Kite seen at Green Spring Gardens in
Alexandria, Fairfax County, VA. The adult Kite was seen being harassed by a
Crow.

Janet M. Anderson
City of Falls Church, VA
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Subject: 4 Mississippi Kites - Kings Grant, Virginia Beach - 19 Jul 2016
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 18:22 pm
From: robbielawski AT gmail.com
 
Fellow Birders,

I had a bit of excitement this evening while on a walk around my
neighborhood, which turned quickly into a sprint home to get my camera. A
pair of adult Mississippi Kites were sitting about 50' up in a large tree
on Kings Landing Circle (just north of the more well known 'circle' of
Kings Grant).

When I returned to the spot ready to document the sighting, they naturally
had moved out of the tree... but were still soaring high up overhead, and
they were joined by 2 additional kites! I photographed the 4 as best I
could, though I never got more than 3 in the same frame, and they aren't
much more than specks at their dizzying heights. The 2 adults were joined
by a 1st summer individual (photos here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch....

The 4th individual is a bit of a mystery to me (3 is the most that have
been logged around the nest site this summer), all I can see in the photo
is that it is missing the same flight feathers on both wings. I am
certainly not a Kite expert, but it seems too early for a fledge-year
individual to be observed in flight (though last year at this same time
that fledgling was quite grown up according to photos in Tracy Tate's
reports: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch... I wonder if
perhaps this group isn't the same 2 adults that have nested the last two
years in Thoroughgood, joined by the young that hatched 2 years ago, and
last year's.

Rob Bielawski
Virginia Beach, VA
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Subject: Birding in Bar Harbor and Acadia NP, ME
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 13:41 pm
From: RoweRA AT vmi.edu
 
All - I have finally gone through my photos from Maine and have up-loaded some new photos from my trip to the Maine coast.  I birded in and around Bar Harbor and throughout Acadia NP.  In addition, I went on a whale watching trip - specifically to see birds but did get to see some whales.  In Bar Harbor and Acadia, I found Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, a  Peregrine Falcon, the usual gulls and there were a number of warblers and thrushes in the NP.  I heard numerous Black-throated Green W., Black-and-white W., Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireos, Redstarts, Blackburnian W., Tree Swallows, and a few other forest species.  On the whale watching tour, the boat took us near an island with nesting sea birds.  In the area were Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Arctic Terns, Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, and a few Laughing Gulls.  Out on the ocean, we saw several rafts of shearwaters - each raft had between 40-50 birds, mainly Greater Shearwaters.  There were a few So
oty Shearwaters and a few Wilson's Storm-petrels. On the whale side, we saw 2 Humpbacked Whales breaching and in general playing around, 1 Fin-backed Whale, and 1 Minke Whale.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

Dick Rowe
VMI Biology

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Subject: Fledgling Cowbird with Dark-eyed Junco
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 13:14 pm
From: tripacct1 AT gmail.com
 
Rainstorm moving in across Skyline right now. Took shelter in the Big
Meadow lodge. On the way in, I spotted a fleddgling Brown-headed Cowbird
begging in a tree. Then a Dark-eyed Junco landed and fed the junco an
insect. The tree they were in is the same one where I saw a fledgling
Dark-eyed Junco foraging with an adult Dark-eyed Junco. Another junco was
hopping around the parking lot. This one was slate colored.

Kelly Krechmer
Fauquier County
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Subject: Huntley Meadows/Little Blues and King Rail
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 13:01 pm
From: va-bird AT listserve.com
 
Sherman Suter and I went looking for Little Blues and King Rails at Huntley Meadows this morning. We found both. Only one King Rail calling from the direction of the Hike/Bike Platform while standing on the raised platform of the boardwalk loop.

We counted 4 Little Blues flying back and forth from Barnyard Run to the area near the new berm.

Added Bonus birds were 1 Snowy Egret mixing it up w. the Greats and Little Blues and 1 Spotted Sandpiper in flight. Water levels still a bit high - hopefully will be lower for shorebirds in August.

Rich Rieger
Alexandria
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Subject: Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch needs your help
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016 10:23 am
From: laubach AT virginia.edu
 
Fellow birders and hawk watchers, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch needs your help.

Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch was founded in 1976 to identify and count migrating raptors each fall from August 15 to November 30. Our hawk watch is located on Afton Mountain at the site of the Inn at Afton, easily accessible from highway 64. Because we are a small group of volunteers, we sometimes have difficulty in keeping the watch covered on a day-to-day basis, especially week days. This fall I am especially concerned that too many days might go uncovered due to a diminishing number of volunteer counters with cooperative schedules. Thus I am putting out a general call for help to all those who would consider volunteering their help with the raptor count this fall. To be an official counter, one must be able to accurately identify all of the expected raptor species that migrate down the eastern U.S. (there are 13 common species and 2 uncommon). In addition, one must be able to scan and locate/identify raptors in the sky, both near and far. If you aren’t skilled to this level but have interest in becoming a counter, we can provide the training to do so, don’t worry. The season is almost here! It’s more fun to count migrating raptors with others, so also consider teaming up with a friend. If you have any interest, know someone who may be interested, or have any questions, please contact me as soon as possible.

Regards,
Vic Laubach
Coordinator, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Waynesboro, VA
Look us up on Facebook
Email: laubach@virginia.edu
Phone: 434-249-2927
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