North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO3-NO4 2019

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/1115839

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 286 first for the Northern Neck, an Iceland Gull was part of a gull roost near the landfill in King George, VA 2 Apr (FA). Virginia's only Glaucous Gull of the season was at False Cape 14 Apr (DH, RW). The long returning Pacific Loon at Kerr 3 April (AD et al.) 9 April (MI) had company in the southern Piedmont when the third Pied - mont record was found at Sandy River Res- ervoir, Prince Edward, VA 9-12 May (CMS, m.ob.). Sooty Shearwaters are generally rare inshore but late spring has produced several reports; single birds along the Virginia Beach oceanfront 20 May (CW) and 21, 22 May (AB, TT) furthered this trend. American White Pelicans have regularly wintered at Hog in recent years and among many reports for the location this spring was a high of 21 birds on 26 Mar (AD). Away from Hog and the immediate coast the species is still a big, but increasing, surprise. Five flew over Belmont Bay, Prince William, VA 15 Apr (LC), 3 were there 7-8 May (LCh, m.ob.) and 2 were across the bay in Fairfax 14 May (LC), 5 were at Lake Anna, Orange, VA 26 Apr (TJ), and a single bird was in Frederick, VA 3 May (DB). Infrequent away from the coast, a Snowy Egret was at Lickinghole Creek, Albemarle, VA 5 May (AC, CM). Glossy Ibises are hard to physiographic provinces and 14 total counties and cities: Albemarle, Augusta, Clarke, Accomack, Craig, Highland, Isle of Wight, Loudon, Mont - gomery, Prince William, Rockbridge, Suffolk, Virginia Beach. Two notable flocks of American Avocets were documented away from the immediate coast this spring. At the College Creek Hawkwatch, James City, VA 1 May (BT) 17 north - bound birds were photographed and 32 birds were on the Potomac River 8 May moving between Arlington, VA (AS, LF) and Fairfax, VA (GH et al.) Perhaps the most outstanding event of the spring, an unprece - dented Piedmont flock of 125+ Whimbrel was flushed from a wet field by a passing train near the James River in Goochland, VA (ABr). The previous high away from the Coastal Plain was 37 birds in Loudon 27 May 1997. Three Long- billed Curlews which wintered at Gull Marsh, Northampton, VA were reported through 10 Apr (JA, EM, RK). The interior of the Chesa - peake Bay rarely produces spring Red Knots, so 5 at Cape Charles, Northampton, VA 14 May (ESB) and 2 at Bethel Beach, Mathews, VA 25 May (JA, EM) were excellent. A Ruff, identi - fied as a Reeve, foraging with a mixed flock of shorebirds in a flooded field in Gloucester, VA 13-19 May (JS, m.ob., TD), was a first for the Middle Peninsula. A remarkable 4 Baird's Sandpipers in a field in Accomack, VA 24 May (EG, NG) represented one of a very few spring records in the state. In - land Red-necked Phalaropes are rare spring migrants, excepting at Craney where they have be - come an annual May occurrence. A peak count of 9 birds 26 May (BW et al.) marked their sixth straight spring at the location GULLS THROUGH OWLS There were two Virginia locations with Black- headed Gulls; one was at Chinc. 11-22 Mar (GS, m.ob., BH) and another was at Little Creek Inlet, Norfolk, VA 19 Mar (AB) and 10 Apr (JF, JSt). A Franklin's Gull at Silver Lake, Rockingham, VA 27 May (acc. MF, WCh) was only the second for the Mountains and Valleys and first since 1898. A Arun Bose Ellison Orcutt –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SPRING 2016 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Abbreviations: Back Bay (Back Bay N.W.R., Virginia Beach, VA); Blandy (Blandy Experi - mental Farm, Clarke, VA), Chinc. (Chincote- ague N.W.R., Accomack, VA); Craney (Craney Island Disposal Area, Portsmouth, VA); False Cape (False Cape S.P., Virginia Beach, VA); Kerr (John H. Kerr Reservoir, Mecklenburg, VA), Merrimac Farm (Merrimac Farm W.M.A, Prince William, VA), Princess Anne (Princess Anne W.M.A., Virginia Beach, VA) WATERFOWL THROUGH SHOREBIRDS Six Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were at Cheriton Landfill, Northampton, VA 13 May (MI, ESB) and two were 10 miles north of that location 14-16 May (JF, JSt). Just the third Western Grebe for Virginia's Eastern Shore, found 28 February (TD et al.) on Machipongo River, Accomack/ Northampton, VA, was present through 10 Apr (JA, EM, RK). Single White-winged Doves 27 Apr Buchan - an, VA (JT et al.) and 30 May Highland, VA (JS) were both county records and exceptional for the Mountains and Valleys region. A very early arriving Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Back Bay 3 Apr (RB) was two weeks ahead of the previous Virginia early date of 17 Apr. Yellow Rails are rarely detected in Virginia, so imagine the surprise when an observer ly - ing in bed in Gargatha, Accomack, VA 12 May (JL) heard one calling. A farmer working alfalfa fields near Dunlap Creek, Alleghany, VA 10 May (JH) flushed the only Black Rail for Vir - ginia this spring, another bad sign for a species in serious trouble. A cooperative Purple Gal - linule at Princess Anne allowed many observ- ers to study and photograph it 16-29 May (RB, m.ob.). Sandhill Cranes continue to increase in Virginia. Records were widespread and rela - tively numerous, occurring in the three main Middle Atlantic This showy Purple Gallinule was at Princess Anne W.M.A, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 16-29 May 2016 (here 19 May). Many birders from across the state were able to catch up with this bird. Found by Rob Bielawski. Photograph by © Rob Bielawski Long-billed Curlews are regular at Gull Marsh, Northampton, VA during the winter months. These 2 birds were part of a trio observed by Jessica Ausura, Ernie Miller, and Rick Kellam on 10 April (here). Photo by © Jessica Ausura

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