North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO2 2015

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/502371

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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 2 199 M i d d l e At l A n t i c et al.). Up to 4 American White Pelicans were at or near Back Bay 2-29 Dec (RLAk). Additional reports include 9 at Fisherman Island, Northampton 21 Dec (DMi) and 15 over Thomas Nelson Community College, Newport News 9 Jan (SE). The long-stay- ing American White Pelicans at Blackwater N.W.R., Dorchester, MD peaked this season at 69 birds 26 Dec (fde HTA). A wing-tagged Great Egret in Virginia Beach 4 Jan had been banded on Nottawasaga Island, ON in Jun 2012 (fde RL). The 138 White Ibis count at Princess Anne W.M.A., Virginia Beach 12 Jan (RF) made the winter's high count. A Purple Gallinule recovered near Pleasure House Point, Virginia Beach 30 Dec (KRo) had collided with a condominium door. A rare winter visitor, 2 Sandhill Cranes were in Loudoun, VA 15 Dec (B&CW). A fock of 29 Sandhill Cranes was seen fying over Blad- ensburg Waterfront Park, Prince George's, MD 13 Dec (TO). The Cape Charles C.B.C. recorded 784 Willets and 17 Whimbrels (fde HTA). The count of 235 Marbled God- wits at Willis Wharf, Northampton 16 Dec (HTA) represented half the birds wintering in that vicinity. A Pectoral Sandpiper on the Hopewell C.B.C. 15 Dec (fde AB) made a very rare winter record. Rare on Maryland's Western Shore in winter, a Western Sand- piper was at North Beach, Calvert 17 Dec (JH, ALe); one was also there 9 Feb (JL, ML). Five Dovekies were rare for the Little Creek C.B.C. 31 Dec; a single was at Back Bay 24 Jan (RLAk, JBl). The 198 Dovekies exceeded the 110 Razorbills on the Mary- land pelagic trip, Worcester 1 Feb (MLH et al.). Razorbills made a good showing off the Virginia capes 4 Dec–1 Feb for the second consecutive winter. The frst Razorbill of the season was at C.B.B.T. 4 Dec (SB, LM), and 2 were at Chinc. 7 Dec (PR, TMD). Notable numbers of Razorbill included 32 ally common and abun- dant, as they were along much of the East Coast this season, almost cer- tainly refugees from the freezing Great Lakes. Among these birds were many striking ad. males, a plumage/age normally quite scarce in the Re- gion. Approximately 5% of all Maryland eBird checklists in Feb con- tained White-winged Scoters, and they were seen in 17 of Maryland's 23 counties as well as in Washington D.C.; num- bers peaked in the last month of the season (m.ob.). An ad. male White-winged Scoter captured along a Stuarts Draft, Augusta road 28 Jan was transported to the Wildlife Cen- ter of Virginia in Waynesboro and success- fully released in Chesapeake Bay 31 Jan (fde DP). First found here in 2011, an ad. male Barrow's Goldeneye once again returned to the Elms Environmental Education Center, St. Mary's, MD 21 Dec–12 Jan (ML, m.ob.); the species is still unverifed in Virginia. A mere 18 Northern Bobwhite in total were found on only three of coastal Virginia's ten Christmas Bird Counts (fde BW). GREBES THROUGH DOVES As open water in the upper Midwest, Great Lakes region, and Northeast froze, Red- necked Grebe sightings increased from a single at Craney 5 Dec (BT et al.) to 17 birds 16 Feb: one on Onancock Creek, Accomack (VS, SS), 7 off the C.B.B.T. (m.ob., fde NN), and 9 along the Virginia Beach/Norfolk wa- terfront (ABa). Inland Red-necked Grebes in Virginia included singles at Sherando Lake, Augusta 8 Feb (BTe) and at Fisherville, Au- gusta 8-28 Feb (ph. DLe, GMo, AL et al.) that made fourth and ffth county records. Red- necked Grebes were also found in 16 Mary- land counties, as well as Washington D.C. (m.ob.). Though counts were not as high as they were during the 1994 or 2003 irrup- tions, Maryland still boasted fve double- digit counts; the highest count was 19 on the Patuxent River at California, St. Mary's 16 Feb (ML). A Western Grebe was well de- scribed from the ocean side of Smith Island, Northampton 30 Dec (DCr, m.ob.). A Northern Fulmar, a Sooty Shearwater, and 5 Manx Shearwaters were ca. 48 km e. of Virginia Beach 26 Jan (ph. TJ, GD). A Mary- land pelagic out of Ocean City, Worcester 1 Feb produced 7 Northern Fulmars (MLH from a total of 10 counties (m.ob.). Perhaps with the increased scrutiny of white goose focks, it is only natural that we should also receive more reports of Snow x Ross's hybrids, such as the singles at Snow Hill, Worcester, MD 28 Jan (GD, TJ) and at the Rte. 113 Pond, Worcester 30 Jan (TJ). A Brant photographed at Hog Island W.M.A., Surry on the Williamsburg C.B.C. 15 Dec (fde AD) made a frst count record. The second state record in as many years, 2 Barnacle Geese were observed at Swan Harbor, Harford, MD 19-22 Dec (m.ob.) and were subsequently relocated 32 km w. on Rte. 152, Harford 29 Dec (MDH). Of the many Cackling Goose reports this season, the 10 at Hains Point, Washington D.C. 1 Jan (HM) stood out as an unusually high number. Ten Eurasian Wi- geons were found in a total of fve Maryland counties 17 Dec–12 Jan (m.ob.); 3 males and a female made an exceptional day's count at Chinc. 1 Dec (RLAk). Rare though annual, a Eurasian Teal was a nice fnd at Chinc. 12 Dec (EE). A Mandarin Duck was a surprising fnd at Burke Lake, Fairfax 5 Dec (FB). Perhaps driven into the Region by the freezing bodies of water to the north, Red- heads were abundant this season. Nowhere was this more obvious than on the stretch of the Potomac River between Riley's Lock and Violette's Lock, Montgomery, MD, where 500 were regularly reported throughout the season. Rarely documented, a Canvasback x Redhead hybrid was found at White Swan Drive Community Park, Anne Arundel, MD 12-25 Jan (FM, m.ob.). The 2358 Lesser Scaup tallied at multiple James City locations 4 Feb (fde AD) established a new local high count, shattering the previous high of 500 birds from 5 Apr 1982. A reliable imm. male King Eider drew birders to Rudee Inlet, Vir- ginia Beach 2 Dec+ (RBr, CW). Very rare in the Bay, a female King Eider was discovered at Sandy Point S.P. 1 Jan (FM). It remained in the area, drifting as far s. as North Beach, Calvert MD 4 Feb (JLS). Two female Harle- quin Ducks off Yorktown, York 21 Dec–1 Jan (ph. BW) yielded a frst local record; 2 at Little Island Park, Virginia Beach 16 Dec–1 Jan (KK, JEs) were probably the same birds seen at Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach 31 Dec (AD, TT). Up to 2 Harlequin Ducks visited the Willoughby section of Norfolk 25 Jan–9 Feb (JF, R&GH); and one was at Lynnhaven Inlet, Virginia Beach 16 Feb (ph. KK, m.ob.). In Maryland, 2 Harlequins were at Sandy Point S.P., Anne Arundel 27-31 Jan (Dan Haas, m.ob.), and an ad. male returned to Fort Armistead Park, Baltimore 21 Dec–13 Feb (RJ, m.ob.), for the fourth consecutive year. White-winged Scoters were unusu- This frst-cycle gull appears to be a Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid, not previously documented in Virginia. It was photographed at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on 1 January 2014. Photograph by Tom Johnson.

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