North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

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.

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 29 M I D D L E AT L A N T I C were in King George, VA 1-16 Nov (acc. FA, m. ob.). Fall American Avocet numbers at Craney, the best Virginia location for the species, peaked at 184 individuals 20 Aug (BW et. al.). American Golden-plovers are not unusual in the region in fall, but six birds on Poplar Is - land, Talbot, Maryland 18 Nov (Tim Carney) marked a relatively high count for so late in the season. A Wilson's Plover photographed 1 Aug (EM et. al.) at Grandview Nature Pre - serve, Hampton, VA was noteworthy for being away from the Atlantic barrier islands. Notable for inland Virginia, a Hudsonian Godwit with an injured leg was present at LaGrange Lane, King George 1-13 Nov (acc. JF, m. ob.). Single Hudsonian Godwits were also at Chinc. 7 Oct (DW) and Craney 22 Oct (BW, DY) in Virgin - ia, and in Maryland birds were recorded from Baltimore, Talbot, Dorchester, and Worcester in small numbers. A count of about 300 Marbled Godwits 16 Nov at Willis Wharf, Northampton (WE) was the high count of the season. A Ruff photographed from the wildlife loop at Chinc. 16 Aug (RA et al.) was added to a long list of records from the location. Maryland checked in with a Ruff as well, but interestingly the bird was from a Piedmont location; it was a one- day-wonder on the Paper Mill Flats at Loch Raven Reservoir, Baltimore 13 Sept (Brian Roll - finke). It was a good fall for Baird's Sandpiper in Virginia with reports from Mecklenburg 29- 31 Aug and 7 Sep (acc. PG, JB et. al.), 5 Sep King William (AB, EO), 6-13 Sep Augusta (GM, AR, m. ob.), 17 & 24 Sep Portsmouth (DY et. al.), 31 Oct Rockingham (DH). Similarly, Buff- breasted Sandpipers were recorded 29 Aug–20 Sep Mecklenburg (m. ob.), 2 Sep Northamp - ton (ZP), 4 Sep Accomack (JBu, CM), 5 Sep Mathews (EO, AB) 5-14 Sep Charles City (EO, AB, m. ob.), 23 Sep Rockingham (acc. MG). ington (Mark Rositol) and Salisbury, Wicomico (Mike Walsh) and a third bird was located in Parkville, Baltimore 30 Sept (Pete Rattigan). The Mississippi Kite expansion into the mid- Atlantic resulted in widespread fall sightings in VA. Birds were recorded in Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Grayson, Halifax, Henrico, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Prince George, Pe - tersburg, Prince William, Radford, and Virginia Beach (m. ob.). Maryland was also visited by this species, though less widely. In Aug, indi - viduals were found in Baltimore and Howard and 13 Sept (Daniel Irons) yielded a record from Queen Anne's. Single Swainson's Hawks were counted 21 & 22 Sep at Kiptopeke (acc. EG, GS), the most reliable location for this species in Virginia. The following day, 23 Sep, Virginia's first Zone-tailed Hawk soared over Kiptopeke (EG, m. ob.) and remained in the area through 28 Sep (acc. EG, HTA et.al.) when it was seen heading south over the hawk watch platform. Remarkably, likely the same bird was photographed at a hawk watch in coastal CT 20 Sep (m. ob.) and in Cape May, NJ 23 Sep (m. ob.), just hours be - fore arriving at Kiptopeke. A Scarlet Ibis photographed 19 Aug on the New River, Giles, VA (KM et.al.) was presumed to be an escapee and not accepted by VARCOM. The White Ibis movement that began over the summer continued, to some extent, into the fall season. Most notably, 138 birds were found at Assateague Bayside Camp - ground 11 Sept (Marcia Balestri) An immature Purple Gallinule was found deceased from an apparent building collision 15 Nov on the fifteenth floor of a Virginia Beach residence (MM). A Sandhill Crane flew over the highway in Frederick, VA 18 Aug (BWh) and four Eared Grebes are a sought-after species—three individuals were found at Hurlock Waste Wa - ter Treatment Plant, Dorchester 13-21 Sept (Rick Palmer) and multiple reports came from the western Chesapeake Bay shore, from 15 Aug–21 Oct (m. ob.). These reports likely re - ferred to the same bird and came from mul- tiple nearby sites in Baltimore and Anne Arun- del. Virginia's first Brown Booby outside of the Coastal Plain was at Kerr 24 Aug–20 Sep where it frequented channel markers near the dam (acc. EL, m. ob., CW). Maryland was also graced with an extended visit from this spe - cies; two birds were found, surprisingly, in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore City 5 Sept– 30 Nov (Nico Sarbanes, m. ob.) and represented Maryland's second record, the first having been in 2009. Four American White Pelicans, rare on Virginia's Piedmont, were at Staunton View Park, Mecklenburg 28-30 Sep (acc. PG et. al.) and one remained 5 Oct (JB). In Maryland, American White Pelicans continue to be a rela - tively confined to Blackwater National Wild- life Refuge, Dorchester; this year, the location produced a new state high count, when 73 birds were tallied on 28 Nov (Doug Graham). Neotropic Cormorants remain quite rare in the region, so a bird in Violette's Lock, Montgom - ery, 1-23 Aug (m. ob.) was noteworthy. Single Cattle Egrets 2-8 Aug Shirley Plan - tation, Charles City (EO) and 5 Oct Mainland Farm, James City (BW) marked the only inland fall records in Virginia for this locally declin - ing species. An exciting find in Maryland was a second state record Reddish Egret at Skim - mer Island, Worcester 28 Sept–6 Oct (Dan Small, m. ob.). The only prior record is from the same location, and came from approxi - mately twelve years earlier. A Swallow-tailed Kite in Franklin 5 Aug (LS) was the only Virginia sighting during the sea - son, but Maryland had several reports. Single birds were seen on 2 Aug in Weverton, Wash - A first record for Virginia's Piedmont region, this Brown Booby was found by Gene Larson at John H. Kerr Reservoir, Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The bird stayed from 24 August (here)–17 September 2015. Photo by © Gene Larson. This Zone-tailed Hawk sailed over the hawk watch platform at Kipto- peke State Park, Northampton County, Virginia, 23 September (here) and was observed by Charlie Boykin, Bob Anderson, and Eli Gross. It was also seen 24 September between Kiptopeke and the southern tip of the peninsula, and then again at Kiptopeke on 28 September. This was the first record for Virginia. Photo by © Charlie Boykin.

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