Highlights this year included Calliope Hummingbird at Annapolis-Gibson Island, an Allen’s Hummingbird on the Point Lookout Count and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Wilmington Count. I read (on local mailing lists; as noted by Seneca Compiler Jim Nelson) some conversations about lower numbers of chickadees and Tufted Titmouse and there may be data here to support that claim but only if you ignore (or account for) effort and weather effects specific to those counts (I’m just summarizing here, not running statistics)? Bombay Hook had a surprisingly low count of Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers. Compiler Andrew Ednie pointed out that the numbers are possibly due to a decrease in Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera) which, in turn, is due to coastal flooding. Similarly, Jim Nelson reports having only eight on the Seneca Count as being the lowest since 1963. They were low counts for others too, including Patuxent River (though not an all-time lc; it was missed once) and Chesterville who also noted a Cedar Waxwing low count. These reduced tallies were possibly due to lack of berries such as those produced by the Myrica shrubs among others.
Editor Codes used in this report are bd (banded), cw (count week), hc (high count), lc (low count), nd (no details provided), and us (unusual species).
Jug Bay and Lower Kent County each had a Greater White-fronted Goose (us). Chesterville had a high of 47,058 Snow Geese. On the Milford Count 3153 Snow Geese was an all-time low (over their 17 counts). At Seaford-Nanticoke 1372 was considered to be a low count. Chesterville also had a high of nine Ross’ Geese and Seneca had one (us). Bombay Hook and Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had five and seven Ross’s Geese respectively. Eleven Maryland counts and two Delaware counts had Cackling Geese. Rock Run has had as many as eight (3 years ago) but seven Cackling Geese is still a high count. Rock Run considered one Mute Swan to be a low count. Seaford-Nanticoke had 16 Trumpeter Swans, Salisbury had three, and Lower Kent County had one (us). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 680 Tundra Swans (hc), Crisfield had 444 (hc), Annapolis-Gibson Island had 63 (lc) and Jug Bay had 38 (lc).
Jug Bay had two Wood Ducks (all-time low out of 36 counts). At Sugarloaf Mountain, 15 was an all-time high count. Middle River had 82 Gadwall (lc). At Chesterville, two American Wigeon was a low count (only ever missed once). At Jug Bay Jug Bay, 86 American Black Ducks was an all-time low. St. Michaels had only seven American Black Ducks which is an all-time low over 63 counts! Middle River had 332 Mallards (lc). Port Tobacco’s low was 29 and Seneca’s low count was 19 (although it has been missed in previous years). On the Washington County Count, 169 Mallards was an all-time low over 48 counts. Bowie had 66 and Annapolis-Gibson Island had five Northern Shovelers (hc) and 10 at Middle River was a low over the five years running that count. Jug Bay had two Northern Pintail (lc out of 35 counts only missed once) while four on the Patuxent River Count was a high count.
Middle River had 86 and Chesterville had 13 Canvasback (hc). Annapolis-Gibson Island had 4134 and Middle River had 680 Lesser Scaup (hc). Rehoboth had six Common Eiders (hc). On the Point Lookout Count, White-winged Scoter is rarely missed so one for the count was considered exceptionally low. Middle River had 18 Long-tailed Ducks (1st occurrence) and Port Tobacco had five (hc). Southern Dorchester had 681 Bufflehead, Seaford-Nanticoke had 47, Bowie had 42, and Chesterville had 15 Bufflehead (all hc). Bowie had 215 Hooded Mergansers, Southern Dorchester had 201, Crisfield had 162, and Catoctin had five (hc). Triadelphia had an astounding 3500 Common Mergansers (hc). At Seneca 38 Common Mergansers was considered a high count but they have had as many as 52 (count 114). Chesterville had 29 and Middle River had five establishing new high counts of Common Merganser for these relatively new CBCs. Common Merganser low counts were 40 (Patuxent River all-time low) and seven (Jug Bay; missed twice previously).
QUAIL & TURKEY
Oakland had a new high of 1390, Triadelphia had 40 (beating last year’s new high of 36), Patuxent River had 28, and Middle River had eight Wild Turkeys for a new high count, while Chesterville had only one (lc).
LOONS & GREBES – GANNETS & PELICANS
Annapolis-Gibson Island had a Red-necked Grebe (their 5th). Seneca and Chesterville each had a low of two Pied-Billed Grebes. Patuxent River had 100 Common Loons (hc). Bowie had 43 Double-crested Cormorants (hc) while 105 was a low for the Patuxent River Count.
VULTURES - HAWKS & EAGLES
Bowie had 639, Chesterville had 296, Annapolis-Gibson Island had 250, Wilmington had 221 Black Vultures (all hc). Bowie had 398 Turkey Vultures and Middle River had 218 (hc). Triadelphia had only 13 Turkey Vultures (lc; all-time).
Sugarloaf had and Osprey (us). St. Michaels had a Golden Eagle (us). Patuxent River had six Northern Harriers for a high count while Milford had seven for an all-time low count (over their 17 counts). Rock Run (2nd occurrence) and Rehoboth (4th occurrence) each had a Northern Goshawk. Middle River had 77, Bowie had 73, Annapolis-Gibson Island had 71, and Middletown had 67 Bald Eagles (all hc). Chesterville had a high of 20 Red-shouldered Hawks, Salisbury had 16, and Crisfield had 15, Seaford-Nanticoke had 13, and Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had five (all hc). Middle River had nine for a low count. Seaford-Nanticoke had 13 Red-tailed Hawks (2nd lowest in 36 Counts) and Jug Bay had eight (lowest in 36 counts). Patuxent River had their third Rough-legged Hawk and Milford had their first.
RAILS & CRANES - HERONS & EGRETS
Middle River had four Virginia Rails (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook and two and South Dorchester had one Common Gallinule (us). Seneca and Middletown each had two Sandhill Cranes (us). Middle River had a low of 31 Great Blue Herons. Bowie had a Great Egret (us).
Bowie had only two Killdeer for a low count and two on the South Dorchester Count was low as well (has been missed). Bombay Hook had four Marbled Godwits (hc; us). Ocean City had only 43 Sanderlings (all-time low count). Salisbury had 93 Dunlin (hc) while 33 on the Milford count was an all-time low count (over 17 counts). The Purple Sandpiper Count of two was another all-time low count for Ocean City. Sugarloaf Mountain had one American Woodcock (us; 3rd occurrence) and Rock Run had eight (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had a Willet (us; 1st occurrence). Salisbury had five Lesser Yellowlegs (hc).
ALCIDS – GULLS
Ocean City had 30 Razorbills (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 354 Razorbills and Rehoboth had 61 (both count highs). Ocean City had a jaeger sp. (us). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had four Black-headed Gulls (hc). Middle River had 4307 Ring-billed Gulls (hc). On the Middle River Count 1971 Herring Gulls was a new count high. Herring Gull numbers registered as low counts for Jug Bay (251), Millford (128), Rock Run (51), and Patuxent River (24) though the numbers for Rock Run and Jug Bay were not record lows. Annapolis-Gibson Island had one Iceland Gull (us; 7th occurrence) and Ocean City had one (their 12th). Iceland Gull counts in Delaware were three at each of Seaford-Nanticoke & Wilmington and two at Bombay Hook. Wilmington had an all-time high count of 57 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Other high numbers were 100 at Seaford-Nanticoke, and 41 at Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook with modest counts at three other Delaware areas (Bombay Hook & Milford – 2, Rehoboth - 3) and 5 Maryland counts (Ocean City – 5, Middle River & Salisbury – 4, Annapolis-Gibson Island & Jug Bay - 1). Middle River also had 226 Great Black-backed Gulls (hc).
DOVES, OWLS, HUMMINGBIRDS, KINGFISHER
Rock Run had 115, Middle River had 87, and Milford had 71 Rock Pigeons (all low counts). Middle River had 119 Mourning Doves and Port Tobacco had 17 (lc; missed once before at Port Tobacco). Southern Dorchester had 33, and Patuxent River had nine Eastern Screech-Owls (both hc). For Milford, four Eastern Screech-Owls was an all-time low (over 17 counts). Middle River had a high of two Great Horned Owls. Two Great Horned Owls on the St. Michaels Count was an all-time low count (over their 63 counts) and one was an all-time low for Milford. Chesterville had a count high of four Northern Saw-whet Owls. Annapolis-Gibson Island had a Calliope Hummingbird (us; 1st occurrence). Wilmington had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (us; nd). Patuxent River had a Rufous Hummingbird (bd). Point Lookout had an Allen’s Hummingbird (bd). Middle River had 20 Belted Kingfishers, and Chesterville had 15 (hc).
Salisbury had two Red-headed Woodpeckers (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 69 Red-bellied Woodpeckers (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had nine Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (hc) while Oakland had two (hc), and Milford had one (lc; all-time over 17 counts). Port Tobacco had a low of 11 Downy Woodpeckers and Allegany had a low count of eight. Chesterville had 34 Hairy Woodpeckers (hc), Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 18 (hc), and Seaford-Nanticoke had 11 (hc; almost all-time but there were 12 in count 108). On the Middle River Count, four Hairy Woodpeckers was a low count and two on the Washington County Count was an all-time low over 48 counts. Port Tobacco had only one (lc over 40 counts). The 41 Northern Flickers on the Middle River Count was a low count. Crisfield had 28 Pileated Woodpeckers (hc) and Middletown had seven (hc). Allegany had only two flickers for a count low.
A single American Kestrel on the Middletown Count was an all-time (68-year) low count. Annapolis Gibson Island had four Merlins, and both Patuxent River and Sugarloaf had three Merlins (hc). Jug Bay had two for a count high. Middle River has had one Merlin every year for the five years they’ve run the count, including one this year. Chesterville had two Peregrine Falcons (hc).
SONGBIRDS, FLYCATCHERS, SHRIKES, CORVIDS
Patuxent River had 10 (hc) and Bowie had two Eastern Phoebes (lc). Salisbury had a White-eyed Vireo (us). Chesterville had 557 Blue Jays (hc). Ocean City had 728 American Crows (hc). Washington County had 90 (lc over 48 counts) and Catoctin had 71 American Crows for an all-time low over 70 counts. Middle River had 151 for a low count. Seneca had an all-time high of 2456 Fish Crows and Sugarloaf Mountain had 695 (hc). Annapolis-Gibson Island had a Common Raven (3rd occurrence). Port Tobacco had their first. Sugarloaf Mountain had 14 ravens and Bowie had five (hc).
HORNED LARK – BROWN CREEPER
Sugarloaf Mountain had eight (lc) and Milford had seven Horned Larks (lc over 17 counts). Sugarloaf Mountain had 180 (lc), Middle River had a low count of 98, and Port Tobacco had 31 Carolina Chickadees (lc). St. Michaels had 90 for an all-time low over 63 counts. Allegany had 11 Black-capped Chickadee (lc). A single well-described Black-capped Chickadee on the Seaford-Nanticoke Count is an unusual species for the area. Oakland had 147 Tufted Titmouse (hc). Sugarloaf Mountain had 125, Port Tobacco had 60, Middle River had 46 and Allegany had seven Tufted Titmouse (all lc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 67, Seaford-Nanticoke had 66, and Chesterville had 42 Red-breasted Nuthatches (all hc). Middletown had 52 and Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 24 White-breasted Nuthatches (hc). Allegany had four White-breasted Nuthatches (lc). Chesterville had 50, Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 35, and Seaford-Nanticoke had 22 Brown Creepers (all hc).
WRENS – KINGLETS
Salisbury had 12 House Wrens (hc). Patuxent River had 178 and Oakland had 20 Carolina Wrens (both hc). Jug Bay had a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (us). Chesterville had 78 Golden-crowned Kinglets (hc). At Seneca, 35 was the lowest since 1981. Nineteen on Rock Run was considered a low count and five at Port Tobacco was a 40-year low. Ruby-crowned Kinglet can be tough to find in winter in Western Maryland. One was seen well on the Oakland Count (us). Eight Ruby-crowned Kinglets was a low at Middle River and six (also low) on the Rock Run Count.
THRUSHES, MIMIDS, STARLING, & WAXWING
Middle River had eight Hermit Thrushes and Port Tobacco had four (lc). Chesterville had 1176 American Robins (hc). Chesterville had seven Gray Catbirds (hc) and 14 Brown Thrashers (hc). Middle River had one Brown Thrasher (lc). Milford had 32 Northern Mockingbirds, Port Tobacco had 23, and Middle River had 31 (all lc). Middle River had a low of 981 European Starlings. Chesterville had 16 Cedar Waxwings and Milford had two (lc).
LAPLAND LONGSPUR & SNOW BUNTING
One of the main highlights on the Catoctin Count was a Lapland Longspur (us) and Chesterville had three (new hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had Lapland Longspur for count week. They also had 112 Snow Buntings on that count, Middle River had five (first occurrence), and Milford had one.
Point Lookout had their 6th Orange-crowned Warbler and Rock Run had two (hc). Seven Maryland counts and 3 Delaware counts had one or more (up to 3) Common Yellowthroats. There was one on the Oakland Count (us; 3rd occurrence). Sugarloaf Mountain had one for count week. Rock Run had a Magnolia Warbler. Seven Maryland counts and 2 Delaware counts had Palm Warblers with 16 at Chesterville (12 yellow and 4 Western) and 15 at Ocean City (7 undetermined and 8 Western) and five on the Lower Kent County Count (hc). Nine Maryland counts and 3 Delaware counts had one or more Pine Warblers. Jug Bay and Triadelphia had Pine Warbler for count week. As mentioned in the introduction there were several low counts for Myrtle Warbler (Patuxent River – 19, Middle River – 15, Chesterville – 7, Bombay Hook – 4, Middletown - 4). Denton, Seaford-Nanticoke, Triadelphia, and Wilmington each reported only one. Some but not all of these were “all-time” lows with a few counts having missed the species in the past.
SPARROWS, TOWHEES, BUNTINGS
Ocean City had two Nelson’s Sparrows. Elkton and Sugarloaf Mountain each had only one American Tree Sparrow (lc). Annapolis-Gibson Island had 36 Chipping Sparrows (hc). Crisfield had three Clay-colored Sparrows (hc; nd) and Middletown and Salisbury each had one (their 5th). Middle River had 30 Field Sparrows (hc). Elkton had 10 (lc), and Seaford-Nanticoke had two (all-time lc). Chesterville had 32 Fox Sparrows (hc). Seaford-Nanticoke had 217, Washington County had 166, and Allegany had 40 Slate-colored Juncos (all lc). Chesterville had 301 White-crowned Sparrows (hc; and one Gambel’s), while Rock Run had two, Seneca had two, and Jug Bay only had one (lc). Chesterville had a new count high of 1193 Song Sparrows. Bombay Hook, Southern Dorchester, and Salisbury each had a Lincoln’s Sparrow (us). Chesterville had 142 and Oakland had eight Swamp Sparrows (both hc). Oakland had three Eastern Towhees (hc). Point Lookout had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak for count week.
Ocean City had a Dickcissel (us). Milford had 1333 Red-winged Blackbirds (lc; all-time over 17 counts), Port Tobacco had 436, and Middle River had 435 (lc). Salisbury had only three Eastern Meadowlarks (lc - 60 year low). Seaford-Nanticoke had 72 Rusty Blackbirds (hc; all-time). Denton had 35,400 Common Grackles (hc; not all-time). Denton had 1908 Brown-headed Cowbirds (hc) and Chesterville had 16 (lc).
FINCHES & HOUSE SPARROW
Sugarloaf Mountain had 62 House Finches (lc). Middle River had 50 House Finches (lc). Middle River had 33 Purple Finches (hc). Jug Bay had three Red Crossbills (us). Middle River had an Evening Grosbeak (us). Catoctin had 106 House Sparrows (lc; all-time low over 70 counts). Washington County had 27 for an all-time low over 48 counts and Port Tobacco had two (lc).