Low temperatures averaged 31.3 across all counts (n=31), and highs averaged 48.0. There was a minimum low of 19 (Oakland), maximum low of 50 (Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook), minimum high of 28 (Oakland), and a maximum high of 65 at Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook (all temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit). Snow cover was zero on all counts. The strongest winds were at Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook (15-35 mph).

There continue to be a lot of high counts for Bald Eagles (7 counts) consistent with their recovery and increasing numbers. A decline in Sharp-shinned Hawks has been documented starting in the 1980s and 1990’s (Viverette et. al. 1996). It may be a stretch to use high or low counts as data supporting such trends. The Patuxent River Count had a low count of one, whereas they had a high last year of seven. Note that the Patuxent River Count was first run in 1995 (after the decline was well underway).

As you would expect, high counts occur frequently on counts that are new. For example, note the number of high counts occurring on the relatively new Chesterville Count (25 or more including first occurrences) that started in 2007. Incidentally we are happy to welcome a brand new count this year (Middle River) compiled by Pete Webb.

The Snowy Owl invasion was mostly last year but they were still reported on two counts this year. Winter Finches were largely absent except for a few Pine Siskins and some Evening Grosbeaks at Chesterville.

Other highlights included a Summer Tanager at Seneca, Ash-throated Flycatcher at Catoctin Mountain, Say’s Phoebe at Chesterville, and a Vermillion Flycatcher on the Crisfield Count. Other great birds included Yellow-headed Blackbird on the Lower Kent Count, a Northern Goshawk, shrikes and more.

Waterfowl

Geese

Greater White-fronted Geese were at Oakland (2), Bombay Hook (cw), and Rock Run (cw). Chesterville had a nicely sketched Canada Goose x Greater White-fronted hybrid. The Allegany count had two Ross’s Geese (1st occurrence). Milford had an amazing high count of 10 Ross’s Geese. Bombay Hook had a nice high count of eight, Rehoboth and Chesterville both had respectable high counts of six and five (respectively), and Ocean City had three (not a hc). They also had 288 Blue Snow Geese and Milford had 250 Blue Geese (high counts of that form). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had not (not a hc). Annapolis-Gibson Island had a single Cackling Goose and Bowie had four (8th occurrence for each). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had four (not hc). Lower Kent County had a nice high count of 23 Cackling Geese. The Oakland Count had a high count of seven, Rock Run had two (not a hc), Seneca had two (1st occurrence), Bombay Hook had one, Salisbury had one, and Middle River had one for their count. Salisbury and Oakland each had highs of Canada Geese (13,963 and 2420 respectively).

Swans

The Allegany Count had a Trumpeter Swan that has been there since June. South Dorchester had 36 Tundra Swans (somewhat low)

Ducks

At Bombay Hook a near high of 32 Wood Ducks is close to the hc of 33 set in count 112. Milford had a high count of Gadwall (504) and Ocean City had a high of 407. Rehoboth had high counts of Gadwall (553) and they had a Eurasian Wigeon (16th occurrence) and a high of seven Mallard x Black Duck hybrids. The Lower Kent County Count had some good waterfowl too including a Eurasian Wigeon, and high counts of Greater (18,561) and Lesser (39,672) scaup. Ocean City had a Eurasian Wigeon and Bombay Hook had one for count week. Oakland had a high count of a number of ducks including 75 Northern Pintail, 249 Redhead, 100 Bufflehead, 30 Common Mergansers, and 2554 Ruddy Ducks. Chesterville had a high of 37 Northern Pintail, 92 Green-winged Teal, and two Redhead (1st occurrence). They had a high of 206 Common Mergansers and 22 Ruddy Ducks. Denton had a high of 26 Hooded Mergansers and also had three Red-breasted Mergansers (1st occurrence). South Dorchester had 402 Redhead and 93 Hooded Mergansers (near the high count of 95).  Rock Run had a White-winged Scoter of count week and a high of 561 Ruddy Ducks. Jug Bay had 1855 Bufflehead and 1822 Ruddy Ducks (both hc). Saint Michaels had 21 Northern Shovelers which is close to the all-time HC of 22 (count 114). Triadelphia had a single Long-tailed Duck. Washington County had a hc of two Ring-necked Ducks. Point Lookout had a Barrows Goldeneye (again; mo). Bombay Hook had a high of 149 Bufflehead. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had a high of two Blue-winged Teal, and 535 Bufflehead. Milford had high counts of Redhead (2), Surf Scoter (408), and Bufflehead (94). Wilmington had a high of 179 Bufflehead.

Turkey and Quail

Chesterville had a high count of 67 Northern Bobwhite. Denton had a high of 81 Wild Turkey.

Grebes & Loons

Denton had 4 Pied-billed Grebes (hc). Oakland had a high of 24 Common Loons and 53 Horned Grebes. The Patuxent River Count had 20 Common Loons (hc) and one Red-necked Grebe.

Pelicans & Cormorants

Crisfield had four Am. White Pelicans and South Dorchester had 23. Lower Kent had 480 Double-crested Cormorants (hc) and a high of five Great Cormorants. Annapolis-Gibson Island had six Brown Pelicans. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had high counts of 2650 Northern Gannets and 284 Double-crested Cormorants. Milford had a high count of 48 Double-crested Cormorants, while Sugarloaf had a single (only their 3rd).

Herons & Egrets

Annapolis-Gibson Island had three Cattle Egrets. Rehoboth had a Green Heron.

Vultures

High counts of Black Vultures were 470 at Jug Bay, 331 at Bowie, and 179 at Crisfield.

Falcons & Hawks

High counts of Bald Eagles were 91 at Chesterville, 69 at Annapolis-Gibson Island, 65 at Bombay Hook, 61 at Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook, 54 at Milford, 49 at Triadelphia, 35 at Patuxent River, and 10 at Oakland. Seventy-four at Seaford-Nanticoke was very near the high of 75 set during count 112.

Patuxent River had a low count of one Sharp-shinned Hawk. There were several high counts of Cooper’s Hawks (Bombay Hook 16, Saint Michaels 14, Triadelphia 13, and Jug Bay 12). Crisfield had a Northern Goshawk (3rd Occurrence).

High counts of Red-shouldered Hawk were 15 at Wilmington, 14 at Saint Michaels, eight at Middletown. Eleven on the Washington County Count is close to the high of 12 from count 112. Bombay Hook had a count week Rough-legged Hawk. Oakland had a high of 22 Red-tailed Hawks. Bombay Hook had a Golden Eagle (7th occurrence).

Rock Run had a low count of two American Kestrels. Merlins are never abundant at any one count and high counts are never big numbers, but there were several all-time highs this season. Annapolis-Gibson Island, Denton, Triadelphia, Lower Kent, and Sugarloaf all had two. Crisfield had six Merlins. Sugarloaf had two Peregrine Falcons (hc; 8th occurrence), Seaford-Nanticoke had two, and Allegany had their 2nd ever.

Rails, Coots, Cranes

Milford had two Clapper Rails (hc). Lower Kent had three King Rails (hc). Rock Run had two Virginia Rails (hc) and South Dorchester had one Sora (11th occurrence).

South Dorchester had a Common Gallinule. Bombay Hook had a high count of 8141 American Coots. Bombay Hook and Middle River each had one Sandhill Crane while Bowie had a high of three (5th occurrence for that count).

Shorebirds

Rock Run had a high count of 84 Killdeer. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had a high count of 55 American Avocets. Bombay Hook had 70 Greater Yellowlegs (hc). Salisbury had two Lesser Yellowlegs (2nd Occurrence). Milford had 14 Ruddy Turnstones (hc). Saint Michaels had a count week Sanderling and a count week Dunlin. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had a High of 2361 Dunlin. Rock Run had a single Dunlin (2nd occurrence). Jug Bay had 12 Purple Sandpipers (hc).

Gulls & Terns

Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had a Black-headed Gull and its 4th Little Gull. Middle River had two Laughing Gulls. Lower Kent had a Franklin’s Gull (also widely reported at the sewage treatment plant in Chestertown). One Bonaparte’s Gull at Salisbury was only the 3rd Occurrence for that count. While 364 Ring-billed Gulls was a low count for the Patuxent River Count, 20 was a high for the inland Allegany Count. Denton had a high of 800 Herring Gulls. An Iceland Gull was considered a count week bird for the Seneca Count since the observer was not a CBC participant. They also had a Great Black-backed Gull (cw). Denton had 97 Great Black-backeds (hc). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had one each Glaucous and Iceland Gull and a high of 64 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Milford had their first Glaucous Gull, second ever Iceland Gull, and a high of five Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Seaford-Nanticoke Count had an Iceland Gull. The Rehoboth Count had a Common Tern (2nd occurrence).

Alcids

Ocean City had seven Dovekies. Rehoboth had one each Dovekie and Razorbill. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had four Razorbills (their hc is 6).

Doves & Pigeons

Patuxent River had a high count of 41 Rock Pigeons.

Owls

Lower Kent had a high of 57 Eastern Screech-Owls, Chesterville’s high was 36, and Elkton had 18 (1 less than their all-time high). Bombay Hook had three Snowy Owls and Milford had their 3rd. Bowie had a near high of 16 Barred Owls (close to hc of 18 from count 105). Oakland’s high count was five. The Wilmington Count had four Long-eared Owls and Seaford-Nanticoke had two. Triadelphia had a count week Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Woodpeckers

Crisfield had a high count of four Red-headed Woodpeckers. Annapolis-Gibson Island had a high of 378 Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Milford’s high was 111, Salisbury’s was 92 and Oakland had a high of 19. Annapolis-Gibson Island had 65 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers which is close to the HC of 67 from count 114. Chesterville and Lower Kent each had a high of 37. Salisbury had a high of 28, Catoctin Mountain had 16, Milford had 14, and Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had six.

Chesterville had a high of 88 Downy Woodpeckers and also 29 Hairy Woodpeckers. Bombay Hook had 26 which is very close to their high of 27 set in count 113. Patuxent River had a low of two Hairy Woodpeckers. Near highs of Northern Flicker were 55 at Catoctin Mountain (close to 57 from count 113) and 102 at Milford which was very close to the 103 from count 105. High counts of Pileated Woodpecker were 50 at Annapolis Gibson Island, 48 at Salisbury, 32 at Milford, 26 at Lower Kent, 18 at Elkton, and 15 at Oakland. On the Bowie Count 88 was close to the all-time high of 90 from count 103.

Shrikes

Bombay Hook had a Loggerhead Shrike (photographed and seen by many through January). The Sugarloaf Count had a shrike sp. The description was very good but viewing conditions were not great. The observers were leaning towards Loggerhead Shrike but were not comfortable going beyond shrike sp.

Passerines

Chesterville had a well-documented Say’s Phoebe found by Jim & Trish Gruber. The Crisfield Count turned up a Vermilion Flycatcher (found and photographed by Mark Hoffman). Catoctin Mountain had a well-described Ash-throated Flycatcher (Mary Ann Beverly). Jug Bay, Denton, and Milford had high counts of Blue Jay (556, 274, and 165 respectively). Chesterville had 174 American Crows (hc). Bowie and Seneca had high Fish Crow counts (954 and 752 respectively). Bowie had four Common Ravens and Annapolis-Gibson Island had one (new for both counts). Catoctin Mountain had a high count of 27 and Allegany’s high was 20, Sugarloaf had 13, and Triadelphia’s high was six. At Seneca nine was close to their high of 10. Lower Kent had a high count of 919 Horned Larks.

Sugarloaf had a Blue-headed Vireo. Denton had 260 Carolina Chickadees and Milford had 198 (hc). Denton also had a high for Tufted Titmouse (209) and Lower Kent had 193 (hc). Allegany had a high of 133 White-breasted Nuthatches and Milford’s high was 33. At South Dorchester 225 was a good number of Brown-headed Nuthatches but less than the all-time high of 482. Salisbury had 55 and Patuxent River’s had 24, and the high for Seaford-Nanticoke was six. Chesterville had a high of 26, and Seaford-Nanticoke (19) Brown Creepers.

On the Sugarloaf Count, 448 Carolina Wrens is close to the high count of 455 (in count 107). Chesterville had a high count of 220 Carolina Wrens. They also had a high of two House Wrens. Bowie and Triadelphia each had a high of three House Wrens and Middle River had one (us). 

Bombay Hook had a high count of 26 Winter Wrens (previous hc was 18). Sugarloaf Mountain had a high of 52 (previous hc was 40). Lower Kent’s Winter Wren high count was 37 (previous hc was 36). Lower Kent had a Sedge Wren (7th occurrence). There were 15 at Crisfield, six at South Dorchester, and one at Salisbury (none of these are high counts).

Milford had a high count of 149 Eastern Bluebirds and Allegany had a high of 128. Allegany also had a high count of 16 Hermit Thrushes while Denton had 73, Lower Kent had 46, Chesterville had 45, and Sugarloaf had 30. Three count highs of American Robin were at Annapolis-Gibson Island (19,512), Triadelphia (11,921), and Elkton (712).

Gray Catbirds were notable at Seaford-Nanticoke with eight, Chesterville with six, and Allegany (2; all were high counts). Annapolis-Gibson Island had a high of 36 Brown Thrashers. Chesterville had 11, and Oakland had one for just their 3rd occurrence.

Jug Bay had their 2nd ever Orange-crowned Warbler. Middle River had a Cape May Warbler. Pine Warbler’s west of the Chesapeake Bay were one at Triadelphia and two at Point Lookout. Sugarloaf had three Common Yellowthroats (hc). Seneca had a Summer Tanager (cw). 

Four Counts had highs for Eastern Towhee Saint Michaels (48), Sugarloaf (39), Allegany (3), and Oakland (2). Chipping Sparrow highs were at South Dorchester (59) and Sugarloaf (16). A Savannah Sparrow on the Allegany Count was their 3rd. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had two Nelson’s Sparrows, Rehoboth had one, and Saint Michaels had one during count week. Crisfield had three Sharp-tailed Sparrow sp., while Bombay Hook and South Dorchester each had single Seaside Sparrows. Four counts had highs for Song Sparrow. Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had 2232, Lower Kent had 1271, Chesterville had 864, and Oakland had 38. Triadelphia had a Lincoln's Sparrow (9th occurrence), Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had their 3rd, and Seaford-Nanticoke had their 2nd. Lower Kent had highs of 279 Swamp Sparrows and Chesterville had 102. Denton had a high of 27 White-crowned Sparrows. Slate-colored Junco high counts were Ocean City (1875), Denton (1611), and Milford (1194). At Bombay Hook, the Junco count was 384 which is close to the all-time high of 385 from count 114.

Catoctin Mountain had its 9th Lapland Longspur. Denton also had three, Sugarloaf had two, and Bombay Hook had one. Milford had a high count of five Snow Buntings, while Cape-Henlopen-Prime Hook had 75, Ocean City had 29, Bombay Hook had six, Middletown had four, Annapolis-Gibson Island had two, Chesterville (cw) (none of these were high counts). A Yellow-headed Blackbird was a good find for the Lower Kent count (seen by many observers). Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook had five Brewers Blackbirds (6th occurrence). Jug Bay had two Baltimore Orioles (7th occurrence). Port Tobacco had a high of seven Pine Siskins and Milford’s high was five. Chesterville had 11 Evening Grosbeaks (the only CBC to get them this year). Milford had a high count of 312 House Sparrows.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1996. Viverette, C. B., S. Struve, L. J. Goodrich, and K. L. Bildstein. Decreases in Migrating Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus) at Traditional Raptor-migration Watch Sites in Eastern North America.  Auk vol. 113(1): 32-40

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