Initial Summary of Ft Belvoir CBC, 1/2/05 The Fort Belvoir CBC took place Sunday, Jan 2, 2005. This was the 61st count for the modern circle established by Jackson Abbott in 1941 and centered nr Pohick Church in Fairfax Co. The following summary is based upon preliminary reports; nearly all teams and Sectors have reported. A total of 116 species were tallied for the circle (pending acceptance of documentation for at least one); average = 116 (N=20). The highlight of the count was 2 Common Ravens over the BLM Meadowood Property near Gunston Rd in Fairfax Co â there are no prior records of this species in the circle. Congratulations to Chris Kessler, Ron Staley and Lucy Uncu for finding these birds! The addition of Common Raven brings the total number of historical species found to 175. The following unusual species (noted 5 times or less in the previous 20 counts) were reported. American Bittern, 2/20, last = 12/31/95, Occoquan Bay NWR in Prince William Co by Jay Keller and Kurt Gaskill, called during commotion of King Rails responding to our audio playback. Rough-legged Hawk, 1/20 (2 in 36yrs), last = 12/30/01, power line cut nr Ox Rd (Rt 123) in Fairfax Co by Larry Brindza and Roger Loudon, prob. female. Virginia Rail, 2/20 (5 in 36 yrs), last = 1/4/04, Occoquan Bay NWR in Prince William Co, fide Jim Waggener. Thayerâs Gull, 1/20 (2 in 36 yrs), last = 1/3/99, Occoquan River and Rt 123 between Fairfax and Prince William Cos., observed by Jay Keller and George Ledec, first winter individual, pending acceptance of documentation. The following ârareâ species (reported between 6 and 10 times in the last 20 years) were noted: Black-crowned Night-Heron (9/20, last = 12/31/00), Merlin (6/20, 6 in 36 yrs, last = 1/4/04, Huntley Meadows in Fairfax Co by our favorite Kansan Kerrie Kirkpatrick), Greater Yellowlegs (10/20 & nearly all in the last 10 yrs, winter range expansion), Lesser Yellowlegs (6/20), Palm Warbler (9/20, 12 in 36 yrs, last = 12/29/02), Chipping Sparrow (10/20, 13 in 36 yrs, last = 1/4/04). The following hard-to-find or irruptive species (11 to 18 times in the last 20 yrs) were reported: Black Vulture (13/20, easy to find NOW - great example of winter range expansion; 15 years ago you would be hard pressed to find Black Vulture in the circle!), Snow Goose (16/20), Mute Swan (14/20, Prince Georges Co), Wild Turkey (11/20, recently established breeding population in several locations), King Rail (11/20, last = 1/4/04, 3 individuals at OBNWR noted), Laughing Gull (12/20 & nearly all in the last 10 yrs), House Wren (16/20), Brown Thrasher (17/20, Fort Hunt and Accotink Refuge), Common Yellowthroat (13/20, Great Marsh of Mason Neck), White-crowned Sparrow (16/20, Mason Neck SP and the Lorton area), and Pine Siskin (15/20). Species of general interest that were reported yet are found 19 or 20 out of 20 yrs were Northern Shoveler, Redhead (Pr Georges Co), Greater Scaup (off the Great Marsh of Mason Neck), Northern Bobwhite (Pr Georges Co and OBNWR), American Woodcock (peenting and displaying, e.g. at OBNWR), Red-headed WP (over a dozen found!), Red-breasted Nuthatch (e.g. Accotink Wildlife Refuge area), American Tree Sparrow (most accessible locations are OBNWR and Huntley Meadows), Rusty Blackbird, Fox Sparrow, and Purple Finch. Count week species were Lesser Black-backed Gull and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Biggest misses were Horned Grebe (18/20, third count in a row now), Boneparteâs Gull (19/20), and American Pipit (17/20). Special thanks to the Sector Leaders who once again did an outstanding job: Georg Morduch, Mary-Carroll Potter, PJ Dunn, Sherman Suter, Greg Fleming, Bart Hutchinson, Linda Millington, Larry Brindza, Jim Waggener, Carol Ghebelian, and Rich Rieger. I also owe over 140 thank youâs to a fantastic group of volunteers who came out and beat the bushes to find birds and add to our understanding of winter bird life in this metropolitan area. Also, I must mention my appreciation to Charles Studholme of One Good Tern for sponsoring this CBC. Lastly, special thanks to Cher who provided homemade potato-leak soup, ham sandwiches, a selection of dips, brownies and cheesecake (from Linda), and various beverages to the lot of us who made the species tally and joked about who fell into what mud hole. Great Times! See ya-all next year! Kurt Gaskill, compiler and clean-up technician, Ft B CBC You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx To unsubscribe, send email to va-bird-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.