Pennsylvania Birdlists Summary 2006

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Compiled by Peter Robinson

A number of rare species were found in the state that stayed long enough to become additions to state and county life lists.

Snowy Owls are always a big attraction, and numerous birders got to see the one that was near Belleville (Miflin County) from 1/1 to 1/10, then the bird (the same one?) in State College (Center County) from 1/22 until at least 3/17.

A White-winged Crossbill visited a feeder periodically in Lutherville (Clearfield County) from 01/02 to 01/07or later.

The Harris’s Sparrow that showed up at Oakland Mills (Juniata County) 12/1/05 stayed through the 2006 winter, and was last seen 5/6.

A Bullock’s Oriole identified 01/04 in Bethlehem (Northampton County) stayed until at least 4/7.

The Franklin County Lark Sparrow was found 1/10 near Chambersburg and stayed until 4/3 or longer.

An Eared Grebe visited Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) from 2/25 until 3/7.

A California Gull that was found 3/23 at Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) was there only that day and the next, but that was long enough for a number of birders to get there to see it.

The state’s first Fork-tailed Flycatcher found along the Delaware River in Morrisville (Bucks County) was seen only 6/4 and 6/5, but that was again long enough for many birders to get there to see it.

A small farm pond near Pleasantville (Berks County) hosted 4 adult Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks that were found 6/4 – some of them were there and at a nearby pond in Oley until 6/18. For those who did not get to see the Berks birds, another Black-bellied Whistling-Duck was at a small marsh in Lancaster (Lancaster County) from 6/24 until at least 7/6.

A Cinnamon Teal at the John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia was reported 6/25 and stayed until 7/2.

Tropical storm Ernesto brought a number of unusual species to the state from 9/3 to 9/6. Almost all of the species were found along the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers: Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, American Oystercatcher, Red-necked Phalarope, Red Phalarope, Parasitic Jaeger, Sabine’s Gull, Royal Tern, Arctic Tern, Sooty Tern, and Sandwich Tern. The only other location was Blue Marsh Lake, where a group of about 12 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels went by.

In Lehigh County near Macungie a Purple Gallinule was found 10/1 and stayed until 10/14.

In York County, a Hudsonian Godwit was at Codorus State Park near Hanover from 10/10 until 10/22, providing close views for many birders.

A Lark Sparrow near Pineville (Bucks County) found 10/14 by the home owner, stayed beyond the end of the year.

Also in Bucks County, there was a LeConte’s Sparrow at Pine Run from 11/24 to at least 11/27.

Late December brought a Thayer’s and a California Gull to Memorial Lake (Lebanon County).

Both an Ash-throated Flycatcher found 12/27 in Lititz (Lancaster County), and a Western Kingbird found 12/29 near Morgantown (Berks County) stayed into the new year.

There are 63 birders now whose Pennsylvania life lists are 300 or more, the same as at the end of 2005.

Eighteen birders now have PA life lists of 350 species or more, an increase of four.

There are now eight birders above the 300 mark in the PA Life List-Unassisted category — species found by the individual, or seen when found by another person with whom they were birding at the same spot at the same time, but not including “chase” birds.

There are 12 County Life Lists of 300 or greater — 2 for Bucks, 2 for Erie, and 8 for Lancaster County, with no additions during 2006.

There were two lead changes among the County Life Lists. Geoff Malosh now has the high County Life List for Allegheny County; and Devich Farbotnik has the highest for Bucks County.

There were new high County Annual Lists for 2 of the 67 counties — Geoff Malosh’s 225 species for Beaver, and Ross Gallargy’s 192 for Washington County.