[va-bird] Fauq, Pr Wm, & Culpeper Cos. - 55,511 birds

Hello VA-Birders,

Today, Kurt Gaskill and I braved the chilly and windy conditions and birded 
many areas all over Fauquier County, as well as a couple of spots at the nearby 
Prince William and Culpeper Counties.  At the end of the day, the total number 
of birds seen was 55,511 individuals.  Most of this was tied up in one flock of 
over 40,000 birds, mostly Common Grackles.  We were also amazed to find not 
one, but two EASTERN PHOEBES today in two locations.  More on all of this below.

We began near Opal in Culpeper County in a field looking for any Snow Buntings 
and Longspurs that may still be around.  Neither of these were found, but we 
did find an EASTERN MEADOWLARK and our only PURPLE FINCH of the day.

Fauquier County had several highlights.  In Remington we found the usual HORNED 
LARKS (8) and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS (8), as well as two EASTERN TOWHEES.  The 
best birds were on Savannah Branch Rd, with an EASTERN PHOEBE on a branch over 
a pond and two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS (1 adult seen).  Two NORTHERN HARRIERS 
(males) cruised the fields, and a SAPSUCKER and PILEATED WP near Lake Brittle 
rounded out all 7 woodpecker species for the day.  On a sad note, we came upon 
a dead EASTERN SCREECH OWL that had apparently caught it's primaries in a 
barbed wire fence along a farmer's field, and it looked as if it happened in 
the past couple of days.  In addition, one field held a WILSON'S SNIPE, a 
single HORNED LARK, and 29 SAVANNAH SPARROWS.

The blackbird flock I mentioned was found about 1 mile south of the 
intersection of Dumfries Rd and Greenwich Rd (Rtes 603 & 605), and was spread 
out all over the area before amassing at this spot.  At one point, Grackles, 
Starlings, and Red-winged Blackbirds filled the trees and sky.  There were 
barely any places to safely pull off the road to scan for vargants, but we did 
manage to find two BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS among all the madness.  There were 
likely more in the flock, but we didn't have time to continue the search.

In a brief stopover at Lake Manassas (Pr Wm Co), we found a PIED-BILLED GREBE 
and 550 COMMON MERGANSERS as well as an adult BALD EAGLE.

On the way to Rectortown, we found our second PHOEBE just north of Marshall as 
it crossed in front of our vehicle.  Closer to Rectortown we scoped a COMMON 
RAVEN harassing three BALD EAGLES while another adult Eagle perched in a tree.  
Several HARRIERS, RED-TAILS, and other birds of prey were otherwise present.  
We ended the day on Crenshaw Rd to see if any Short-eared Owls were about, but 
we left before seeing any as we wanted to get to our homes at a reasonable hour.

Below is an amalgamated list of all birds seen at all locations.  If anyone 
wants any more info, please e-mail me off the listserv.

Thanks,

Jay Keller,
Arlington


Canada Goose            1,640
Gadwall         3
American Wigeon         7
American Black Duck             2
Mallard         14
Ring-necked Duck                18
Lesser Scaup            18
Bufflehead              3
Hooded Merganser                7
Common Merganser                553
Pied-billed Grebe               1
Black Vulture           37
Turkey Vulture          77
Bald Eagle              6
Northern Harrier                7
Sharp-shinned Hawk              1
Cooper's Hawk           1
Red-shouldered Hawk             17
Red-tailed Hawk         24
American Kestrel                10
Killdeer                16
Wilson's Snipe          1
Ring-billed Gull                420
Rock Pigeon             72
Mourning Dove           67
Belted Kingfisher               1
Red-headed Woodpecker           4
Red-bellied Woodpecker          13
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker                1
Downy Woodpecker                7
Hairy Woodpecker                2
Northern Flicker                7
Pileated Woodpecker             1
Eastern Phoebe          2
Blue Jay                46
American Crow           104
Fish Crow               4
Common Raven            2
Horned Lark             9
Carolina Chickadee              9
Tufted Titmouse         11
White-breasted Nuthatch         3
Carolina Wren           18
Golden-crowned Kinglet          3
Eastern Bluebird                17
American Robin          71
Northern Mockingbird            19
European Starling               6,475
Cedar Waxwing           27
Yellow-rumped Warbler           4
Eastern Towhee          2
Field Sparrow           39
Savannah Sparrow                29
Song Sparrow            31
Swamp Sparrow           19
White-throated Sparrow          120
White-crowned Sparrow           12
Dark-eyed Junco         43
Northern Cardinal               45
Red-winged Blackbird            165
Eastern Meadowlark              10
Brewer's Blackbird              2
Common Grackle          45,000
Brown-headed Cowbird            35
Purple Finch            1
House Finch             41
American Goldfinch              4
House Sparrow           31





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  • » [va-bird] Fauq, Pr Wm, & Culpeper Cos. - 55,511 birds