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 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.