[va-bird] Mountain Top birds, Augusta & Rockingham Co.
- From: "Spahr MD, John" <Jspahr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: <shenvalbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 20:16:40 -0400
Just a few highlights from two recent trips to Augusta County's highest peaks and nearby points. Friday morning, July 7 with Lisa Hamilton -- Elliott Knob on Great North Mtn. Elevation: 4463 ft. Things were relatively quiet, presumably many birds are preoccupied with feeding young, of which we saw many, mostly young streak-chested and dark-billed juncos, several family groups of Black-capped Chickadees and a few young towhees. I also flushed a grouse chick that got stuck in the thick grass and ground cover tangle. I extracted it from the tangles as it called out. The hen was not around and the rest of the clutch must have remained motionless as their instincts dictate. A short list of key species includes: Ruffed Grouse (1 downy chick) Hairy Woodpecker Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee -- at least 25, including fledged young; song, call and fieldmarks were all good for BCCH. Winter Wren -- 1, heard only, but what a song Veery -- 5 Chestnut-sided Warbler -- 9 Black & White Warbler -- 3 Canada Warbler -- 4 Yellow-rumped Warbler -- 5, including singing males Ovenbird -- 1, at the lower elevations near the road Scarlet Tanager E. Towhee -- many D-e Junco -- 35 Rose-breasted Grosbeak -- 3 Sunday Morning, July 9, solo -- Reddish Knob, another 4000+ ft peak just south of the Rockingham County line. A similar array of species -- juncos, veery, chickadee, Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warbler. No Canada Warbler to my dismay. I then went south into Rockingham County along the east ridge of Shenandoah Mtn towards Flagpole and Bother Knob. In walking a short stretch of the road I was impressed with the number of recently fledged and juvenile birds that were encountered. Much of the following count was by sight only, as there was little vocalization except, of course, by the towhees, juncos and chickadees. Wild Turkey -- 1 flew over my vehicle on 924 White-breasted Nuthatch -- 2 Raven -- including one family with two large young birds along the road Chickadees -- at least 30, all Black-capped by sight and sound, with many family groups of up to 8 birds. T. Titmouse -- 2 Wood Thrush -- 1 Veery --6, including one perched in the open on the tip of a dead hemlock singing and calling repeatedly Blue-headed Vireo -- 6, including 2 fledged young N. Parula -- 1 juvenile only Blk-throated Green -- 8, including 1 fledgling Blk-throated Blue -- 3 Hooded Warbler -- 1 Blk & White Warbler -- 1 Pine Warbler -- 2, including 1 juvenile (a very plain brown bird with faint wingbars that, were it not for the adult nearby, would have been quite a puzzle) Yellow-rumped Warbler -- 6, including 2 young Ovenbird -- 1 was flushed from the ground; could not find the nest. None were heard singing! Redstart -- 1 male, high up in spruce tree; not vocalizing Worm-eating Warbler -- a family of 4, the two scruffy ones were presumably the young Chipping Sparrows -- 12 Juncos -- dozens, with many family groups Towhees -- ditto Scarlet Tanager -- 1 pair of adults Rose-breasted Grosbeak -- 3 Indigo Buntings -- of course Other expected birds that were not found on either day include Magnolia Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch. Maybe next time. John Spahr Staunton
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