[va-bird] Nighthawks, Manassas Battlefield
- From: BlkVulture@xxxxxxx
- To: va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 19:52:55 EDT
Greetings, At about five-thirty this afternoon my wife Kathryn and I were driving north on Route 234 at the southern boundary of Manassas National Battlefiled Park (MNBP) when I noticed a couple Common Nighthawks over the Country Inn Suites. We took a quick right onto Battleview Parkway and headed east into the Battlefield. We saw another group of nine Nighthawks, and off further in the distance could see twenty or so more. We eventually made it to a horse trailer parking area in the extreme southeast corner of MNBP, and were delighted to find a couple hundred Nighthawks swirling around over the tree tops and just above the fields. They seemed to be moving to the west as they foraged, but not purposefully. The area was also teeming with migrating Green Darners (Anax junius), which many Nighthawks were eating. This was the first time that I'd seen hundreds of Nighthawks at eye level or even below. Laura and Alan Catterton joined us at about six PM, and by then the numbers had dwindled some, however we were noticing that the birds present were seemingly still heading west. There were several times that a 360 degree scan of the horizon and fields would permit counts of up to a hundred Nighthawks. Then at around six-fifteen the birds did a complete 180 and were heading east in earnest. I did a few scans, tallying 60-80 birds at a whack. It's hard to put a count on the amount of Nighthawks seen tonight, but my guess is a minimum of 500. At about seven PM we left, Laura and Alan headed to a couple different areas at MNBP to see if any were about, and my wife and I went to the stables. We found no more birds, but have no idea how The Cattertons fared. Just south of I-66 on 234 were a few more Nighthawks overhead as we headed into Manassas. Quite a spectacular event. I've enjoyed the Nighthawk show at Tyson's Corner many times, but this was a bit more fulfilling having them just over our heads. It was easy to see plumage details with the unaided eye on scores of birds. Cheers, Todd Day Jeffersonton, VA BlkVulture@xxxxxxx 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.
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