[va-bird] Red-necked Phalarope at Huntley Meadows 9am 9/2/06

The scheduled NVBC birdwalk at Huntley was cancelled due to inclement
weather, but I decided to walk out to see what the marsh looked like after a
big rain, and was accompanied by Bill Powers and Nancy Chang.  A steady rain
made it impossible to keep optics dry and unfogged so visibility was
generally poor.

 

The central marsh was full of water (in sharp contrast to last weekend when
it was dry except for a small puddle near the dam) and there were no open
bare spots for shorebirds.  Lots of greater yellowlegs, perhaps two dozen.
Some of them wading in water deep enough so that they appeared at first
glance to be swimming.  A few peeps flying around looking for a place to
land and feed and a couple of leasts in grass at the edge of the pond.  The
most interesting "shorebird" was a red-necked phalarope in basic plumage
swimming on the far side (from the tower).  This was a lifebird for Nancy
which certainly helped make the conditions more tolerable-at least for her.

 

The rain apparently kept most of the small birds quiet.  I didn't make a
list, but we neither saw nor heard many species I would normally expect.  An
interesting sighting, but poorly seen, was a group of four first year
Baltimore Orioles.  

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