[va-bird] new years day birding
- From: Susan Heath <sheath@xxxxxxx>
- To: VA Birds <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2005 20:45:00 -0500
All, I just returned from the eastern shore where I spent two days birding with my Florida birding buddy Robin Diaz. We had a great time and saw some really nice stuff starting with that Razorbill on the CBBT yesterday. This morning we got up early and headed out to begin the new year with Virginia Rail along Magotha Road. I have never heard as many at one time as I did this morning. They were calling from both sides of the road. We counted at least six individuals but there were most likely more. We also tallied two screech owls in the little woods there before heading to the refuge. We stopped just at the entrance to the visitor's center and discovered an absolutely gorgeous American Woodcock specimen that had apparently been hit by a car just moments before. "Woody" was put on ice and will serve as a fine addition to the GMU bird collection. We ticked off Great Horned Owl there. Next we walked down ramp road and watched thousands of Snow Geese come up out of the marsh and head off to feed. It was incredible. On the walk out we heard then saw a Marsh Wren along the road and heard several Clapper Rails. It was light by then so we started birding for "day" birds (not Todd or Fenton Day birds though!). A couple of our best finds were a Vesper Sparrow along the road into Custis Tomb and a whole flock of Redheads on the pond there. At Kiptopeke we found the Red-neckd Grebe mentioned by Ned but somehow missed the Horned Grebes. There was a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon sitting on the sunken ships which was pointed out to us by another pair of birders and the other more usual stuff. Back at Magotha Road in the daylight we found a couple Fox Sparrows and an Orange-crowned Warbler (ironically the only regularly occuring warbler in VA that I missed last year). We ran into Ned, Fenton, and Chris after that and abandoned our previous plans to find a live woodcock at the refuge and headed into Kiptopeke to find the goshawk. Then to Cape Charles where we found Ned's Cackling Goose and a couple Redheads on the lake there. Then to Ned's house where we found the Ruby-throated Hummingbird sunning itself on this very warm January day. Finally we headed for the CBBT and found some female Harlequin Ducks on island 4 and a pair of Greater Scaup. We worked all four islands eventually coming up all three scoter species, two gannets, both cormorants and numerous flocks of Long-tailed Ducks. I confess that we didn't work the gulls very much and thus could easily have missed something good. There was a large flock of Bonaparte's Gulls off island 2 but they were pretty far and didn't feel comfortable trying to sort out a Little Gull. We couldn't find a Red-throated Loon on the CBBT despite seeing several yesterday so on a whim we stopped by First Landing State Park where we found Bob Anderson and Thuy Tran watching the Clark's Grebe. That was a fine topper to a fine day. Robin eventually found a Red-throated Loon as well to bring our list for the day to 91 species. Not bad for January 1! Happy New Year everyone and great birding! Sue -- Susan A. Heath George Mason University Environmental Science Department Fairfax, VA Secretary, Virginia Avian Records Committee Keeper, Virginia Comp List at www.virginiabirding.org 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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