Yesterday afternoon (Dec 9, 2006), 4 of us (Cody Vaughan, Flint Hill senior; Duncan Coltharp, O'Connell freshman; Nolan Brit, O'Connell bioteacher; and I) were treated to a brief but excellent view of the Rufous Hummingbird at the feeder in Vienna after waiting in the minibus for about 15 minutes. From there we went to Burke Lake where there a few more waterfowl than our visit there last week for the NVAS waterfowl survey. A mixed flock of fishing female mergansers gave us a good lesson on identification (6 red-breasted, 1 common) with a patrolling herring gull who was hoping to steal a fish. Also present were 1 male bufflehead showing beautiful green and violet on his head, 2 male ring-necked ducks, about 18 mallard, about 30 canada geese, 2 pied-billed grebes, 5 great blue herons, several ring-billed gulls, and about a dozen ruddy ducks. Then we scooted down to Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge in Fort Belvoir to look for the white pelican near the archery range on Little Road. We did not find the pelican in the 1.5 hours that we were there. However we saw 1 tundra swan, 2 black hawks (helicopters) 1 red-bellied whirlibird, 3 boatloads of camouflaged hunters and their dogs and decoys (including some decoys with fluttering wings), hundreds of coot, hundreds of ruddy ducks, hundreds of lesser scaup, a couple dozen pintail, 2 shovelers, mallards, black ducks, canada geese, 1 male kingfisher, about 40 great blue herons, ring-billed gulls, herring gulls and a beaver. An immature red-shouldered hawk whom we saw extremely well--filling the field-of- view in the scope--was perched low along the shoreline seeming to ignore the mockingbird and the flock of juncos and sparrows. We later found out why when he was seen eating a crayfish. Other birds included both kinglets, song and white-throated sparrows, mourning doves, jays, both crows, bluebirds, titmice, chickadees, downy, flicker, and others. We also enjoyed the sounds of pebbles skittering across the ice. The sunset was spectacular with the ruddy ducks silhouetted against the multi-colored ripples made by the swimming beaver and the gentle breeze, the scalloped clouds glowing a fiery red, and the ice reflecting mellow shades of purple and pink. Our next northern virginia teen bird club field trip (sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Flint Hill School) is scheduled for January 20. Presently we are considering that this field trip may be to Bombay Hook in Delaware from 9 AM to 9 PM to see the huge flocks of snow geese. All the best Fred Frederick D. Atwood fredatwood@xxxxxxxxx Flint Hill School, 10409 Academic Dr, Oakton, VA 22124 703-242-1675 http://www.agpix.com/fredatwood http://www.flinthill.org http://tea.armadaproject.org/tea_atwoodfrontpage.html 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.