[Bristol-Birds] Saw-whet Owl steal show for BBC participants - 13 Jun 2015

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'Bristol Birds'" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2015 00:17:04 -0400

Mt. Rogers - VA Rt. 600 - Mt. Rogers NRA YBSA June 13, 2015 (8).jpg

Sapsuckers Provide Thrills But N. Saw-whet Owl

Steals the Show for Bristol Bird Club Participants

A hearty band of off road birders, crawling up Pine Mountain in the

National Forest of Grayson County, Va, were stopped dead in their tracks

Saturday (13 June 2015) when this pint-sized owl called repeatedly for

minutes as everyone listened with astonishment.

The group had just arrived in its haunts of the northern hardwood forest,

of 4000 feet elevation, when it called again and again.

This birding adventure was to enjoy the rugged high mountain and look for

sapsuckers in one of the most populated habitats of the species in the

Southern Blue Ridge mountains.

The route took three hours to bird and drive four (4) miles from the

Fairwood area of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area to the popular

"Scales" area in the sprawling meadows at 4620 feet.

A confirmed four (4) sapsuckers were seen and possibly one other but we let

that one get away as it flew ahead of our vehicles and we lost sight.

Hikers and horseback riders were everywhere and we encountered 28 riders

during our visit.

We did not see a single wild pony, much to everyone's disappointment.

Appalachian Trail hikers from Kentucky told us they had camped at the

Scales Friday and awoke Saturday to wild ponies standing everywhere about

their tents and many with their baby ponies along side. They were tame

but not so much they could be touched.

All but one of our birders, who indicated they would attend, made the

outing and that was a fellow from Kingsport. Otherwise, the trip was

as smooth as silk and everyone was at all the appointed meeting places

exactly on time.

Judy Moose and Dick Moose drove lead up the jeep trail and not only

did an excellent job but hosted Cathy Spencer from Rugby in Grayson

County who we all met for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed her

knowledge of the mountain and birding skills. She added tremendously

to the event.

Janice Martin, Fred Martin, Faye Wagers, Wallace Coffey, Nancy McPeak,

Clancey Deel, Dave Worley, Diana Worley and Kevin Blaylock rounded

out the field party.

Clancey got several good photographs of the sapsuckers and everyone

had rewarding looks. The photos with this post were taken by Clancey.

Mt. Rogers - VA Rt. 600 - Mt. Rogers NRA -YBSA_June 13, 2015 (6).jpg

A Magnolia Warbler was a nice find.

The field card totaled 30 species:

Cooper's Hawk 1

Mourning Dove 2

Northern Saw-whet Owl 1

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3

Red-bellied Woodpecker 3

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4 (maybe 5)

Least Flycatcher 3

Blue-headed Vireo 10 (one neat nest)

Red-eyed Vireo 2

American Crow 2

Common Raven 3

Tufted Titmouse 1

Veery 14

Wood Thrush 1

American Robin 8

Gray Catbird 9

Ovenbird 6

Worm-eating Warbler 1

Black-and-white Warbler 2

Magnolia Warbler 1

Chestnut-sided Warbler 3

Black-throated Blue Warbler 4

Black-throated Green Warbler 1

Canada Warbler 5

Eastern Towhee 4

Field Sparrow 2

Dark-eyed Junco 3

Scarlet Tanager 3

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1

Indigo Bunting 3

The fellowship was as good as you could want.

AT ridge runner with BBC Scales trip 13 June 2015.jpg Ben Cowan, a "ridge

for the Appalachian Trail

Conservancy, arrived

at our lunch group in the Scales

and we shared food with him.

It was fun. President-elect Janice Martin

presented him a BBC flyer and made him a

temporary honorary member of BBC for 30 days !

We spent an hour and a half lunching and resting at the Scales and

everyone was pleased with the break and visitors from everywhere.

We may have seen about 50+ hikers, campers and riders there.

BBC Photo Scales group 13 June 2015.jpg

Pictured above (from left) Clancey Deel, Dave

Worley, Diana Worley, Kevin Blaylock, Fred Martin,

Janice Martin, Nancy McPeak, Wallace Coffey and

Faye Wagers. At that time Judy Moose, Dick Moose

and Cathy Spencer had slung packs on their backs

and hiked off over Stone Mountain for the afternoon.

Let's go birding . . . .

Wallace Coffey

Bristol, TN

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