September 13, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Fall bird migration update

In spite of a tight schedule, I've managed to take a few walks on the trail behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad every couple days or so, and so far the results have been about average. A great many American Redstarts are around right now, and Magnolia warblers are nearly as abundant. Otherwise, not many other warblers to report. The following list covers the past ten days, and the birds marked with asterisks have been seen each day I've been out. I saw the Black-throated blue warbler just this morning, and I also heard (I think) a White-eyed vireo.

Birding at Sweet Briar

Last week I took a quick stroll through the wetland nature area at Sweet Briar College, and was pleased to spot my very first Common yellowthroat (a male) of the year. Here are the birds of note I saw on campus that day:

Hawk watch: NOT!

I spent a few hours at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch last week, but only counted one raptor that was clearly heading south in migration: a Sharp-shinned hawk. I did see several Common nighthawks both times, as well as a couple Red-tailed hawks that were hovering in the wind but not migrating.

Ivory-billed witness

In the past year or so, some experts have cast doubt on the reported sightings of the Ivory-billed woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct. On Monday evening, however, an environmental official with the U.S. Army Bob Anderson spoke to the Augusta Bird Club about what he witnessed in the swamps of the Choctawhatchee River in Florida. I believe!