October 3, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Fall birding at Sweet Briar

I arrived early at Sweet Briar College on Monday morning, so I spent a half hour or so exploring some of the trails around the pond. Almost as soon as I got out of my car, to my surprise, I saw two species of winter birds for the first time this season (excluding those seen in highlands, where they breed): Red-breasted nuthatches and Yellow-rumped warblers. But that wasn't all! This is the times of year when you see summer birds intermingled with winter birds. The highlights:

I also saw Great blue herons flying both on the way there, and on the way back.

Weird woodpecker

On Tuesday a confused [Downy] woodpecker (female) showed up at the thistle seed bag, which is intended for Goldfinches, and stayed long enough for me to record the amusing moment for posterity. We've seen a lot more Goldfinches feeding out back lately, and they have almost finished molting into their dull winter plumage.

Downy woodpecker at window