July 19, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Back to McCormick's Farm

July is not the best month for watching birds, as the males of most species have stopped their singing and no longer defend their breeding territory, but on Wednesday morning I was amply rewarded for joining Jo King on an Augusta Bird Club field trip McCormick's Mill. (The last such excursion in mid-May was likewise better than expected.) Jo counted 45 species in all. Here are the highlights of what I was able to see, in rough chronological order of appearance:

All in all, it was a wonderful morning, in terms of weather and birds, though we were a bit disappointed by the absence of any orioles.

I should note that a tragic plane crash had taken place about a week earlier in the vicinity of McCormick's Mill, which is located on the southern edge of Augusta County. We did not see any evidence of the crash, however. Four people died when a single-engine aircraft went down in bad weather conditions, though the cause of the accident has not yet been determined. See newsleader.com.

Fourth of July birding

I took the following photos during the Fourth of July parade in Staunton:

Wood Duck

Wood Duck (male), in Gypsy Hill Park, on July Fourth, 2009.

Mute Swans

Mute Swans, at the same place and date.

Bell's Lane

Late this afternoon, Jacqueline and I went for a walk on Bell's Lane, and I was glad to see a fair number of birds, some of which have been elusive there lately: