August 29, 2011 [CLICK HERE to see proper format.]
After returning form my recent trip to the Midwest, I had a lot of e-mails to get caught up on, and one of those was an alert about an albino hummingbird right here in Staunton! It seemed to good to be true, but I quickly called the folks who have been lucky to be hosting this little marvel of nature, and after a wait of 20 minutes or so on their back patio, I was able to see and photograph it. Believe it or not!!! Many thanks to Ed and Nancy Lawler for sharing this joy of nature.
I also uploaded a brief video to YouTube, the first one I have done in over a year.
Back in June, I participated in a census of birds in Alleghany County, a project that is run by the Virginia Society of Ornithology. Here are some of the highlights of what I saw:
One of the other census participants drew my attention to a Worm-eating Warbler nest that he found, and with his help, I located and photographed it. That species builds its nests on the ground.
While in South Dakota earlier this month, I went birding a couple times, but didn't see anything really spectacular. There was a Scarlet Tanager on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River south of Vermillion, apparently rather uncommon in that region, and a small flock of American Pelicans a couple miles upstream on the Missouri River. I saw a number of Dickcissels and heard a Sedge Wren at Spirit Mound, but didn't actually see any.
During my trip to South Dakota last January, however, I had a good look at a Bald Eagle, at Gavins Point Dam:
This is just a random news clip I had saved from last year, but one that is worth sharing: Several gyrfalcons were smuggled out of Russia in a suitcase last October. It's another terrible example of the wildlife poaching that has become so common in Russia's mafia-dominated economy. See CNN.com.