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September 16, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Wild life at Augusta Springs
Having failed to uncover any significant migratory birds at Montgomery Hall Park yesterday, I was determined not to let this spectacularly beautiful weekend go to waste. So, I drove out to the Augusta Springs wetland area this morning, and after a slow start, hit "pay dirt" in terms of birds and other wild life. Altogether I saw seven warbler species, which is not bad, but it took a lot of effort -- and even some risk.
Not much was happening along the boardwalk trail, but in the bushes next to the spring I got close enough to some warblers to get some good video shots. (See below.) Then I headed toward the upland trail, and was soon stunned to see a Barred owl, only the second one I have ever seen in the wild. (Jacqueline and I saw one in Charlottesville about ten years ago.) Then the trail began a steep climb, and up ahead I saw some kind of animal on the trail ahead, and realized that it was a coyote, the first one I have ever seen on a mountain trail! (No Roadrunners, though. ) I tried to take some video, but the coyote was camera shy and walked away. After making loud noises and arming myself with a large stick just in case, I resumed walking, proceeding with great care. Fortunately, my risk-taking paid off, as I came upon a nice cluster of warblers and other migratory birds, including the first Gray-cheeked thrush I've seen this year, at the high point where two trails intersect. The return leg was relatively uneventful, but I did see a few mushrooms in the muddy soil. (Photo below.) Back at the boardwalk trail, I saw a few more warblers and then called it a day.
- Redstarts (F/J, M)
- Pileated woodpecker
- Blue-gray gnatcatcher
- Black-throated green warblers
- Magnolia warblers
- Tennessee warblers
- Yellow-billed cuckoo
- Red-bellied woodpeckers (F, M)
- Red-eyed vireos
- Barred owl (FOY)
- Black and white warbler
- Pine warblers
- Red-breasted nuthatch
- Gray-cheeked thrushes (FOY)
- Hairy woodpecker (M)
- White-breasted nuthatch
- House finches
- Blue-headed vireo
- Hooded warbler (F/J)
ABOVE: Black-throated green warbler: side view ~ front view ~ ~ Magnolia warbler
(Roll over to choose.) All three of these images are of female or juvenile birds.
ABOVE: Augusta Springs: once a summer resort, and now a nature preserve.
ABOVE: Clubfooted Clitocybe mushroom.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Sep 2007, 11: 14 PM
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