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June 7, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Return to Highland County
I joined an Augusta Bird Club field trip led by Dr. John Spahr to Highland County today, and even though the results weren't quite as spectacular as on the same trip one year ago, I did see several very special birds. The weather was nearly perfect, with clear skies and slowly warming temperatures. The camaraderie among bird enthusiasts was high, in what will probably be the club's last field trip until fall migration season. I met some birders from other parts of Virginia, one of whom I had known through the shenval-birds e-mail list. We followed almost the same itinerary as last year, beginning at Bear Mountain Lodge, then crossing into West Virginia, returning to the Straight Fork valley, going to the O'Bryans' home north of Blue Grass, and concluding just south of Hightown. This year our lunch break was at the retreat home of John and Nancy Spahr, very gracious hosts. For me the most outstanding sightings were a Vesper sparrow (which I had not seen since 2003) and a Mourning Warbler. We heard Veeries singing at at least three different places, and got a great look at one of them. The following list of highlights of what I saw, in rough chronological order, includes all the locations at which we stopped, lumped together.
- Yellow-rumped Warblers
- Blackburnian Warbler
- Vesper sparrow
- Dark-eyed Juncos
- Chestnut-sided Warblers
- Mourning Warbler
- Scarlet Tanager
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Indigo Bunting
- Alder Flycatcher
- Common Yellowthroats
- Magnolia Warbler
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
- Red-shouldered hawk
- Broad-winged hawks
- Bald eagles
- House Wren
- Yellow-throated Vireo
- Eastern Wood-Pewee
- Bald Eagle (J, A)
- Cedar Waxwings
Notable by their absence or shyness: both kinds of Orioles, Yellow Warblers, Both kinds of Black-throated Warblers (Blue and Green), Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-headed Vireos, Canada Warblers, American Redstarts, and Red-tailed hawks. Most of those we heard but did not see, and the same applies to the Golden-winged Warblers.. Missing that one was a disappointment, but it didn't detract from what was otherwise a very successful day. Many thanks to John Spahr for leading the trip.
Prairie state birding
Chestnut-collared Longspur, at the Grand River National Grassland near Lemmon, South Dakota, courtesy of John Clem.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 07 Jun 2009, 11: 21 PM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
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June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
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June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
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August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
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November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
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December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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