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July 6, 2010 [LINK / comment]

"Byrding" in West Virginia

It was by sheer coincidence that West Virginia's senior senator Robert Byrd passed away just as we were about to travel there (in part to go bird watching) last week. Alas, the "Silver-capped Orator" is no longer with us.

Nearly all the birds we saw in West Virginia were at one of two major places: Bald Knob (BK), elevation 4,824 feet, and Cranberry Glades (CG). We saw Juncos and Cedar waxwings at both locations. Birds listed with an exclamation mark are only found at high elevations or in northern latitudes, and do not nest in Virginia. At Cranberry Glades we heard Common Yellowthroats signing, but I never saw any.

  • Dark-eyed Juncos ! - BK, CG
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler ! (M) - BK
  • Cedar waxwings - BK, CG
  • Green Heron - GR
  • Killdeers - GR
  • Phoebes - GR
  • Belted Kingfisher - GR
  • Hooded Warbler - GR
  • Blackburnian Warbler (M) - CG
  • Magnolia Warblers ! (M) - CG
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler (M) - CG
  • Red-eyed Vireo - CG
  • Blue-headed Vireos - CG
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch ! - CG
  • Cooper's Hawk - near CG

Bell's Lane, midsummer

On Bell's Lane yesterday morning, I finally saw some orioles -- several in fact, both male and female. I couldn't be sure which species the females were, though.

  • Baltimore orioles (M, F?)
  • Orchard orioles (M, F?)
  • Willow flycatcher
  • Indigo bunting (M)
  • Brown thrasher
  • Goldfinches (M, F)

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

For any bird watcher, the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are almost too painful to bear. I wish I could help out, somehow, but I just don't have enough training in handling wild birds to be of much use. Ed Clark of the nearby Wildlife Center of Virginia recently visited the shores of Louisiana and reported on what he saw there.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 06 Jul 2010, 11: 42 AM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


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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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  4. Politics
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  8. Baseball (FIRST)