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October 30, 2016 [LINK / comment]
Sandhill Cranes still lingering
On Wednesday afternoon, I drove over to Fishersville to see if the pair of Sandhill Cranes that was first seen in that area in early June was still there. I parked across from the pond where I took the photos back then, and scanned the surrounding fields for a few minutes. Then I spotted them, about 200 yards to the southeast, walking slowly toward the pond. I started snapping photos and couldn't believe my good luck when they approached to within 50 feet of where I was parked. The fact that they are still in the same location for such an extended period suggests that they may have taken up permanent residence. If so, that would be abnormal, because this species winters in Florida, Texas, and other southern states.
Sandhill Crane, extreme closeup. Roll your mouse over the image to see it along with the other one foraging next to the pond. Also see the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.
After seeing the Sandhill Cranes, I drove over to Bell's Lane to see if any newly arrived migrants were there. I was hoping in particular to get a better view of a Palm Warbler, one of which I photographed on the previous Saturday. (See below.) I didn't see any of those, but I did get some very good photos of a White-throated Sparrow and a Dark-eyed Junco, shown in this montage:
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker*, Northern Flicker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. (Bell's Lane, October 26. * In our back yard.)
Two days later I went back to Bell's Lane, and saw three different kinds of raptors -- most notably, a Bald Eagle. It might have been one of the same birds that Penny Warren saw there a few days earlier. Otherwise, not much was going on.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: American Kestrel (female), Eastern Bluebird, American Kestrel (the same one), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-tailed Hawk, Song Sparrow, and Bald Eagle. (Bell's Lane, October 28.)
Madison Run field trip
On Saturday October 22, I led an Augusta Bird Club field trip to Madison Run, a fire road providing access to the Shenandoah National Park east of the town of Grottoes. Unlike my previous field trip (to Chimney Hollow on October 18), this time four other members showed up! Skies were mostly clear, but it was chilly and quite windy. That no doubt is why we didn't see as many birds as expected: only 13 species total, one of which was heard only. The highlights of the day were Blue-headed Vireos, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and two groups of Dark-eyed Juncos -- the first of that species I had seen in the (relative) lowlands this fall. Here is the eBird report I submitted just yesterday:
Shenandoah NP--Madison Run Fire Road, Rockingham, Virginia, US
Oct 22, 2016 9:10 AM - 11:40 AM
Comments: Augusta Bird Club field trip
- Turkey Vulture -- 1
- Red-headed Woodpecker -- 2
- Downy Woodpecker -- 3
- Blue-headed Vireo -- 3
- Carolina Chickadee -- 6
- Tufted Titmouse -- 5
- White-breasted Nuthatch -- 3
- Golden-crowned Kinglet -- 5
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet -- 5
- Dark-eyed Junco -- 12
- White-throated Sparrow -- 2
- Eastern Towhee -- 1 (heard)
- Northern Cardinal -- 4
View this checklist online at ebird.org
While returning to Staunton from the field trip, Penny Warren and I saw a Palm Warbler next to the road very close by, but the lighting conditions were less than ideal.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 30 Oct 2016, 9: 17 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 10, 2016 ~ Cooperstown calls Griffey, Piazza
January 17, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland (& Bath!) County
January 21, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Glenn Frey
January 26, 2016 ~ Sweet Briar College is saved!
January 31, 2016 ~ Presidential campaign begins
February 6, 2016 ~ Fall bird migration season 2015
February 20, 2016 ~ Life bird: Virginia Rail!
February 21, 2016 ~ 2016 primaries: populists propel polarization
March 10, 2016 ~ Yes, another Wrigley Field update!
March 26, 2016 ~ Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes
April 4, 2016 ~ Opening Day(s) in America, 2016! (& Sportsman's Park update)
April 18, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Alan L. Clem
April 21, 2016 ~ Flying out to So. Dak. (& back)
April 30, 2016 ~ Trump & Clinton take commanding leads
April 30, 2016 ~ Migration season reaches peak
May 7, 2016 ~ Trump secures victory; Sanders fights on
May 21, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Reddish Knob
June 7, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland County
June 9, 2016 ~ FOD [first-of-decade] Prothonotary Warblers!
June 14, 2016 ~ Birding on Hite Hollow Road
June 16, 2016 ~ Holy $#!+ -- Nationals win big showdown with Cubs
July 1, 2016 ~ Nationals sweep the Mets, widen NL East lead
July 3, 2016 ~ Kentucky Warblers, and more!
July 8, 2016 ~ Soras breeding in the Valley!
July 13, 2016 ~ Redistricting reform movement is growing
July 16, 2016 ~ The Nationals' starting rotation
August 5, 2016 ~ New page: Stadium profiles!
August 7, 2016 ~ Magical mushroom tour*
September 7, 2016 ~ To the northeast: Baseball road trip, 2016
September 18, 2016 ~ East by Northeast: Big city scenery travelogue
September 25, 2016 ~ Nationals win National League East Division
September 27, 2016 ~ Lucky! 13 warblers on Betsy Bell Hill
October 2, 2016 ~ Nationals' regular season ends on a high note
October 5, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park birding (II)
October 14, 2016 ~ Nationals flinch, Dodgers advance to NLCS
October 14, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park getaway
October 16, 2016 ~ World War II aircraft show (II)
October 25, 2016 ~ Holy cow: Cubs beat Dodgers, win NL pennant!
November 3, 2016 ~ The Cubs win the World Series!!!
November 4, 2016 ~ New month arrives, & new birds too
November 6, 2016 ~ Campaign 2016 grinds to a nasty, ugly end
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:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)