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November 4, 2016 [LINK / comment]

New month arrives, & new birds too

After completing the editing tasks on the Augusta Bird Club newsletter yesterday, today I picked up the hard copies from Marden Press downtown, and headed out toward Swoope in hopes of seeing more winter birds. The weather was perfect: mild with clear blue skies, and I just couldn't resist. I saw a fair number of Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows, but no other sparrows (such as Lincoln's) which I was hoping for. On Route 705 just south of Buffalo Gap I came across six or seven Wild Turkeys crossing the road, but had a hard time getting any good photos of them. Then I drove to Augusta Springs, where the highlight was a group of Red-breasted Nuthatches. (I saw a couple of those in the Shenandoah National Park on Wednesday, my first of the season.) Otherwise, not much.

Back in Staunton, after taking stuff to the recycling center, I drove to Reservoir Hill to get some scenic photos, and saw a bunch of Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures on the cell tower there, so I photographed them. When I returned home I checked out the back yard, and got some very nice photos of a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet with an aphid in its beak.

Montage 04 Nov 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Wild Turkeys, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and in center, Red-tailed Hawk. (Roll your mouse over the image to see the Ruby-crowned Kinglet enlarged.)

On Tuesday, I spotted a different-looking bird out back, and soon realized that it was a Hermit Thrush, the first one I have seen this season. Unfortunately, it was too shady for me to get a high-quality photo. Later on I went to Bell's Lane, and saw a nice variety of birds, most notably a Palm Warbler and some White-crowned Sparrows (first of the season, I believe).

Montage 01 Nov 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Palm Warbler, American Goldfinch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird *, White-crowned Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and in center, Red-tailed Hawk. (Roll your mouse over the image to see the Hermit Thrush enlarged.)
* The Bluebird photo was taken on Nov. 29.

Enlarged images of some of the other birds can be seen on the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 05 Nov 2016, 12: 46 AM

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