Warren Ferry, VA 4/1/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/31/12: Alice and I played golf today, and when we got to the pond at Tuckahoe golf hole #8 around 3 p.m., I saw three ducks on the pond there. This pond used to be a decent place to find a few ducks, but a fountain was put in the center of the pond a couple of years ago, and ducks have preferred some of the less active ponds. However then fountain is being repaired, so the water was calm. I couldn't tell for sure waht kind of ducks they were, and a couple of hours later, I returned to the pond with my camera - there were a male and a female Wood Duck, and the threesome were two female Hooded Mergansers and a female Bufflehead.


Wood Ducks


Two female Hooded Mergansers and a female Bufflehead

After photographing the ducks, I went home and sent an e-mail to Charlottesville birder Stauffer Miller. Stauffer had posted a message about seeing a Yellow-throated Warbler at Warren Ferry in southern Albemarle County, VA. I wasn't quite sure how to get there, so Stauffer e-mailed me back with detailed instructions, down to which tree to look for the warbler.

My highest priority birding goal is to photograph all 36 of the warbler species that are seen in Central Virginia. I had already photographed 30 of these species (click here to go to my warbler photo pages), but still needed the remaining six: Prothonotary, Mourning, Connecticut, Bay-breasted, Golden-winged, and Yellow-throated. I was eager to try the location Stauffer had recommended for a Yellow-throated Warbler, and April 1st was supposed to be sunny all day.

April 1, 2012: I awoke to dense fog - a cruel April fool's joke for my birding plans, but it was supposed to clear, so I headed out a little before 9 a.m. with Stauffer's directions printed out in large type. I had checked the approximate location on-line, and it looked like a 30 minute drive or less from my house. Well, the fog wasn't clearing, and after driving 30 minutes, I still had three more turns to make before getting there. Last night I watched the movie, The Big Year , and I felt like one of the movie characters - here I was driving in fog to a remote place I had never been, to try to find a bird that would only be there if I were lucky.

After another 15 minutes I arrived at Warren Ferry, parked my car, and as soon as I got out of my car, I heard the Yellow-throated Warbler in the exact same sycamore tree that Stauffer had described in his e-mail. I couldn't find the warbler in the tree. In an inlet from the James River I saw a Pied-billed Grebe, and saw Cardinals, Titmice, and White-throated Sparrows, but hadn't yet located the Yellow-throated Warbler. Then - SUCCESS! Two hundred photos later, I left Warren Ferry. Under foggy skies the photos aren't as great as I would have liked, but I am not complaining.


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler

On the way home I stopped at the farm fields at the intersection of Langhorne and James River roads per Stauffer's suggestion to look there for field birds, but all I saw there was a small flock of Eastern Meadowlarks.


Eastern Meadowlark



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