Northern Neck Virginia area 6/4/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


I was invited to give my presentation on the "Bird of Wintergreen" to the Virginia Northern Neck chapter of the Audubon Society in Kilmarmock, VA. I knew that there might be some interesting birds there, but also wanted to make a stop at the Dutch Gap conservation area just south of Richmond, VA either on the way there or on the way home. Pre-trip weather forecasts called for mostly sunny skies in Kilmarnock that afternoon, and partly suny skies in Richmond the next morning, so I decided to head off early in the morning for Kilmarnock and spend the afternoon birding near Kilmarnock before the evening meeting.

My target birds for the northern neck were Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows. My first stop in the Kilmarnock area was Hughlett Point. As soon as I reached the first observation deck, I saw a small flock of Mute Swans, and soon found that there were more biting flies there than birds! The flies were constantly landing on my arms and legs, were in my ears and eyes, and every time I stopped to take a photo, I was swarmed by them. After hiking 1.5 miles to and back from the second observation deck, I used some bug repellent, and did the hike a second time. I didn't see the sparrows, but did get a new life bird - a Brown-headed Nuthatch, for a total of 18 species at Hughlett Point.

My next stop was at and nearby to the Windjammer wharf. I saw a few of the same species I had seen at Hughlett Point plus another 18 species, bringing the afternoon total to 36. And that wasn't counting the probable Great-Crested Flycatcher that I saw on a power line as I was driving in the northern neck area on my way to Kilmarnock.

I did see one sparrow at Windjammer. It appears to be a juvenile, and I can't identify it for sure, but my best guess is that it is a Chipping Sparrow. Any help on the ID would be appreciated. I also saw a small flock of terns that I could not identify, but I think that the most likely species is juvenile Least Tern. [update: the terns have been identifies as Forster's]

Hughlett Point photos:


Mute Swans


Mute Swan


Red-headed Woodpecker


Red-headed Woodpecker


Brown-headed Nuthatch


Brown-headed Nuthatch


Northern Cardinals


Female Summer Tanager


Prairie Warbler


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Great Blue Heron


Green Heron


Green Heron


Green Heron


Red-eyed Vireo


Carolina Chickadee


Osprey


Osprey with lunch

Windjammer area photos:


Killdeer


Unidentified juvenile sparrow


Unidentified juvenile sparrow


Unidentified juvenile sparrow


Unidentified juvenile sparrow


Eastern Kingbird


Barn Swallow


Laughing Gull


Laughing Gull


Unidentified terns [update: Forster's Terns]


Eastern Bluebird


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Juvenile Bald Eagle

Northern Neck list (36 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Mute Swan
Northern Cardinal
Carolina Wren
Carolina Chickadee
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Red-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Unidentified Sparrow
Prairie Warbler
Summer Tanager
House Finch
Red-headed Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird
Turkey Vulture
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Starling
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird
American Crow
Fish Crow
Eastern Kingbird
Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Unidentifed Tern
Laughing Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Cowbird


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