Central Virginia 2/15/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Stoney Creek 2/14/13

I only had time for a short hike from my house this morning. Highlights included Red-breasted Nuthtaches and two Winter Wrens. The first Winter Wren was around and under the boardwalk in the Allen Creek Nature Preserve - this is where I have seen one every winter. The second Winter Wren was in the brush next to the Tuckahoe golf tee box #5. It tried to hide when it saw me heading its way, but I saw where it was hiding and took a few more pictures of it.


Winter Wren #1


Winter Wren #2


Winter Wren #2

Lake Anna, VA 2/15/13

Reports of a pair of Western Grebes at Lake Anna over the past several weeks prompted Walt Childs and me to make the trip there to look for them. The latest reports had them visible from picnic area A in the Lake Anna State Park. We headed there first, and right off the bat saw a Grebe near the beach, but it turned out to be a Horned Grebe.


Horned Grebe


Horned Grebe

We also saw a couple of Pied-billed Grebes (and continued to see this species everywhere we went this day). Far out into the lake, about 2/3 of the way to the Stubbs Bridge that also crosses Lake Anna, we saw the pair of Western Grebes - a new life bird for me. We then headed to picnic area B to see if that provided a closer view, but they were out of sight.


Western Grebe


Western Grebes


Western Grebes

In a effort to get closer to the Western Grebes, we left the state park, crossed Stubbs Bridge, and made our way down to a small boat dock. We thought that we could see the Western Grebes at first, but they were still a good distance away, and then a couple of high speed boats went by, further increasing the choppiness of the lake water, and we lost sight of them before I could get any good photos. We thought that we saw one of the Western Grebes heading for the state park picnic area B, so we drove back there. We did see one bird in the water about half way back to the bridge, but it turned out to be a Common Loon.


Common Loon

We headed back to picninc area A where we got some close-up views of another Common Loon.


Common Loon


Common Loon


Common Loon


Common Loon


Common Loon

The next stop was at Anna Point and High Point Marinas, where we saw a Great Blue Heron, more Pied-billed Grebes, Ring-billed and Great Black-backed Gulls, and a few American Coots.


Great Black-backed Gull


Ring-billed Gulls; Great Black-backed Gull; American Coot

Our last stop was at Lake Anna Dyke 3, but along the way we saw a field full of corn stubbs, and there must have been 500 to 1,000 black birds there - almost all of them were Common Grackles, but a few were Red-winged Blackbirds and Starlings. They seemed to have yellow color in their bills, but after looking at the photos, I can see that almost every bird had a corn kernel it its bill.


Grackles et. al.


Grackles et. al.

Dyke 3 offered up a small flock of Song Sparrows, more Pied-billed Grebes, and at least 3 Common Loons.


Song Sparrow


Common Loon


Common Loon


Common Loon

On the way home, we stopped at Beaver Creek Lake in Crozet. The Horned Grebe that I saw there last week was still there.


Horned Grebe


Horned Grebe



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