Central Virginia 2/27/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

After reading reports of a Barn Owl at the same location over multiple days near the James River in southern Albemarle County, I headed there looking for the owl, and if found, a new life bird for me. However, what started out as a great birding day ended up as a so-so day with no owl and only 23 species.

I stopped along Langhorne Road on the way there, when I saw a Bald Eagle perched in a tree near the road.


Bald Eagle

And then I saw a second Bald Eagle in the middle of the field, feasting on a large carcass.


Bald Eagle

The first Bald Eagle saw me, and in less than a minute after I stopped the car, it flew to the other Bald Eagle. They seemed to be having a dicussion like, "You've had enough to eat, and I am tired of guard duty. It's your turn, but watch out for the guy parked by the road."


Bald Eagles


Bald Eagles

The second Bald Eagle then took off, initially toward me, and then it turned and perched in a tree at the far end of the field.


Bald Eagle


Bald Eagle

From there, I headed over to the barn Owl location, but all I saw there were a few common birds, including a boldly colored Red-tailed Hawk. I decided to try a couple of new-for-me birdiong spots that weren't too far away, and planned to return to look for the owl. The first stop was Totier Creek Park. Although I only saw seven species there, including Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, the large lake and park trails looked like a potentially good spot for later in the spring. I don't think that I would make a special trip there, but would stop there again if I were already in the area. Next I went to Dorrier Park in Scottsville, and that wasn't worth a stop.

I returned to the Barn Owl location, but didn't see much, so I headed home. After lunch, I went over to the Rockfish Valley Trail. Not much going on there either - only 11 species. The best one was a Red-shouldered Hawk. There were lots of sparrows, mostly Field and Song Sparrows, with a few White-throated and Dark-eyed Juncos.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Field Sparrow



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