James River State Park; Lake Nelson, VA 11/13/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I headed down to the James River State Park to see what birds might be in the wetlands and surrounding areas. It was quite cold, but bright and sunny. On the way there, we logged 10 avian species, including a Bald Eagle and two Red-tailed Hawks.

We were surprised to see that about 2/3 of the wetlands area near the James river was dry. Although we had a very wet spring and summer, this autumn has had little rainfall. As soon as we approached the part of the wetlands that had water, a small flock of Mallards took off in one direction, and four Hooded Mergansers took off in the opposite direction.


Male Hooded Mergansers


Female Hooded Mergansers

A female Belted Kingfisher flew back and forth, giving of lots of good views of her.


Female Belted Kingfisher


Female Belted Kingfisher

There were lots of sparrows all around the wetlands and along the James River.


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrows


Swamp Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow


White-throated Sparrow


White-throated Sparrow; note the yellow color on the edge of the wing

Downy Woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere we went.


Male Downy Woodpecker


Male Downy Woodpecker


Male Downy Woodpecker


Female Downy Woodpecker

By the time we left the James River State Park, we had added another 17 avian species to today's list.


Carolina Wren


Eastern Phoebe


Red-tailed Hawk


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Golden-crowned Kinglet


Brown Creeper


White-breasted Nuthatch


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler

On our way out of the state park, we drove to a small pond far from the main park road, and saw another female Hooded Merganser.


Female Hooded Merganser

We added another 4 species on the drive home, and made a quick stop at Lake Nelson, where we saw at least 16 species, including 5 new species, bringing our total to 36 species for the day.


Gadwall


Ruddy Duck


Ruddy Duck?


Killdeer

Today's list:

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Ruddy Duck
Mallard
Hooded Merganser
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Killdeer
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Meadowlark
American Goldfinch


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