James River State Park; Lake Nelson, VA 12/20/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Before posting the report and photos from today's trip, I wanted to share a photo of a Canada Goose that I took yesterday here in Stoney Creek. The resident geese are used to people, and usually just meander down to one of the ponds when I approach, but the migrating geese are spooked by people. A small flock of them took off as soon as they saw me, and I was able to get this close-up photo of one of them in flight.

Canada Goose

Walt Childs and I headed down to the James River State Park to see what birds might be in the wetlands and surrounding areas. There were quite a few ducks the last time we were there, but only a few ducks were in the wetlands and James River today: Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and a probable American Black Duck.

Male Hooded Merganser


American Black Duck?

We saw several Red-tailed Hawks, a Cooper's Hawk, and heard a Red-shouldered Hawk. Two Bald Eagles were flying up and down the James River.

Red-tailed Hawks

Cooper's Hawk

Bald Eagle

Just like the last time we were there, Downy Woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere we went. But there were not as many sparrows as were seen the last time. There was a squirrel that sat motionless on the trail for about five minutes, so I had to take its photo. We left the James River State having having logged 29 species.

Male Downy Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Eastern Bluebird

Trail marker

We added another 6 species on the drive home and at Lake Nelson, where we saw Canada Geese, two Ruddy Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe, and barnyard Mallards and Muscovy Ducks.

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Ducks


Pied-billed Grebe

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