I had a late morning meeting in Old Trail, and got there a bit early to hike in the common park area, because a Merlin had been reported there the day before. All I saw were a few sparrows.
After the meeting, I went to Lickinghole Creek and Reservoir, where I saw 21 avian species, although all were common winter birds there. Highlights were two Winter Wrens, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, and four Wilson's Snipes.
Wilson's Snipes and Killdeer
On my return trip home, I stopped at Old Trail again, but decided this time to check out the pond near the golf course, As I walked up the path to the pond, a bird flew directly over my head - it was the Merlin, but all I could get were a few shots as it flew away. There were a few sparrow species in the wooded area near the pond.
I hoped for some unusual birds today, and went first to Ridegview Park in Waynesboro, but only saw some common winter species there.
Next stop was Strickley Road near New Hope, and there was a small flock of Horned Larks in their usual foraging location.
I stopped on Rockfish Road on my way to the Sheanandoah Valley Regional Airport when a Kestrel flew in front of my car, almost exactly at the same location where I saw one 10 days earlier. There weren'y many birds near the airport - some starlings, and a small flock of Eastern Meadowlarks.
There weren't any birds at the nearby Leonard's Pond, so I headed south to Swoope. When I got to Smith Lake, there was a flock of about 40 ducks in the pond - mostly Green-winged Teals and two female Northern Pintails. The ducks flew as soon as they saw me. There were only a few common species around the pond, and not very many birds as I drove around the Swoope area.
Green-winged Teals and female Northern Pintail
The only hawk I saw all day was a Red-tailed as I drove across the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Gap.