Central VA 12/18-19/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Crozet, VA 12/18/14

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.


Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow

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


Northern Cardinal


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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.


Merlin


Merlin


Swamp Sparrow

Shenandoah Valley 12/19/14

I hoped for some unusual birds today, and went first to Ridegview Park in Waynesboro, but only saw some common winter species there.


White-throated Sparrow

Next stop was Strickley Road near New Hope, and there was a small flock of Horned Larks in their usual foraging location.


Horned Larks

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.


Eastern Meadowlark

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


Green-winged Teals


Carolina Wren

The only hawk I saw all day was a Red-tailed as I drove across the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Gap.



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