There had been a report of a possible sighting of a Snowy Owl near Mt. Crawford, Virginia, so Walt Childs and I headed west over the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Shenandoah Valley this morning to look for it. We didn't see the owl, but ended up with 37 avian species for the trip, including 10 Red-tailed Hawks and 9 American Kestrels.
We made a stop at Silver Lake in Dayton, where saw a good number of ducks including Redheads, Canvasbacks, Mallards, Gadwalls, an American Wigeon, and a Bufflehead.
Redhead and Canvasback
Male and Female Canvasbacks
We continued driving around in the area looking for the owl, saw a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, and then stopped south of Elkton were we saw a few Horned Larks, and a small flock of male and female Common Mergansers in the river.
Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
Male Common Merganser
Female Common Mergansers
We made a stop near New Hope to look for more Horned Larks and reported Lapland Longspurs, but didn't see them. We added a few more species to the trip list including a Red-shouldered Hawk. Our last stop was the the Fishersville quarry where the only new species for the trip was American Coot.
Today's trip list:
Great Blue Heron