Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/30/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was mostly cloudy this morning, and rather than driving 30 minutes to an hour, only to get rained out, I decided to hike where I live. It was a very good morning for birding here. Stoney Creek is on the boundary between the Piedmont and mountain/valley sections of Virginia, and one of the first birds I saw this morning was a Great Egret. It was perched in a tree along Sawmill Creek pond #3, and this is a very early date for one to be here. They are more commonly seen here starting in July, and are rare here in March.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Six Hooded Mergansers swam in the pond below the Great Egret, and a Great Blue Heron stood at the far end of the pond.

Hooded Mergansers

Great Blue Heron

There were a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, a few Canada Geese, and a Belted Kingfisher at Lake Monocan, and Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers plus other woodland birds in the trees near the lake. Tree Swallows flew over the lake foraging for insects.

Pied-billed Grebes

Tree Swallow

I continued my hike, and ended up with 37 avian species - a really good birding morning for Stoney Creek. A pair of Wood Ducks were in the pond behind my house, and the Red-slider and Eastern Painted Turtles in the pond were a sure sign of spring.

Downy Woodpecker

Wood Ducks

Red-slider and Eastern Painted Turtles

The sun had come out by the time I ended my morning hike.

This morning's List:

Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Hooded Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

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