Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/7/2011

I had a mid-morning appointment in Charlottesville, and decided to stop off at the Ivy Creek Natural Area and at the Old Trail pond to see if I could find some of the uncommon birds that have been reported there the past few days. Not much luck at either site - just a few common birds. However, birding here in Stoney Creek proved to be good. On the way home I stopped off at the Hidden Creek pond and saw the Mallards and Wood Ducks that have been there for a few weeks, and a couple of Canada Geese. After lunch I went down to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve to see what might be there, not expecting too much in the mid-afternoon. On the way to the preserve, I stopped at Sawmill Creek pond # 3, and there were a few geese in the pond, some American Corws flying about, and a small flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers in nearby trees. As I approached the nature preserve, there were Song Sparrows, Blue Jays, a Carolina Wren, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the tall grasses.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

There were only a few birds in the preserve, but I got to play hide-and-go-seek with the Winter Wren that likes to hang out under one of the boardwalks. This species is very secretive, but perhaps this bird is a little more used to me - this is the third time I have photographed it in the same location in the past couple of weeks.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

I then headed up along the east side of the small pine forest, and when I turned the corner onto the north side of it on Deer Run, birds seemed to be everywhere. A Pileated Woodpecker was eating berries and then pounding on the trees. There were a male and a female Downy Woodpecker, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. A flock of Tufted Titmice and some Carolina Chickadees were buzzing about. I saw more Yellow-rumped Warblers; some of them already had their brown feathers replaced by their spring black feathers. And then there was a Golden-crowned Kinglet foraging in the cedar trees. American Robins seemed to be almost everywhere.

Pileated Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Golden-crowned Kinglet

A few minutes later I arrived home to a front yard filled with Robins and another Pileated Woodpecker. In my backyard were Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Bluebirds, and more Chickadees. In the pond at the end of my yard (Sawmill Creek pond #5), there were more Canada Geese, and a male and female Mallard - probably the pair I saw mating a couple of days ago. I hope they decide to spend the summer here. And then a Belted Kingfisher flew a few laps around the pond.

All in all, not too bad for a mid-afternoon.


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