Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/26-27/2011

(3/26) A quiet day here. Alice and I took a walk around Sawmill Creek ponds 4, 5, and 6, and only saw a few birds. A Kingfisher kept flying from one pond to the next. When we got home, I saw a Brown Creeper on one of the trees in our backyard.

However, it was a busy birding day in our local area. It wasn't until late in the afternoon when I read a couple of bird alert postings. A Loggerhead Shrike was seen not too far away at the King Family Vineyards - a fairly uncommon bird here. I have seen them before in Florida and North Carolina.

But the prize goes to Pete Myers. He saw and photographed a Violet-green Swallow at the pond at Old Trails - only about 15 miles from where I live. It was seen throughout the day by other birders, and it is the first recorded sighting of this species in Virginia. It is rarely seen east of the Rocky Mountains. I photographed this species last year in Sedona, Arizona. Here is a link to Pete's photos.

Pete's photos

It was late in the afternoon, cloudy, cold, there was a late-March snow advisory in the forecast, and we had company heading to our house in a couple of hours, so I decided not to go looking for the swallow, as I had seen this species in Arizona.

(3/27) We awoke to an inch or so of snow everywhere. Bird alert postings stated that the swallow was not seen this morning. I waited until a little after lunch for most of the snow to melt and the temperature to climb into the mid-30s. Perhaps the Violet-green Swallow had come to Wintergreen? No such luck, but I did see a pair of Pied-billed Grebes on Lake Monocan.

Pied-billed Grebe

When I got home, I saw two Brown Creepers on a tree in our backyard. First time I have ever seen two at one time. Probably a male and a female, but I don't know how to tell the gender from the photos.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

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