March 10, 2015
Jacqueline and I took advantage of the beautiful weather on Sunday by taking a drive up north a ways. I was looking for birds, and she was just enjoying getting outside. The first stop was the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, where I was hoping to get another look and/or photo of the Smith's Longspur, which I first saw on February 26. Others saw it there yesterday, but not us. We did get some nice closeup looks at Horned Larks, however, a species which Jacqueline had not seen before. Then we went to Bridgewater, where some Common Mergansers have been seen on the North River recently. It took a while, and finally I spotted several of them, but they were nearly 100 yards away, so the photos weren't that good. We drove back and forth between three different riverside parks in Bridgewater, but those darned Mergansers just kept eluding us.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was seeing several Common Grackles, which are supposedly year-round residents in Virginia, but are hardly ever seen during the winter. It was the first such sighting of the year for me, a definite sign that spring is drawing near! Here is a summary of the birds we saw yesterday:
Other new photos are on the Wild birds yearly photo gallery page. Today I took some great closeup photos of a male Pileated Woodpecker in our back yard (quite unusual), but haven't transferred them to the computer yet. Stay tuned!