Winter ducks here & there
After a brief mild spell last week, it has turned colder and colder once again, testing the resilience of our fine feathered friends outdoors. (How do they do it?) A brief walk behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad on Thursday turned up virtually nothing, to my surprise, just a few Bluebirds overhead and the usual sparrows, etc. I was a bit more fortunate in searching for migratory ducks on various local ponds over the weekend, however. The Bell's Lane pond and upland area yielded several first-of-season sightings for me, as did Leonard's Pond and Lake Shenandoah, near Harrisonburg. It was the first time I had been to that birding hot spot. (I couldn't find it the first time I tried, last year.) Recent highlights, with locale abbreviations:
- Ruddy ducks (2 M, 3 F @ BL)
- American coots (2 @ BL, 70 @ LS)
- Northern shovelers (5 M, 3 F @ BL)
- Bluebirds (10+ @ BL & LS)
- Gadwalls (2 @ BL) FOS!
- Horned larks (2 @ BL) FOS!
- Phoebe (BL) FOS!
- Green-winged teals (6M, 5F @ LP) FOS!
- Killdeers (3 @ LS)
- Hooded mergansers (2M, 1F @ LS) FOS!
- Kingfisher (@ LS)