<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
January 5, 2009 [LINK / comment]
New year, new birds!
Prompted by an e-mail alert from Allen Larner, I drove over toward the Stuarts Draft area today, Guthrie Road to be exact. This local birding "hot spot" which Allen often patrols is a very rural part of Augusta County, with huge barren fields and very few houses -- almost like you're in the Midwest, except hillier. I didn't see the of Snow buntings that had been sighted, but I did see a pair of small dark birds circling overhead and emitting an odd call. They were small (bluebird sized), chocolate brown, with some kind of markings on the neck or shoulders, pale bellies, and a notched, rounded tail, like that of a Red-winged blackbird. The sky was cloudy, so visibility wasn't very good, and the birds stayed at least 30 yards away from me, making it hard to see details. What was most distinctive was their strange call, consisting of harsh cheeps (tee-uw) interspersed with rapid twittering or rattling. I was stumped. Just as I was about to leave, fortunately, Allen himself showed up and helped me to identify those two birds, which were almost certainly Lapland longspurs. After going through all my field guides back home, I am 95% sure, making that my first life bird of the year, and the 381st total! Here are today's highlights:
- Red-tailed hawk
- Meadowlarks -- 15+
- Horned larks -- 20+
- Lapland longspurs (prob.; LIFE BIRD!) -- 2
According to YuLee Larner's Birds of Augusta County, the Lapland longspur is a "rare winter visitor," last seen in this area in 2004. So, even though it's not a definite sighting, I put the alert about it (and the Snow buntings, etc.) on the Augusta Bird Club Web site.
I saw a total of eleven life birds last year, the greatest number of new birds that I have seen in the United States in a single calendar year since 2002, which was when we first moved to Staunton.
Energy vs. wildlife in Canada
In the Washington Post two weeks ago there was an article about the threat to certain neotropical migrant birds and other animals posed by tar sands mining in the province of Alberta. Among the many species affected by energy development in that part of Canada are the Connecticut warbler and the Blackpoll warbler. I hope they are setting aside a portion of the new oil revenues for the cause of wildlife conservation.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 06 Jan 2009, 12: 37 AM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)