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November 29, 2009 [LINK / comment]
The birds of November
I've only been on one major birding expedition this month, and precious little otherwise. A female Red-bellied woodpecker has been showing up at our backyard feeder almost every day lately, and we have seen an immature Yellow-bellied sapsucker on a semi-regular basis as well. Dark-eyed juncos are quite plentiful, and White-throated sparrows are somewhat less so. Red-tailed hawks are becoming more common along the highways, but thus far not as many Sharp-shinned hawks as I would normally expect.
Birding in Bath County*
Two weeks ago, on November 14 (Saturday), I joined Allen Larner, Penny Warren, and one other birder for a field trip to Bath County, about one hour's drive to the southwest, near the West Virginia border. It was very sunny and mild, and there was almost no wind at all, creating a serene sense of calm in the remote forests. Our first stop was the reservoir on Back Creek, where a hydroelectric station is located; all of the immature Bald eagles were seen there. Lake Moomaw was the final destination, and I was shocked to see how low the water level is. This was a deliberate measure aimed at reducing the risk from structural faults in the dam. (Yikes!) On our way back we stopped to enjoy the view from the top of a mountain pass east of Warm Springs, and spent a while looking around the Swoope area of western Augusta County. Here are the highlights, including ten (10) birds I saw for the first time this season:
- Red-tailed hawks
- Bald eagles (7 imm., 2 adults)
- Hooded mergansers (20+, FOS)
- American Black ducks (FOS)
- Green-winged teals
- Field sparrow
- Bufflehead (FOS)
- Ruddy ducks (FOS)
- Carolina wren
- Yellow-rumped warbler
- Ruffed grouse (FOS)
- Gadwalls (FOS)
- Great blue heron
- Golden-crowned kinglets
- Common loon (FOS)
- Hermit thrush (FOS)
- Fox sparrows (FOS)
- White-throated sparrows
- White-breasted nuthatches
- Yellow-bellied sapsuckers
- Pileated woodpeckers
- Hairy woodpecker
- Downy woodpecker
- Northern Harrier (FOS)
* What about "Bathing in Bird County"?
Lake Moomaw, at McClintick, with very low water levels because of a leaky dam. Roll your mouse over the image to see a nice mountain-top view of Bath County, looking to the east toward Goshen Pass and Lexington.
Can you see the Ruffed Grouse in this photo? Good luck -- it's very well camouflaged!
Flood at Chincoteague
The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Ida, and no tourists or nature lovers will be admitted until the damage is repaired. That's a pity, but maybe Mother Nature figured the area had too many humans and needed a good "washing." See a gallery of flood photos at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 29 Nov 2009, 7: 55 PM
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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:
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