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April 4, 2010 [LINK / comment]
Happy Easter bird watching
The veritable heat wave of the past week has all but erased memories of the horrible Winter of 2009-2010, and the feathered creatures have begun to arrive more or less on schedule from their wintering grounds far to the south. At long last, Spring migration is truly underway.
I've been driving out to the Bell's Lane area every couple days recently, and today marked another record-setting milestone for me. In the woods about 1/2 mile east of I-81 along Route 276, I heard, and finally saw, my first Blue-gray gnatcatcher of the year. The earliest I had ever seen that species before this year was April 9. (They have nested above Lewis Creek there in summers past, along with both kinds of orioles.) The gnatcatcher was accompanied by a few Titmice and Yellow-rumped warblers, and several Northern Rough-winged swallows (first of year!) were circling around the cow pasture nearby.
On Bell's Lane itself, not much was going on, but soon I glimpsed a couple small yellowish birds flitting about the vine-covered road-side fence, and soon confirmed that they were Palm warblers, also my first of the year. Too bad they flew away just as I was about to take their picture.
Three new arrivals: not a bad way to celebrate Easter Sunday! Now I'm going to have to update my Annual arrival page...
Other recent sightings
On Bell's Lane yesterday, I saw my first Barn swallows of the year, beating my previous earliest-sighting record by one day. I saw my first Tree swallows out there about a week ago, more or less when they are expected.
Allen Larner has spread the word about a rookerie (nesting colony) that has been established by a large group of Great blue herons on Frank's Mill Road, less than three miles northwest of Staunton. I spotted a couple dozen of them on my second visit to that location about a week ago. It's truly an amazing sight to behold so many large birds in one place.
On my way to the Green Valley Book Fair on March 24, I saw three Green-winged teals (1M, 2F) at Leonard's Pond. On the campus of James Madison University later that afternoon, I saw a Kinglet (not sure which) that was singing his tiny head off in the bushes.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 04 Apr 2010, 11: 55 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
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This (or that) year's
January 18, 2010 Earthquake leaves Haiti in ruins
January 18, 2010 Our new governor: Bob McDonnell!
January 29, 2010 Obama: "We can do it together"
February 27, 2010 Huge earthquake strikes Chile
March 20, 2010 Procedural ploy to pass Obamacare
March 21, 2010 House passes Senate's Obamacare*
March 29, 2010 Rebuilding a Republican majority
March 31, 2010 Augusta County GOP reunites (for now)
May 11, 2010 R.I.P. Yankee Stadium (1923-2010)
May 17, 2010 Did Tories win British election?
May 18, 2010 The final mission for Atlantis?
June 9, 2010 Strasburg makes a historic debut
June 24, 2010 Nationals sweep the Royals (almost)
August 5, 2010 Ballpark blitz: 4 stadiums in 2 days!
August 14, 2010 Friday the 13th: Nats get lucky
August 19, 2010 "Ground Zero mosque" hysteria
September 15, 2010 Tea Party triumphs in Delaware
September 17, 2010 The U.S. Constitution and Freedom
September 27, 2010 Nationals spoil Braves' hopes, again
October 6, 2010 Photo gallery extreme makeover
October 27, 2010 Tempests in the Tea Party
November 3, 2010 Decision 2010: two cheers for the GOP
November 5, 2010 San Francisco Giants: world champions!
November 27, 2010 Goodbye to Luciano, and to Olive
December 6, 2010 Nationals sign Jayson Werth
December 29, 2010 Extreme weather disrupts sporting events
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.)