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July 16, 2016 [LINK / comment]
Great Egrets pay brief visit
A pair of Great Egrets visited Verona on Thursday, presumably juveniles which fledged in breeding grounds closer to the Atlantic coast. It was only by happenstance that I made this discovery, and otherwise the news might never have circulated in the local birding community. After "shopping" at the Antique Mall in Verona, I drove to the other side of the highway and took a look at the pond in back of the Hardees, at the entrance of the Mill Place industrial park. I hardly ever see any interesting birds there, and I was astonished when I saw a very tall white bird. Unfortunately, it had been raining, or else I would have brought my camera, so I had to hurry home and get my optical gear. When I returned, I saw that there were two Great Egrets, one of which was standing only about 30 yards from the road. CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! It later rejoined its companion on the other side of the pond, and I took some more photos. The breeding range of Great Egrets covers the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, extending upwards into the central Mississippi basin as far north as Illinois.
Great Egret, in Verona, July 14. Roll your mouse over the image to see a closeup of the head. More photos can be seen on the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.
More encounters with nature
When I went back to Verona the next day, workers were cutting the grass around the pond, and the Great Egrets were already gone. So I took a leisurely drive through north-central Augusta County, looking for other wetlands and meadows in case something interesting should appear. Bird-wise, it was just "the usual suspects."
So then I headed farther west toward Jennings Gap, through which Route 250 passes, and then went for a short walk along the Chimney Hollow trail. I wasn't really expecting to see much in the way of birds, but mainly wanted to get some peace and quiet. Indeed, the forest was almost silent, in contrast to the countryside fields and meadows I passed on the way there. I heard a couple Acadian Flycatchers, and saw one, and I also heard some odd squeaks in the bushes and finally saw a family of Worm-eating Warblers. Other than that, just a couple of Ravens passing far overhead, the (muted) songs of some Red-eyed Vireos, and the loud call of a Pileated Woodpecker. With overcast skies, it was very dark, and there was a brief sprinkle of rain. But the abundance of colorful fungus in the moist soil more than made up for the lack of birds:
Among the mushrooms in the montage above are Clavulina cristata (top right) and Amanita abrupta (bottom left). Other species are yet uncertain... Once identified, the photos will be posted on the Mushrooms photo gallery page, which I just realized is extremely outdated.
While I was departing to attend the OneVirginia 2021 meeting on Tuesday evening, I saw an enormous moth on the hood of a neighbor's car, and ran back inside to get my camera. It was bigger than my fist, almost five inches across. I determined the species from butterfliesandmoths.org.
Imperial Moth, in Staunton, July 12. A top-view photo can be seen on the Butterflies photo gallery page, which also includes moths -- at least for the time being.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Jul 2016, 10: 50 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 10, 2016 ~ Cooperstown calls Griffey, Piazza
January 17, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland (& Bath!) County
January 21, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Glenn Frey
January 26, 2016 ~ Sweet Briar College is saved!
January 31, 2016 ~ Presidential campaign begins
February 6, 2016 ~ Fall bird migration season 2015
February 20, 2016 ~ Life bird: Virginia Rail!
February 21, 2016 ~ 2016 primaries: populists propel polarization
March 10, 2016 ~ Yes, another Wrigley Field update!
March 26, 2016 ~ Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes
April 4, 2016 ~ Opening Day(s) in America, 2016! (& Sportsman's Park update)
April 18, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Alan L. Clem
April 21, 2016 ~ Flying out to So. Dak. (& back)
April 30, 2016 ~ Trump & Clinton take commanding leads
April 30, 2016 ~ Migration season reaches peak
May 7, 2016 ~ Trump secures victory; Sanders fights on
May 21, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Reddish Knob
June 7, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland County
June 9, 2016 ~ FOD [first-of-decade] Prothonotary Warblers!
June 14, 2016 ~ Birding on Hite Hollow Road
June 16, 2016 ~ Holy $#!+ -- Nationals win big showdown with Cubs
July 1, 2016 ~ Nationals sweep the Mets, widen NL East lead
July 3, 2016 ~ Kentucky Warblers, and more!
July 8, 2016 ~ Soras breeding in the Valley!
July 13, 2016 ~ Redistricting reform movement is growing
July 16, 2016 ~ The Nationals' starting rotation
August 5, 2016 ~ New page: Stadium profiles!
August 7, 2016 ~ Magical mushroom tour*
September 7, 2016 ~ To the northeast: Baseball road trip, 2016
September 18, 2016 ~ East by Northeast: Big city scenery travelogue
September 25, 2016 ~ Nationals win National League East Division
September 27, 2016 ~ Lucky! 13 warblers on Betsy Bell Hill
October 2, 2016 ~ Nationals' regular season ends on a high note
October 5, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park birding (II)
October 14, 2016 ~ Nationals flinch, Dodgers advance to NLCS
October 14, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park getaway
October 16, 2016 ~ World War II aircraft show (II)
October 25, 2016 ~ Holy cow: Cubs beat Dodgers, win NL pennant!
November 3, 2016 ~ The Cubs win the World Series!!!
November 4, 2016 ~ New month arrives, & new birds too
November 6, 2016 ~ Campaign 2016 grinds to a nasty, ugly end
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.)