November 22, 2004 [LINK]

More new winter birds

Red-breasted nuthatch While hiking along the Chimney Hollow Trail west of Staunton on Sunday, I saw several Red-breasted nuthatches, for the first time in over three years. Photos of the hike (and a strange fruit called "Osage orange") are posted at the bottom of the now-complete Virginia Fall 2004 page. I also saw two Brown creepers for the first time this season; I happened to see one of those in the upper elevations around Ramsey's Draft last June, an apparent rare breeder in these latitudes. There were quite a few Golden-crowned kinglets, but they too stayed far above effective camera range. On the way home I stopped at Bell's Lane, and saw two Red-tailed hawks, two Northern harriers (one adult male, one immature), a Kestrel, and several Northern pintail ducks, Ruddy ducks, American coots, Bluebirds, plus one each of a White-crowned sparrow, a Field sparrow, and a Chipping sparrow. On Saturday I saw a Fox sparrow for the first time this season, behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad.