May 31, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Birding around Richmond

I had to be in the capital city of the Old Dominion today, and is my wont, I took advantage of the opportunity to do a little bird watching while I was there. On Friday evening, with beautiful weather, I saw several Ospreys, Great Blue Herons, Kingbirds, and many Tree Swallows around the James River near downtown Richmond. I really envied all those young people who were swimming, tubing, and kayaking in the picturesque rapids smack in the middle of a big city, but I wondered how many of them realize how lucky they were to have those awesome four-foot tall birds only a stone's throw away.

Early on Saturday morning, I reached (after some trial and error searching) my main destination: the Dutch Gap Conservation Area, about ten miles downstream on the James River. Upon arriving, I was chagrined to see that the gate was closed, as the park does open until 8:00 A.M. But I couldn't wait that long, so I "bushwhacked" my way through the woods, in search of my main target species: the Prothonotary Warbler, which has a restricted range and habitat, requiring warm, moist woodlands. (They built their nests in tree cavities, the only warbler to do so.) Jacqueline and I had seen for the first time back in April, 2000. Almost immediately, I heard a steady, monotonic warblerish song which I thought was that bright golden bird, and I turned out to be right. Sure enough, I spotted one before long, and a couple more at close range later on. Eureka! And after eight years! What follows is a complete eBirds report of this morning's adventures, not just the highlights. "(HO)" means that I Heard it Only.

Location: Dutch Gap Boat Landing
Observation date: 5/31/08
Number of species: 18

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(