December 26, 2013
Even though I was extremely busy with teaching duties this past fall semester, it happens that my drive home takes me right past where the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch takes place. So, I was able to put in a few hours most weeks helping the other observers keep track of raptor migration. The highlights for me were seeing a Merlins zoom past at eye level (in October, I believe), and seeing multiple Bald Eagles flying past high overhead. The following photos were not taken at the Hawk Watch, but they are worth displaying nonetheless.
Ever since they moved the Christmas Bird Count in this area ahead by a week a few years ago, I haven't been able to participate in it. On the actual Christmas Day, however, I did a bit of bird watching, along with Jacqueline, and we saw some Hooded Mergansers at the DuPont Ponds in Waynesboro.
For many more bird photos, which I have been posting on this Web site and on Facebook for the past few months (blog or not), see the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.
One of the disturbing trends in nature this year has been the sharp decline in the population of Monarch butterflies. They usually migrate through our area in large numbers throughout September and early October, but this year there just weren't that many. For more on this, see learner.org.