December 4, 2016 [LINK / comment]

American Wigeon in Waynesboro

Thanks to a tip from fellow Augusta Bird Club member Stan Heatwole, on Thursday I located an American Wigeon on the pond behind the Target shopping center on the south edge of Waynesboro. It was the first one I've seen this season, and even though it was in the shade I was able to get a decent photograph of it. I took a better photo of that species in the same place a year or two earlier. There were about 20 Canada Geese there as well, plus a few Mallards, and a male House Finch in a spruce tree very close to my car.

American Wigeon

American Wigeon, in Waynesboro, December 1.

Around 2:30 this afternoon, I made a quick visit to Bell's Lane, even though it was very chilly and the skies were overcast. I noticed on the chalkboard at the kiosk that a Fox Sparrow had been sighted there, which was exciting news. (I later learned it was seen by Penny Warren.) I looked in vain for it, but nevertheless had some success in photographing a Brown Creeper and several White-crowned Sparrows. I also saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the distance. No sign of the Northern Harrier, unfortunately, but I later saw an e-mail from Allen Larner indicating that not only was the Harrier present later in the afternoon, but two Short-eared Owls as well!

After I returned home I went out back to fill the bird feeder, and heard a Northern Flicker call from a tree top. I was delighted when it flew down to feed on berries in the vines, and managed to get some nice closeup photos. That photo and a few others taken this month can be seen on the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.