Monday, March 10, 2014


I thought I would do due diligence and add this weekend's pretty-good bird list to eBird. But, oops: I forgot that good citizen scientists keep each outing as a separate list and count individuals. The latter is actually pretty easy to ballpark, but since I tend to keep a running list for a whole trip, adding birds at the end when I remember "oh, we saw that yesterday," the time/walk is hard to reconstruct. I wanted to add to it, though, because we ID'd a rusty blackbird and a very early tree swallow. eBird shows one other list in Halifax County with a rusty blackbird -- at the end of last year -- so I feel OK about that. But no one's reported a tree swallow since last spring! Yet I felt confident of that ID, if surprised by how early they were (2).

The other "meh" thing about eBird is that it creates a life list -- in theory, awesome, but not an asset for someone who's been at this a while. This weekend was not, after all, my first sighting of a killdeer!

Highlights from a list of 39 species across 3 days, mostly at Staunton River State Park, but these first 2 from Staunton River Battlefield SP:

red-headed woodpecker
all the other Virginia woodpeckers! (a full house?!)
bald eagle that swooped over us as we entered park, with nest material in its talons
rusty blackbird
many pine warblers feeding on the ground
red-winged blackbirds eating grass seed
tree swallow
LOTS of titmice

Weather: Southside Virginia got about 3 inches of snow on Friday; when we arrived Saturday afternoon, picturesque dustings -- more like crusts --  remained and some lasted until departure Monday morning. Days got up to low 60s, I think, and it was nice and sunny.

No comments: