It was fairly misty this morning, but when there was a break in the clouds, I took a short hike here in Stoney Creek. In about 45 minutes I had logged 16 species, all of them common winter birds. Near the beginning of my hike I encountered a Hermit Thrush standing in the middle of the road at the end of my street. It was looking around as if it were lost and was trying to get its bearings. After it noticed me, it flew up into a nearby tree. I saw a Mallard sleeping on the dock on Lake Monocan rather than in the water - it must have had a rough night.
December 11, 2012
It was sunny, but a bit cool this morning, and I headed over to Crozet. My first stop was at the pond at Old Trail where I saw Ruddy Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and a Pied-billed Grebe.
My next stop was at the Lickinghole Creek trail and lake where I saw at least 21 species. Again, all were fairly common, and included three Wilson's Snipes, one Killdeer, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and an Accipiter hawk that was either a Sharp-shinned or a Cooper's. The Accipiter was a good distance away, and I was looking into the sun. At times its tail was squared off (Sharpie), and at other times it looked rounded (Cooper's). It looked at times to have raised hackles (Cooper's), but that could have just been from the wind blowing. The only front view I could see was partial, and it looked like its breast streaks extended below its belly (Sharpie).
Red-shouldered Hawk eating a fish it had just caught in the creek
Female Downy Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker
Three Wilson's Snipes
Two Wilson's Snipes
After Lickinghole Creek, I went to KF Vineyards, where all I saw were mostly Canda Geese, and a few Mallards, but after processing the photos I found a female Northern Shoveler mixed in with the Mallards.
Female Northern Shoveler
I made a detour on the way home to Skyline Drive, and checked the coniferous trees for Crossbills at Sawmill Ridge Overlook and at Beagle Gap, but all I saw there were Crows and a Raven.