I only had time this morning for a one hour hike, but that was more than enough time. Not only was it cold, there were sustained winds of 10 to 20 mph, and gusts betweeen 30 and 40 mph. I only birded in some sheltered areas to keep out of the wind, and managed to log 20 avian species.
And now, I'd like to briefly diverge from wildlife photos. By evening, the strong winds had moved out the clouds from the previous day, and the wind became calm. Last night, there was a very close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, and I missed seeing it because of cloud cover. But the two planets were still very close this evening, and I decided to try photographing the planets with my wildlife camera. Back in the 1980s, I did a lot of film-based astrophotography, and after not using my 60 pound telescope for more than a decade, I sold it before moving to Crozet in 2016. Not only was it a chore to carry and set up, wildlife photography was more fun, easier to do, and I didn't have to stay awake all night! Even though I knew that my results tonight would not be the quality I could get with a telescope, and even old film cameras, I still gave it a try, and here's the result.
Jupiter and Saturn
Click here to see some of my old astrophotos
Moon this evening
There was almost no wind this morning, and lots of birds had come out to forage after yesterday's strong winds. I ended up with 29 avian species today, and adding 4 avian species seen yesterday that I missed today, my two day list was 33 avian species.
House Finch, American Goldfinch, and Pine Siskins
I saw one (or both?) of our Red-shouldered Hawks in three different locations. One of the times, it flew into a tree in the wetlands, was mobbed by Crows, and then it moved down into a more sheltered location.
I finished my hike with a very cooperative Pileated Woodpecker that was more interested in insects than my being close. Unfortunately, there were a lot of branches in the way, and the woodpecker was backlit most of the time. I did manage a few decent photos.