Date: 2/28/17 6:38 pm From: Fred Atwood <fatwood...> Subject: [Va-bird] Belated Report: King George and Westmoreland Counties, Feb 26
Dear VA Birders I am sorry for this delayed report, but I thought it might still be of interest to some of you. It was a gorgeous day Sunday Feb 26, and rather than dashing all over the place I took my time savoring every moment of it, visiting only two locations at King George ponds (LaGrange Lane and one private location), Washington's Birthplace in Westmoreland, and 2 private locations in Leedstown (Westmoreland). There was a good diversity of waterfowl, though goose numbers were way down compared to my last visit. Tundra Swans were still present in good numbers at Birthplace where I spent a good long time just scanning them with my scope and enjoying their wonderful calls. There were a couple new spring arrivals, including Tree Swallows, Blue-winged Teals and some very early Pectoral Sandpipers. Pine Warblers were singing in a couple locations but no Ospreys were back yet. A Merlin and some singing and foraging Rusty Blackbirds were in Leedstown. A flock of kinglets. and pine and yellow-rumped warblers were foraging for insects among the red maple blossoms in full bloom. A few violets were in bloom and one blueberry bush had a few blossoms. During the very mellow sunset, a Virginia Rail grunted in the marsh in Leedstown where two harriers were hunting and scores of ducks were foraging or flying in for the night. Barred and Great Horned Owls were hooting away as the light faded. And one last stop at Mothershead (RapRivValNWR) in Leedstown had 7 woodcocks peenting and doing their flight displays. There were also singing Spring Peepers as well as Leopard and Pickerel Frogs at several locations, and just one of the vernal pools had a couple of salamander egg masses so it is still too early for them.
Here are some of the 94 species of birds I found that day.
1068 Canada Geese at 5 locations 328 Tundra Swans at Lagrange, Leedstown and 306 at Birthplace 38 Wood Duck (36 at my property in Leedstown) 158 Gadwall at 3 locations 14 American Wigeon at LaGrange and Leedstown 64 Mallards 3 locations 5 Blue WInged Teal (FOY in Leedstown 28 Shoveler in Leedstown 10 Pintail in Leedstown and Lagrange 135 Green WInged Teal in 3 locations (115 in Leedstown) 79 Canvasback at Birthplace and King George 10 Redhead at Lagrange (9) and Birthplace 226 Ring-necked Duck at 4 locations Scaup: 25 Greater and 76 Lesser 48 Bufflehead at 3 locations 1 C Goldeneye King George 22 Hooded Merganser at 2 locations 5 Common Merganser (Leedstown) 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (Leedstown) 960 Ruddy Ducks mostly males at Birthplace, mostly females at LaGrange 1 Red-throated Loon Birthplace 7 Pied Billed Grebe at 3 locations 1 Great Egret a LaGrange 3 Harriers in Leedstown 1 Coopers Hawk in Leedstown 15 Bald Eagles in 6 locations 1 Virginia Rail Leedstown 35 Coot LaGrange 16 Killder 2 Pectoral Sandpiper Leedstown 3 Snipe LaGrange and Leedstown 7 Woodcock Leedstown 2 Bonaparte's Gull Birthplace 2 Great Horned and 5 Barred Owls in Leedstown 2 Kestrel Leedstown 1 Merlin Leedstown 1 Phoebe 2 Horned Lark King George 4 Tree Swallow LaGrange 2 Brown Creeper Birthplace 1 Winter Wren 1 Hermit Thrush 1 Catbird 6 Pine Warblers 3 Fox SParrows Birthplace 27 Juncos 29 white-throats 4 savannahs 2 Swamp Sp 6 towhees 23 Rusty Blackbirds Leedstown 1 male Purple Finch along the road to Birthplace. Appeared stunned on the side of the road. When I stopped to check on it it flew up and spiraled back down again as if dizzy. After doing this a few times it flew off and disappeared.