Date: 3/29/17 2:19 pm
From: pepherup--- via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Water thrushes, Herons, Thrashers in Stonewall area of Appomattox County

It was projected to be a beautiful day today so I decided to skip doing projects and spend the morning birding. The first time in two weeks I have ventured out.
I decided to do my route of back roads in the Stonewall area of northern Appomattox County which has lots of creeks and little bridges. The second creek I came two near an old pond produced the notes of a Louisiana waterthrush which was truly music to my ears. I was even able to locate the bird and get a great look at it. I proceeded along the various roads to one that borders a large creek and mill pond to see if the two great blue heron nests that I observed there last year were in use. There was one nest only in the tree but with a resident sitting tight on the nest. Above it was what appeared to be the beginnings of another nest with a great blue standing on it. I assume that it was the mate of the female in the lower nest but I could be wrong about that. I don't know a lot about great blue nesting protocols.
Meadowlarks were seen and heard in every field I passed and brown thrashers were heard in several areas. The FOS for me appeared at my home yesterday although I occasionally see one now and then during the winter. I always have a pair nest in my yard so I am assuming this one is one of the nesting pair.
Several flocks of juncos were along the roads and many groups of chipping sparrows were active and looking lovely in breeding plumage with their rufus crown. One of the first birds I saw and heard on a road was a lovely field sparrow and it was singing. As a matter of fact I heard them singing nearly everywhere I went. Pine warblers were vocalizing in the pines along the road and I saw 2 of them.
Every bridge over a creek had a resident phoebe flitting around and at one creek a saw a very handsome kingfisher. Titmouse were singing loudly but I did not see or hear a chickadee or Carolina wren. I looked out over the landscape toward Amherst County across the James River for any bald eagles which might be up but only saw turkey and black vultures and two red tail hawks. Last week on my way to Lynchburg from Concord I had seen two adult bald eagles soaring over the James. The usual suspects, cardinals, mocking birds and bluebirds were around in large numbers and I did hear one raven call.

It was a glorious morning and the best reason I can think of to be a birder.

Peggy Lyons
Campbell County
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