Date: 4/16/17 12:36 pm
From: Gabriel Mapel via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Augusta & Rockingham Counties yesterday, RAPTORTHON
Hi all,Yesterday "Team Fly Like an Eagle!" (this year consisting of Vic Laubach, Baxter Beamer and I) spent 14 hours in the field covering 215+ miles for our fifth annual RAPTORTHON fundraiser for the Hawk Migration Association of North America and our local Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch.  This year we birded Augusta & Rockingham Counties.  We had a great day of birding and tallied 96 species.  We are still collecting pledgesand every penny helps!   You can sponsor us here: http://www.hmana.org/raptorthon/#Sponsor Thanks so much for considering!

RAPTORTHON 2017 Summary:
We started at 5:15am at the Shenandoah Wetlands in Stuarts Draft where we heard a displaying American Woodcock.  From there we drove Lake Rd & Coal Rd through Big Levels pre-dawn where we heard 3 Chuck-will's-widows and 28 Eastern Whip-poor-wills.  It was a great show as usual and we even saw five of the Whip-poor-wills in our headlights including a male courting a female, following her across the road and then sitting in a tree side-by-side!  After dawn in Big Levels we tallied 22 species including highlights: 1 Barred Owl, 2 L. Waterthrush, 10 Pine Warblers, 1 Purple Finch. 

At the InVista Pond in Waynesboro we could not find any BC Night-Herons but did pick up 1 Green Heron and 1 Palm Warbler.  At Quillen's Pond we had 1 Red-headed Woodpecker and another Palm Warbler.  We saw an adult Bald Eagle on the Stuarts Draft nest to add that species to our day list.  There were over 40 Purple Martins at the Martin houses behind the Cheese Shop.  Along Guthrie Rd we had a N. Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Hairy Woodpecker.  At the Fishersville Quarry we added a Coot and Grasshopper Sparrow.  McCune's Pond held 2 Blue-winged Teal and there were 3 Cliff Swallows flying around.  Along Hildebrand Church Rd we had a northbound migrating group of 6 Broad-winged Hawks and a Red-shouldered Hawk.
Along Bells Lane we had 37 species with highlights: 1 Wood Duck, 3 BW Teal, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, a recently fledged Mourning Dove, 1 Wilson's Snipe, 1 Grasshopper Sparrow, 3 White-crowned Sparrows.  
Over at the Augusta Springs Wetlands we had 24 species with highlights: 2 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Red-shouldered & 2 Broad-winged Hawks, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers building a nest and 2 Swamp Sparrows.  Going over the mountain on Troxel Gap Rd we added 2 Wild Turkeys, 6 Blue-headed Vireos and an apparent hybrid Carolina x Black-capped Chickadee.   In the Swoope Area we had 42 species with highlights: 5 Green-winged Teal, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 1 Eastern Kingbird. 

From there we went up into Rockingham County.  Leonard's Pond held a Wilson's Snipe but nothing else.  On the way to Lake Shenandoah we had a flyover Osprey.  At Lake Shenandoah we added the Forster's Tern found earlier in the day by William Leigh.  Over at Newman Lake we found 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron.  Silver Lake held 1 Green Heron and all the swallows (20 N. Rough-winged, 1 Purple Martin, 12 Tree, 1 Bank, 2 Barn, 1 Cliff).
Along Dry River Rd near Lumber Mill Rd we found 3 E. Collared-Doves.  At the Nazarene Church Rd Wetlands we found 4 Wilson's Snipe, 1 Greater Yellowlegs and the continuing Dowitcher.  We finished up back in Waynesboro with our 96th and final species, Chimney Swift.
Thanks so much to Vic for driving and to the entire team for a fun and successful RAPTORTHON!  An additional big, special thank you to all our sponsors!

Good Birding,
Gabriel MapelNew Hope

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