Date: 9/22/17 5:31 pm From: Ron Vogel via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] Occoquan NWR September 22 (end of summer, 2017)
After dredging for migrants with only modest success this past week, I visited Occoquan NWR this morning and was treated to a pretty memorable day. The morning began with significant warbler activity along the road by Turtle Pond. Ten different warbler species were highlighted by a brilliantly colored Blackburnian. Additionally, I scored an Olive-sided flycatcher on the snags along the far side of Turtle Pond, my FOS Philadelphia vireo, and a FOS ruby-crowned kinglet. Leaving the Turtle Pond area, I ran into a few more smaller mixed warbler/chickadee/titmouse flocks on Deep Hole Point road .
At Deep Hole Point, I crossed paths with Dixie Sommers, who told me she had seen a Cape May in a feeder flock just down the road from where we met. I tried my best to relocate the bird, but was unsuccessful. However, I did flush a first fall Mourning warbler by the side of the trail, and got excellent looks as the bird scratched through the leaf litter and feeding on whatever it found. Its only my second Mourning warbler at Occoquan going back quite some time.
Finally, on my return to the parking lot, I found a late season chat. I thought this was the perfect way to end summer birding at Occoquan, because no other bird quite defines summer at the refuge as does the chat. Finished the day with 58 species.