Date: 2/19/18 7:30 am From: Shea Tiller via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] red-headed woodpecker group, kestrels, meadowlark influx +more @Fluvanna
Yesterday I had time from the morning until about 2:30 to somewhat thoroughly bird some extremely underbirded portions of Fluvanna County. A couple of the places apparently hadn't been birded in several years. Overall, it was a very successful trip, boosting my county life list and year list. Likely due to the weather front change, winter residents seemed extremely sparse, and the majority of the songbirds I saw were singing profusely.
Some highlights included:
*5 meadowlarks *at Pleasant Grove Park.
A group of *red-headed woodpeckers* at the *Lake Monticello Golf Course*; this was more than had been seen there before, so maybe they'll nest.
*2 kestrels *(rare in Fluv.), a small flock of *pigeons *(uncommon-rare in Fluv.), and another *meadowlark *at the Carysbrook Plantation (a pig was freely roaming the plantation fields as well).
*A ring-billed gull* (uncommon-rare in Fluvanna) at the shopping center just outside of Lake Monticello on Turkeysag Trail.
*Three more meadowlarks*, *a soaring red-shouldered hawk *(a bit of a surprise in this habitat), and a very distant flock of about 1,500 birds that were likely all starlings around the intersection of Central Plains Road and W. River Road. I tried scoping, but they weren't quite close enough to permit a thorough look. Landowners were extremely polite and two offered us access to their land, which would have allowed for closer inspection of the massive flock if I had had time.
*Buffleheads *and a* lesser scaup *at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women pond (*must *be birded from outside the prison property). The water level appeared very low even after recent precipitation.