Date: 2/20/18 5:32 pm From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...> Subject: Four and Fourteen Hardy blackbirds; displaying Monongalia Woodcocks
I went to Hardy County today in weather that eventually reached 81 degrees! That may be why I found virtually no waterbirds except those indicated below. I did, however, find 4 species of blackbirds totaling 14 individuals.
Cunningham Lane north of Moorefield. The field at the farm just east of the railroad tracks where Wilson's Snipe have been found many times was partially flooded and a muddy mess due to the cattle. No snipe, but:
Red-tailed Hawk--1 Eastern Meadowlark--1 singing male Red-winged Blackbird--3 males, with at least 1 singing
Brighton Park south of Moorefield:
Canada Goose--130 roosting on the far bank underneath the trees, many with heads tucked in and many partially obscured by logs and tree trunks. If there were any Cackling Geese there, I couldn't find them. Common Merganser--2 females Common Grackle--5 males Brown-headed Cowbird--5 females
I also checked the following locations in the afternoon: Route 259 ponds north of Lost City, Kimsey Run Lake, Parker Hollow Lake, and Hogueland Lane west of Petersburg in Grant County. All were birdless.
I got home just in time to go out to Little Indian Creek Wildlife Management Area west of Morgantown to see if the warm weather had spurred American Woodcocks to begin their courtship display flights. At 6:35 pm, just after I got out of my car, I heard 2 birds peenting, and 1 flew just over my head and was visible for about 15 seconds before it got too high in the air. Actually Kyle Carlsen and Mollee Brown had found 3 birds there on Feb. 18, and past years have eBird records from Feb. 18-23, so they are right on schedule.