Date: 12/27/18 3:52 am
From: Jeffrey Blalock via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [VA-bird] Two Great Days of Birding
Greetings all

I hope that each of you had a very Merry Christmas by Christmas present was getting up at 0300 Hrs and driving up to Amherst Co about an hr 40 minutes drive to the location of the Say’s Phoebe.

I arrived at 0600 hrs and just in a few minutes I found the International Space Station just as told on the evening weather the night before. A very bright light moving across still dark morning sky from the SE at 0610 and was able to watch it for 5 minutes.

While waiting for daylight I heard a GH Owl in the distance and I walked up and down the road hoping to hear a Woodcock but no luck, it was too cold for them.

From 0700 hrs to 1045 hrs I search the area with other birders but no luck. So Donna Mateski and I went looking for ducks at Mill Creek Lake and within 20 minutes I got a call from Mark Johnson they had found the Phoebe so Donna and I raced back and arrived only to find out some dogs walked through the field and scared it off.

A few minutes later Mike Boatwright who found the Phoebe the day before and Bob Epperson and his mom Betty arrived and stayed awhile to help search. But no luck so Mike went in one direction and Bob and his mom the other direction along the road and I stayed at the location where it was last seen. We had exchange cell numbers and hoped that we could reach each other if someone found the Phoebe.

After about an hour I called to check with Bob and he said that his mom Betty just found it and so I headed off in his direction trying to call Mike but all I got was his voice mailbox.

I managed to get there just in time while it was close to road and got a few pictures of it before it flew further back into the pasture but still able to see it with just binoculars but a scope gave a better look.

Finally Mike showed up and got to see it again and Mark returned as well to get a better look at it.

So I spent the next couple of hours Birding around the other two lakes in the area looking for ducks. Which I didn’t find much of except for a few Mallards at Thrasher Lake and Hooded Mergansers on a farm pond.

While checking out the lake at Thrasher I had a Cooper’s and a SS flying around together with the SS diving down on the Cooper’s.

At Stonehouse Lake where I found the Mallards, on the way out I had a RS Hawk fly across the road in front of me only about 10 off the ground.

I arrived home around 1830 hrs took care of my pet bird ate supper, took a shower and got in the bed around 2100 hrs to get up again on the 26 Dec at 0300 hrs for a trip to Wake Co.

My plan on the 26 was to arrive at the Barbour’s home around 0700 hrs for great breakfast of eggs homemade sausage and fruit and nice cup of coffee while we waited for the Baltimore Oriole to show up which it did just as I said it would when we sat down to eat. We birded the feeders for awhile adding a Purple Finch to my NC Life List and adding a RW Blackbird for Wake Co.

Stacy and Natalie had a great day planned ahead for me and we covered many great Birding Hotspots adding birds to my Wake Co List.

The places we went to are too many to go into details here but I ended up just one species short of what my goal was and that wasn’t their fault because Natalie found a Fox Sparrow but it flew off just a short distance into the brush and with all our combined effort we couldn’t find it again. Oh well that’s birding.

We had a great day and the weather couldn’t have been better nice temperatures, clear skies and little breeze now and then but not a normal blowing blistering winter wind that you can have in December.

I arrived home last night at 2130 hrs tried but very happy and even happier still I get to rest today.

The past two days was like doing to CBCs back to back that I have done in my young days.

So I ended up adding a new species to my VA Life List, 2 new species to my NC Life List and 12 species to my Wake count list bringing it up to 99 species that one that we miss means I’ll Be Back.

Wishing all a very Happy New Year and that next year you get that one bird that you really, really, really want.

Great Birding Always

From my iPhone

May God Bless and Keep You

Jeff Blalock
103 Elizabeth Court
South Boston VA 24592
434-470-4352 Cell

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