Date: 1/1/19 5:30 pm From: Kurt Gaskill via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [VA-bird] Jan 1, 2019 in No. Va
David Ledwith and I went west today, mainly searching for Greater White fronted and Snow Geese reported outside of Upperville along Rt 50 last Sunday. In a sense we were half successful as you will soon read. We arrived at the reported site and saw only a few Canada Geese. We checked other ponds along Rt 50 but came up with a goose egg.
I recalled this nice pond on Piny Swamp Rd (no longer many pines and not too much swamp either) and came across 3 Trumpeter Swans and one Common Goldeneye. One of the swans had a neck band and the others did not.
We checked the Sky Meadows ponds and found some more Canada’s but in limited numbers. So we went to Blandy but found NOTHING other than the locally common Red breasted Nuthatch. Yet, we ran into Scott Priebe searching for the Marsh Wren and exchanged our meager information. We headed for Featherbed Rd but other than a few ducks, no shrike.
David and I went south hoping for geese on Harrison Rd and found .... not a single goose! Then Scott called and told us about the Ross’s Goose. We headed over there quickly and snapped a few photos; Scott showed up and we chatted a bit.
David and I tried a couple more ponds, but no geese. We drove east, stopping at Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria and viewed 3 adult Black crowned Night Herons at the new roost site. We went to the Dyke Marsh area and found a large group of Canada’s on the golf course. Mixed in was a Snow Goose, white phase. David may have glimpsed the Cackling Goose but was not a 100%. It was near 5 pm and our drive on the GW Parkway along the golf course resulted in my obtaining a glimpse of the Merlin flying across the road.
An interesting day with a few rare to uncommon birds.