Date: 12/31/20 10:16 am
From: Marlene A Condon <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender marlenecondon for DMARC)
Subject: [va-bird] Quick nature report from western Albemarle
It's been an interesting fall into winter.   I've had a female towhee here pretty much every day (including today), and until just recently, a Hermit Thrush would start every morning off in my front yard by calling while it was still darkish out. 
A Fox Sparrow has put in appearances from time to time this month, along with one or more Pine Siskins. Red-breasted Nuthatches are around every day, and a Brown Creeper shows up occasionally.  On my daily walk I recently heard a phoebe chipping, which then landed on the nearby fence as if to say "hello"!  Heard Canada Geese migrating at dusk on Dec. 14.  Had a Great Horned Owl hooting ALL NIGHT on my property Dec. 16--something I've never experienced before. It called right into the morning when I left to walk so I know where it was north of my house. Strangely, I haven't heard it since.  The local Barred Owl has been rather quiet, but I SAW a Barred Owl on Dec. 10. It was perched low on a tree along the road where I walk, something I've not experienced around here before. It was hard to leave it to come home--I could've stared at it all day!   On Dec. 28 saw a Bald Eagle bringing a large branch to its nest at the local reservoir west of my house, so I guess the pair is g
oing to nest despite construction work taking place on the dam for most of 2021, if I'm not mistaken. I'd seen both eagles on my morning walks a few times before this, something that is unusual. I had thought they might have been scared away from the dam because of the construction activity, but I guess it's not enough to deter them from nesting.  Have been hearing a Red Fox coming by barking on most evenings for weeks. And a surprising discovery is that rabbits come to salt blocks! Have a block up on my porch and saw a bunny come along the sidewalk like it knew exactly where it was going. Hopped right up onto the porch and started licking the salt block!  Heard a Wood Frog (!!!!!) near my little pond shortly after 1 PM on Dec. 4 when the temps were mild. A mama bear was out with 2 cubs of the year on Dec. 11 when it was also mild.   That's all I have time for now. Happy New Year to everyone!  Sincerely,Marlene  
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