I visited the City of Hopewell again this morning. Unlike all other visits this year I happened upon two (2) Baltimore Orioles feeding near City Point. The constant movement and flux among the birds demonstrates that at any one visit a species not observed to date can be present.
The next species observed albeit briefly was the Yellow-breasted Chat that I had first observed on November 5th. It was within 50-100 feet of its initial finding. The photo below is horrendous but it only momentarily presented itself and the camera focused on the twig in front of it.
With the windy conditions today, Bald Eagles made their presence known with 15+ observed soaring about. On one occasion an Osprey joined one of the groups.
Today in Charles City County, two Red-tailed Hawks (albieticola) were observed within sight of each other, albeit distant. I have been observing one for many years but this is the first time I have noted two at the location.
Also of note today were four (4) Orange-crowned Warblers, with 3 being observed in the City of Hopewell and 1 in the City of Richmond. One (1) Palm Warbler and Pine Warbler were also observed in the City of Hopewell.
What a weekend of contrast! Saturday had a high approaching 76 degrees only to be followed by Sunday with a high of around 47 degrees and winds blowing from the NW at 10-25 mph. On Saturday I observed 6 species of warblers with highlights of 6 Orange-crowned Warblers (2 City of Hopewell & 4 Charles City County), 1 Palm, 2 Pine, 2 Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped and 1 unIDed species which was probably Nashville but I could not rule out an Oporornis sp. due to poor visibility of the bird in dense cover.
On Sunday, I ran into Paul Glass and we birded the City of Hopewell & Charles City County in the blustery conditions. We had 2 Orange-crowned Warblers in Hopewell, 1 in Charles City County and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Hopewell.
Sunday, November 13th, proved to be an enjoyable morning in time spent in both the City of Hopewell and Charles City County. The first surprise bird of the day was an immature appearing Northern Rough-winged Swallow from the City of Hopewell. It was very sedentary early in the morning with the temperatures hovering around 32 degrees. I can only hope as the day warmed that it chose to move south of its current location. The next species of interest were the Orange-crowned Warblers in various sites as at least 5 individuals were counted. I observed/photographed one that appears to be lutescens or at least an individual with some hybridization of that sub-species. As I moved into Charles City County the two observed tardy species were an immature Blue Grosbeak and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
The strong cold front continued its effects on Sunday, October 23rd. I made the decision to quickly travel to Island #1 on the C.B.B.T. and the lower eastern shore of Virginia. I arrived early on Island #1 and noted two (2) Marsh Wrens, one (1) Winter Wren, one (1) Song and White-throated Sparrows feeding along the eastern side of the island out of the wind. The only other land bird migrant at this location was a Yellow-rumped Warbler at daybreak. On the lower eastern shore the only slightly notable land birds proved to be a reverse orienting Dickcissel flying overhead, Northern Parula and a Blackpoll Warbler. Raptors, at the southern end of the island, were entertaining with accipiters being the most active group.
Today, Saturday October 22nd, I visited the City of Hopewell. A strong cold front has just cleared the area and the day is windy ~8 to 18 mph from the NW. Highlights proved to be continuing warblers, a Scarlet Tanager, a B-g Gnatcatcher and an increasing gull flock made up principally of Laughing Gulls. The Laughing Gull flock is substantial but from the vantage points I had this morning and the timing of my observations it limited the count to ~1800. Some photos from today’s trip are immediately below:
Ten (10) species of warbler this morning, Saturday, October 15th spread out principally in the City of Hopewell and Henrico Counties. Two (2) Yellow-billed Cuckoos still present in the City of Hopewell.
One of three Yellow Warblers observed in Hopewell on September 25th.
Immature White Ibis and Northern Waterthrush on September 18th from Charles City County, Virginia. Migration allows for species to show up in other than their usual haunts with the Northern Waterthrush high and dry in the midst of a extensive pine plantation.
Sanderling from Saturday, September 17th in Charles City County, Virginia.