Fall 2017 (September through November)

Week of September 16-22, 2017

I have been enjoying a vacation with family at Atlantic Beach, N.C.  On Sunday, I observed 4 different Parasitic Jaegers along the beachfront with the approach Hurricane Jose off shore.  Since then I had the opportunity to follow-up (9-19) on observations by Clyde Atkins of both a Ruff and Buff-breasted Sandpiper north of Beaufort, N.C.

I visited the Croatan National Forest on Sunday and observed several Fine-lined Emeralds.

During walks, with the family and by myself over the last couple of days, I have noted eight (8) dead Clapper Rails along and in the road dead.  The common factor in all cases appears to be they encountered the power lines while migrating and/or moving around during the night time hours.

On Friday, we visited Cape Lookout and enjoyed a walk to the “point”.  Willets, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover and Red Knot were the more commonly encountered shorebirds.  A couple of immature Least Terns were also observed.  On the way to Cape Lookout we stopped by the “Ruff spot” and again noted it and the continuing Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

September 10, 2017

Today was an enjoyable day with some minor migration going on early in Charles City County.  Eleven (11) warbler species plus a  single Chat and a latish Warbling Vireo made the biggest splashes.

Later in the day I took a short walk and had my first of season Black-capped Chickadee in Frederick County, Va.  Also of note were two calling  Great Horned Owls.

September 3, 2017

What a difference a day can make.  I again visited Culpepper County this morning and found the  migrant shorebird species to be enjoyable.  I was surprised to see two species on the pond that were not present yesterday or obvious in the gray and drizzly conditions.  A Red-necked Phalarope and two Stilt Sandpipers were at the far end but enjoyable through the scope.  I then visited the field where the American Golden Plovers had been observed and while they were present in reduced or observed numbers (8), they were joined by a Sanderling and a Baird’s Sandpiper.  Noted in the shorebird mix today were Least (6) and Pectoral Sandpipers (4), Semipalmated Plovers (7) and a few Lesser Yellowlegs (4).

Baird's Sandpiper in Culpepper County, Va

Baird’s Sandpiper in Culpepper County, Va

Baird's Sandpiper and Sanderling in Culpepper County, Va

Baird’s Sandpiper and Sanderling in Culpepper County, Va

Sanderling in Culpepper County, Va

Sanderling in Culpepper County, Va

Rednecked Phalarope and Stilt Sandpiper in Culpepper County, Va.

Rednecked Phalarope and Stilt Sandpiper in Culpepper County, Va.

After visiting Culpepper County for several hours I headed up to Clarke County.  Since it was late  much of the activity had abated(?).  I did have success with flycatchers with several Least and Eastern Pewees being observed but I most pleased to observed two different Olive-sided Flycatchers feeding from their proverbial high perches.

Olived-sided Flycatcher in Clarke County, Va.

Olived-sided Flycatcher in Clarke County, Va.

Olived-sided Flycatcher in Clarke County, Va.

Olived-sided Flycatcher in Clarke County, Va.

I also got to enjoy a good comparison in size between an immature Bald Eagle and a Common Raven.

Bald Eagle with Common Raven in Clarke County, Va.

Bald Eagle with Common Raven in Clarke County, Va.

 

September 2, 2017

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey have been demonstrating themselves for the last 24 hours with overcast skies and light rain to drizzle here in northern Virginia. I decided to visit Culpepper County this morning to see whether any shorebirds had been grounded by the weather.  The trip was fruitful in that American Golden Plovers (13) and a good variety of expected shorebirds were present.

American Golden Plover from Culpepper County, Va.

American Golden Plover from Culpepper County, Va.