I visited areas east of Richmond on Sunday, February 8th consisting of Prince George, Charles City and Henrico Counties. The day was seasonally very mild with winds ranging in the 3-12 mph range from the SSW. Overall waterfowl were present in low numbers besides Canada Geese which in total ranged in the 5,000 range. Amongst the Canada’s on Turkey Island Road in Henrico County were 16-17 Greater White-fronted Geese and 3 Cackling Geese.
Otherwise, I observed the first of the season Forster’s Terns on the James River for me and two (2) FOY Tree Swallows on Turkey Island Road in Henrico County.
On Saturday, February 7th I visited Virginia Beach. I started at Back Bay NWR ocean watching. There was a significant presence of Red-throated Loons with intermittent presence or flight of all three scoter species. Also observed were Brown Pelicans and Forster’s Tern which were FOY for me. The watch proved unsuccessful for my target species which were alcids. I birded the entrance road to Back Bay NWR and located two Orange-crowned Warblers.
I then headed north to CBBT Island #1. The waters were calm in the bay and bird life was slow for the most part. With visibility being good I could scope all the way across to CBBT #2 and discern scoters and Long-tailed Ducks at that location. Also visible was a Razorbill in between the two islands. Shorebirds consisted of the expected Ruddy Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers and Sanderlings. I then traveled across the bridge/tunnel and observed an additional Razorbill on the ocean side beyond CBBT #4 and on the return trip observed Greater Cormorants on the southern side of CBBT #3.