Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Today the chipping sparrow that nests in the parking lot of where I work is back. He must have arrived last night as he was not here yesterday. It is so amazing to see this little bird return from such an amazing journy. It is a miracle that any of them survive.
With all of the changes that have occured in the last century from human over population, clear cutting and strip mining it is a wonder to me that any of these birds can find their way back to their breeding grounds. The risks from predators and man-made obstacles must be many fold higher than they were a few hundered years ago. Little chipping sparrow, you amaze me!

Monday, April 01, 2002

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society Birding 201 class
to Shannondale Springs today found the following on our short walk before
heading to the Bloomery area of the Shenandoah:
Eastern phoebe
Carolina chickadee
Red-bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Northern flicker
Tufted titmouse
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (pair interacting close by for the class)
White-breasted nuthatch
Brown creeper
Yellow-rumped warbler
Hermit thrush (singing)
Black vulture
Turkey vulture
Red-tailed hawk
Common raven
American crow
Am. robin
Am. goldfinch
Mourning dove
Common grackle
House finch

Plus some nice stations of putty root orchid with at least 10 persisting
flower stalks from last year. Not enough snow this winter to knock them
over. Another two weeks and our lists from there should be much more
substantial. Bob Dean and I saw shrikes at the same place on Rt. 9 while
traveling. Also Bonaparte's gulls near the Rt. 9 bridge over the river, and
Louisiana waterthrush, horned grebe, ruddy duck, wigeon, and others north of
Rt. 9 along the river.
The weather was just perfect.