Monday, March 26, 2007

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3/24/07!

On Saturday (3/24) I heard (& later saw) a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Here are my arrival dates for BGGN in the yard from the past few years:


Also, I can now count nine (9) active Osprey nests from my back deck overlooking the Nansemond River (without moving my tripod)! I think it is the first time that ALL of the power transmission towers that I can see (actually on the river) have active nests. Must be a lot of shad in the river.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More News from the Nansemond River

Well - not much to report!

I scanned the river from my kitchen this AM. I counted 11 Ospreys and 8 active nests. There are at least 4 more nests that I cannot see from this vantage point. What a great recovery for these birds. When I was growing up here there probably weren't 5 nests around the Chuckatuck Creek/Nansemond River/Crittenden area.

Another sign of spring would be the first Great Egret from the yard this year. We had a couple on the Christmas Count but this was the first I've seen from the house for the year.

Ducks: Still good numbers of Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, & Ruddy Ducks, although I would estimate that there are only 50% of the ducks that were here at the end of January. Won't be long and the ducks will return north.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Weekly Update

Back in VA . . .

Well - I just spent a week in the relatively "birdfree" Turks and Caicos islands (southern part of Bahamas). I was shocked by the paucity of birds down there - not just number of species, but numbers period! But it was nice to go a week w/o seeing a House Sparrow or Eur. Starling!

Best birds: Bahama Woodstar, Thick-billed Vireo, Bahama Mockingbird, WT Tropicbird, and a Yellow-throated Warbler that kept residence in a palm tree outside my window. I like to see "our" birds in far off lands!

Upon my return, I see that the Ospreys have made great progress at nest building. I think most of the pairs have returned. Plus the black-headed Laughing Gulls have returned. Definitely a sound of early spring to hear them calling. I await swallows & gnatcatchers to complete my early spring. AND the Boat-tailed Grackles are back displaying on our property. Never have been able to find any nests - they must be here though.

As I type this sitting here in my office I hear Purple Martins overhead! Glad I put the houses up this past weekend. Anyone else have new arrivals?