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Field trip to Swoope

On January 28, 13 members of the Augusta Bird Club went hiking for almost a mile along the woodland road at the Boy Scout camp in Swoope. There were several woodpeckers, including a distant Red-headed one, as well as many White-throated Sparrows, Tufted Titmice, Carolina and/or Black-capped Chickadees, and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Later we all stopped at Cattleman Road, and Bill Benish eventually spotted our main target bird, the Loggerhead Shrike. It was very cooperative as it gradually got closer to us in the course of its hunting routine. Finally, we headed east on Livick Road where, to our utter amazement, we saw a SECOND Loggerhead Shrike! (Top center in the photo montage below.) One day later, Bill Benish and Robyn Puffenberger returned and determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were in fact two separate birds. Thanks to Josephine King for keeping track of all the species we saw, including several Northern Harriers and American Kestrels, but no Bald Eagles, unfortunately. On the way back to Staunton we saw three or four Red-tailed Hawks, some of which were being harassed by American Crows. Many thanks to all those who participated, including three new members: Jeff and Jeanie Roberts, and Eric Pritchett.

by Andrew Clem

2023 Jan 28

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Loggerhead Shrike (#2), Loggerhead Shrike (#1), Red-tailed Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, and in center, Red-breasted Nuthatch. (Swoope, January 28)

Field trippers 28 Jan 2023

LEFT TO RIGHT: Jeff Roberts, Eric Pritchett, Jeanie Roberts, Warren Faught, Wendy Hill, Jim Hill, Josephine King, Bonnie Hughes, Stephen Pietrowski, Bill Benish, Antonio Martinez, and David Chernoff.

Field trip to Highland and Bath Counties

On January 7, Allen Larner led five other members on a very successful field trip to Highland and Bath Counties -- the first such winter trip since before the pandemic! We saw Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles in mutliple locations. As usual, we saw many interesting ducks at the pond along Rt. 220 just south of the county line, as well as Horned Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes, a Common Loon, and many Common Mergansers at Lake Moomaw. But the biggest ighlight of the day came at the very end when Allen spotted a Barred Owl perched on a wire along the road as we left Lake Moomaw.

by Andrew Clem

2023 Jan 7

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Barred Owl, Bald Eaglea (adult and juvenile), Golden Eagle (juvenile), Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, and in center, Common Merganser and Belted Kingfisher. (Highland and Bath Counties, January 7)

Other recent sightings

Red-tailed Hawk

Hermit Thrush in Jollivue, January 20. (courtesy of Warren Faught)

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk above Bell's Lane, January 18. (courtesy of Eric Pritchett)

2023 Jan 28

Loggerhead Shrike in Swoope, January 16. (courtesy of Vic Laubach)

Augusta Bird Club © 2023 (Photographs are used with permission.