This morning was everything I had hoped it would be. The temperature was 54F with no wind and a clear sky. I had chosen Railroad Ditch for my foray into the Dismal Swamp. I hadn't walked it in a while, so it seemed just right. At the beginning there were the Pine Warblers and a few sparrows. Then a Yellow-throated Warbler followed by an Ovenbird (web photo) which was to be my new year bird for the day. The Rusty Blackbirds were around, but not many in view. Several Louisiana Waterthrushes sang and there were quite a few Common Yellowthroats along the way. Before I reached the marsh at the corner of Railroad and West Ditches, Nick Flanders came by in his truck having been to Lake Drummond. He said he had just heard an American Bittern calling at the corner marsh. Sure enough when I got there, the bittern was still doing his oonk-a-loonk call. It's good there was no wind, because later when I came back, the wind had started blowing and it was nearly impossible to hear the bittern. Although I looked from many different angles, I couldn't spot the calling bird. On down the road I tallied five White-eyed Vireos, but no new warblers. So six warblers was the final total. Still I had broken through the no-migrant barrier. And I recorded seven butterfly species on the walk back. Driving home I passed a field with two dozen Turkey Vultures working on a deer carcass that had not been there when I drove by in the early morning. It reminded me of the scene at an African kill. I half expected a hyena to send the vultures flying. The year total is now 429.