Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Great Dismal Swamp after all

When I got up this morning, it looked too good to pass up.  So I got my act together and drove to the Great Dismal Swamp and parked the car at the Washington Ditch parking lot.  Rain had been promised, but so far it had looked much better than forecast.  I had the trail to myself and my main target was Rusty Blackbird.  I didn't have to go very far before I heard  some murmuring from some Rustys and finally saw about 40 of them (web photo).  There were probably more than a hundred working along the ground, mostly out of sight.  All that I saw were black; none was rusty.  I had a nice walk, seeing many of the wintering birds of the swamp and hearing singing from Winter Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and a half-hearted Song Sparrow.  I also flushed a Louisiana Waterthrush as I returned down the path.  Both the Rusty and the waterthrush were new year birds.  It also turns out I picked up another year bird because I hadn't recorded the Clapper Rail that John and I had at Lynnhaven Inlet our very first day.
When I left the swamp, I got a call from Andrew Baldelli who told me he had found a California Gull at First Landing State Park.  The gull wouldn't be a year bird, but it would be a state bird, one of my bugaboo birds I've missed year in and year out.  I decided to try to see it and headed to the park.  Unfortunately it flew west and wasn't seen again today.  Ah well.
So tomorrow I'll hope to get the Prius back.  And oh yes.  I decided to use some of the time until our trip to Colorado in April, while John is leading a birding trip to Cuba, to fly to Texas Tuesday for a week and go for some of the goodies that are in the Rio Grande Valley.  The year's species total now stands at 412.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the Rusties. Perhaps we can connect this weekend.