George Washington’s Birthplace

Trip participants – Andrew Dolby, Linda Chaney, Maureen Daly-Hamm, Joan and Jeff Pozner, Michael Killian, Jim Goehring, Mike Lott, Tim Stamps, Scott, Byrd, Allen Sietner, and Sally Knight.

November 10, 2018

By Andrew Dolby

On a sunny, but seasonably brisk November 10 morning, twelve Fredericksburg Birding Club members birded George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument. The total species count for the trip was 38, including a handful of quiet crows that declined to identify themselves by sound. The group gathered in the Visitor Center parking area, then followed the path around theend of the nearest point overlooking Pope’s Creek. Along the way were Tufted Titmice, Yellow-rumped Warblers and numerous Whitethroated Sparrows. Several Forster’s Terns cruised over the creek and a Bald Eagle sailed by in the wind.

Also out in the water was a raft of about 15 Ruddy Ducks. A notable treat just up the path from the Visitors Center was a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Several people got excellent views of it before it disappeared into the cedars.

The garden area was alive with activity. Collectively, dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos, American Robins, and Chipping Sparrows flitted across the grass from shrub to shrub. An unexpected Palm Warbler made an appearance. While they have been spotted locally during Christmas Bird Counts, the Northern Neck is just above the northeastern-most extreme of their winter range. So, to see them in November is uncommon.  We heard both Kinglets and Jeff captured this beautiful Golden-crowned.  As our group approached the boardwalk leading to the picnic area, we were surprised by another lingering migrant, a Baltimore Oriole. As it foraged at the sunny edge of a cedar, it clearly showed its yellowish orange plumage and bold white wing bars. Especially active at this spot were Northern Flickers. Four of them were feeding either on the ground or very  low in the trees within just a few yards of each other.

The picnic area was fairly quiet. We were a bit too early this year to catch many waterfowl, but a Horned Grebe made an appearance off the point, and a couple of Bonaparte’s Gulls were spotted mixed in with several Ring-billed Gulls on a sandbar across the water. Another notable sighting was a single Royal Tern that stood out from its Forsters’ Tern companions.

At 11:30AM, part of the group proceeded to the beach. Conditions were too windy to see much, but they did pick out a raft of 8, or so, Black Scoters amongst the whitecaps, a few Bufflehead, and a couple of Double-crested Cormorants flying low over the rough waters.

Another great Fredericksburg Birding Club outing to end the scheduled events calendar year!

 

Sightings

Canada Goose
Black Scoter
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Horned Grebe
Bonaparte’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Forster’s Tern
Royal Tern
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Sapsucker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
Crow sp.
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthat ch
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal

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