On a trip to babysit the grand kiddies, we also birded a number of NWRs (Santee-Bluff Unit, SC /Assateague Island, VA/ Santee – Cuddo Unit, SC). On our way back from catching the Common Shelduck being seen in PA, we stopped at Conowingo Dam, MD. (See below) Going back in time….
1/28/23 Gainesville, FL: We were thrilled to actually have a Henslow’s Sparrow perch above the reeds for us for 20 seconds or so. Usually, when we even see them, they are darting into the grass to remain hidden there. While this bird did not do much and certainly did vanish quickly, it was fun to see it so well! Also: Snail Kite (juv.), Common Gallinule , Blue-winged Teal (m), Double-crested Cormorant , Glossy Ibis , Great Blue Heron , Mottled Duck , Pied-billed Grebe , Wood Stork , Yellow-rumped Warbler , Purple Gallinule , and Palm Warbler .
1/27/23 Amelia Island, FL: Some Local birds: After catching a Common Ground-Dove coming for a drink, we had fun with a party of Yellow-rumped Warbler individuals. Also: Gray Catbird , Northern Cardinal , Black Skimmer , and Bonaparte’s Gull .
1/24 to 1/26/23 Ft. Clinch, Amelia Island, FL: Back from our trip we caught a few pics of more local birds: Pileated Woodpecker , Bonaparte’s Gull , Carolina Wren , Sanderling , and Double-crested Cormorant .
1/18/23 to 1/20/23 Chincoteague NWR, VA and Santee NWR, SC: A little male Belted Kingfisher was hamming it up for us as we entered the refuge. Also: Bufflehead (f,m) , Mallard , Golden-crowned Kinglet , juvenile Herring Gull with juv. Great Black-backed Gull , Pied-billed Grebe , Great Egret , Snow Goose flock , Ring-billed Gull , Great Blue Heron , White-throated Sparrow , Ruby-crowned Kinglet , and Swamp Sparrow .
1/18/23 Conowingo Dam, MD: Bald Eagle (brief stop – counted at least 10 ad, 15 juv. but they were mostly just sitting not fishing on this cold morning and we had to travel on) and Black Vulture . It was fun to see a Brown Creeper. Also: Great Black-backed Gull and Ring-billed Gull .
1/17/23 Near Lebanon, PA: A common Shelduck (m) was reported and we were able to see it almost immediately, thanks to some friendly birders .
1/12/23/ Santee NWR – Bluff Unit, SC: A curious Pine Warbler group was feeding low and offered us some sweet looks. Also: Ruby-crowned Kinglet , Yellow-bellied Sapsucker , Eastern Bluebird , Hermit Thrush , and Eastern Phoebe .
1/11/23 Four Creek State Park, FL: Before we left on our trip, a brief morning at the SP yielded Eastern Phoebe, Pine Warbler , Yellow-bellied Sapsucker , and just one of the many Yellow-rumped Warbler individuals we saw!