Friday, May 05, 2006

From the Field: Birding Virginia at York River State Park

On Friday, my plan was to do some "Battlefield Birding" -- to check out some of Virginia's fine Revolutionary War and Civil War sites, and see some birds along the way. I have had some success with this strategy, Chickamauga is one especially birdy battlefield that comes to mind.

However, that plan didn't develop, and I instead spent part of the day at the fabulous York River State Park. York River turned out to be a very pleasant, birdy park, and I had a great morning. YRSP is on the York River (surprise!) and has a wide variety of habitats.

I ended up with a modest 28 species, but it seemed very birdy, and it was a beautiful day to be outside. I had a bit of excitement when I had a glimpse of a yellowish bird that looked like a western-type tanager. A few minutes later I spotted a male Orchard Oriole and realized that bird I saw earlier was obviously a female Orchard. (Duh!) I also did a double take when, after I saw a few Indigo Buntings, I spotted another one with brown on the wings. Of course, that would make it a Blue Grosbeak, not an Indigo Bunting. (Duh again!) Hey, I don't see a lot of Blue Grosbeaks...that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!

I also made a quick stop in Colonial Williamsburg, where I had a great burger and dessert at the Trellis.

Even though it was the heat of the day, I saw 19 species, and picked up a few species I hadn't seen in the morning, including a bunch of Blue Jays, and my first Great Crested Flycatcher of the year.

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