Sunday, March 10, 2002

Birding Altona Marsh

Today was a bluebird day--albeit cold and extremely windy (in actuality, a downright miserable day to be afield!)--following the passage of a strong cold front last evening, in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. I walked the railroad tracks that parallel Altona Marsh in Jefferson County (the easternmost in the State), and in 1 hour and 20 minutes tallied 23 species (listed here in the order in which they were detected):

American Robin
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow (in full song)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
European Starling
Canada Goose
American Goldfinch
Common Grackle
House Finch
Red-winged Blackbird
Tufted Titmouse
Mourning Dove
unidentified crow
Mallard
Rusty Blackbird
Common Snipe (14 individuals)
Red-tailed Hawk (2)
Carolina Chickadee
Turkey Vulture (1)
Blue Jay
Carolina Wren
Fish Crow (2)
Dark-eyed Junco (one small flock)

Altona Marsh is "perhaps the best-known example" of a calcareous wetland in the Central Appalachians (also see description in Eugene E. Hutton et al. 1968. A marl marsh natural area in West Virginia. Castanea 33: 241-246).

(Note: A modified version of this was posted to the WV-Bird listserv on 03/10/2002.)

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