Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Bird Highlights from the Mountain State of West Virginia--Winter 2001-2002

The following records are excerpted from Robert C. Leberman’s seasonal report for the Appalachia Region, as published in North American Birds (Volume 56, Number 2, Pages 174-176, 2002):

Green Heron - One in Raleigh County on December 29 (fide Ron Canterbury) was "an unexpected find."

Greater White-fronted Goose - One at Kingwood, Preston County, on January 5 (Gary Felton) and six on the Ohio River at Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam, Mason County, on February 1 and thereafter (photograph, Wendell Argabrite and many other observers) represented just two of the "scattered sightings" in the Appalachia Region.

Rough-legged Hawk - One wintered at Pickway, Monroe County (Jim Phillips), a site somewhat south of the normal wintering range.

Sandhill Crane - Six were at Huntington on December 30 (Wendell Argabrite).

Great Black-backed Gull - One on the Ohio River at Huntington, January 10-16, was "a rare find" for the locality.

Snowy Owl - A bird that appeared in Pleasants County in late November and remained through December 20 (Jeanette Esker) was part of "a minor invasion" of the species into the Appalachia Region.

Tree Swallow - The "early return of the first" Tree Swallows on February 23 at McClintic Wildlife Station, Mason County (Wendell Argabrite) was "indicative of the mild late winter weather."

Black-capped Chickadee - This species was "completely missing" at the Southern West Virginia Bird Research Center (Ron Canterbury), "where they occurred during the past few winters."

House Wren - Singles at Lake Stephens, Raleigh County, in December (Ron Canterbury) and at Parkersburg, December 29 (fide Jeanette Esker), were "well n. of the usual winter range."

Dark-eyed "Oregon" Junco - An individual of the Oregon race was at Pipestem State Park, December 24 and later (Jim Phillips).

Snow Bunting - One in Ritchie County on December 16 (Gary Felton) was south of the normal wintering range.


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