Monday, November 25, 2002

Wildlife of Altona Marsh

I visited Altona Marsh, Jefferson County, West Virginia, Sunday morning (11/25/2002) for the first time in more than a month. Great weather! Clear skies, temperatures in the 50s, and a very slight breeze. The only negative was the glare caused by the sun. I tallied 320 individual birds of 28 species. Many other individuals went unidentified as “little brown jobs” (LBJ’s), and thus uncounted. Highlights included 2 MARSH WRENS that were heard but not seen, large numbers of Mourning Doves and American Goldfinches, and 4 species of sparrows (including good numbers of Swamp Sparrows). I also saw 9 White-tailed Deer and 2 Red Foxes (I had an unobstructed and leisurely view of one hunting for rodents in the middle of a pasture, plus a fleeting glimpse of another as it bounded across the marsh).

Birds:
Great Blue Heron - 2
Turkey Vulture - 3
Black Vulture - 2
Mallard - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
Mourning Dove - 87
Rock Dove - 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 5
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Northern Flicker - 11
Blue Jay - 5
American Crow - 7
Tufted Titmouse - 1
Carolina Chickadee - 8
Brown Creeper - 3
Carolina Wren - 5
MARSH WREN - 2
Northern Mockingbird - 4
European Starling - 8
Cedar Waxwing - 13
Northern Cardinal - 15
American Tree Sparrow - 3
White-throated Sparrow - 9
Song Sparrow - 3
Swamp Sparrow - 13
Red-winged Blackbird - 25
Common Grackle - 42
American Goldfinch - 28

Mammals:
Gray Squirrel - 1
Red Fox - 2
White-tailed Deer - 9 (including 1 young buck)

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