Thursday, April 17, 2003

Altona Marsh Morning

On Sunday morning, April 13th, I spent 2 hours and 20 minutes (from 6:10 to 8:30 AM) hiking the old railroad tracks at Altona Marsh, Jefferson County, West Virginia. A cool morning (starting with temperatures in the 40's) with little wind and clear skies. Highlights included BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN FLICKER, BROWN THRASHER, and FIELD SPARROW, with a total of 510 individuals of 31 species. In addition to the birds, Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) were in full bloom.

Great Blue Heron 2
Canada Goose 127 (including several pairs on territory)
Wood Duck 7
Mallard 3
BLUE-WINGED TEAL 5 (rare in spring in the Eastern Panhandle)
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Killdeer 1
Mourning Dove 19
Rock Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
NORTHERN FLICKER 12 (appeared to be a small movement of birds into the area)
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow 8
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Chickadee 2
Carolina Wren 3
American Robin 12
Northern Mockingbird 4
BROWN THRASHER 2 (my first sightings of the spring)
European Starling 49
Northern Cardinal 12
FIELD SPARROW 1 (singing)
White-throated Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 18 (much territorial singing)
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Red-winged Blackbird 154 (I observed fair numbers of females for the first time this spring)
Common Grackle 25
American Goldfinch 27

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