Revised 2011 bird total:
437 species

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A goatsucker adventure

This morning, first thing, check the news on the Va-Bird listserv.  Has the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher been seen this morning?  No news.  I checked every hour or so.  I kept drawing blanks, no news on the flycatcher.  It had been a 'one day wonder' that I missed.  Had it been one day sooner or one day later I probably would have got it but there was nothing to do but let that bird slip.  Oh well.

This evening, Ken Hinkle was leading a trip for the Rockingham Bird Club which I'm part of to go looking and listening for Whip-Poor-Wills and other goatsuckers (nighthawks and nightjars).  I already had whip on my year list but I wanted to go on the adventure and also hopefully pick up Chuck-Will's-Widdow as that would be a lifer for me.  We headed off and at one of our first stops somebody said "oh look!" and was looking up at the sky.  I looked up.  There was a flock of 8-10 Common Nighthawks circling over head!  I love nighthawks.  It was so special and amazing to watch them for 5 or more minutes.  They're just beautiful.  And it's a year bird!  #302.  We continued on and Ken had a nice pickup truck so for a lot of the way since it was very almost none-used, gravel mountain roads I got to ride in the back of the pickup truck and go "birding from the back".  Soon we began to hear Whip-Poor-Wills and I got a brief look at one.  I love their song!  And we stopped at a Chuck-Will's-Widdow location but no luck in the time we were there.  Thanks to the Shanks who own the land that the chucks are on, we can go back and get the bird another day.  It was a really fun, fun outing and I came back with one more bird on my list.  Just awesome!

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