I ventured forth into the cold and dark this morning to help out with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia's Christmas bird count, a trip made more interesting by its historic location: the Manassas battlefield.  The Battle of Manassas was actually so historic they fought it twice, once in 1861 and then again a year later.  At the former battle (known by many on the Union side as the battle of Bull Run--the First BoBR, that is), General Thomas Jackson earned his nickname of "Stonewall" and the Union suddenly realized that this was not going to be a short war where the Bluecoats were welcomed as liberators.

Today our job was much easier than that of either Civil War army: to get in quickly and take note of the number and species of birds we saw.  I wasn't keeping track of the numbers, but species-wise, I can give you a list:

American Crow
Mourning Dove
Tufted Titmouse
Northern Cardinal
Blue Jay
European Starling
Northern Mockingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Canada Goose
Rock Pigeon
Eastern Bluebird
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-capped Chickadee
Downy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Ring-billed Gull
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Red-shouldered Hawk
Carolina Wren
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Accipiter (sp.)--probably a Cooper's Hawk, but not close enough to nail down
American Robin
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

So--30 species (plus a definite Cooper's and a Red-tail on the way home from Manassas) and the first Swamp Sparrows I've seen in a couple of years.  Cool.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on December 14, 2008 1:41 PM.

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