This rare visitor to Northern Virginia has been quite an attraction. The Northern Shrike or also known as the Grey Shrike does not normally come as far south as Virginia. This bird has been hanging around the Woodlands park for a few weeks and is easy to spot. Getting good pictures can be a problem because it perches high up in the trees for a good look around for food. Over a period of a few hours though, I noticed there were a few favorite spots where he returned to often. I took advantage and got a few good shots using a 600mm lens with a 1.4 extender. Next time I go, I’ll bring along a crop sensor camera and maybe get a little larger image.
A 10K race in the morning and a drive through Blackwater NWR in the afternoon. It was a perfect weather day, warm for November. Bald eagles are common at the reserve but that doesn’t make them any less interesting. This one is sitting on the former site of an osprey nest. Eagles enlarge their nest every year and it is not uncommon for eagles to steal the sticks from osprey nests. Next year when the osprey return, they will construct a new nest and the eagles will be raising their young in the newly expanded nest.
Went birding this past weekend looking specifically for Bobolinks and Dickcissels. We got lucky on one account, a female Bobolink. It was a beautiful location to spend four/five hours. Along with the Bobolink, we spotted: Kingfisher, Cardinal, Canada Goose, Gold Finch, Towhee, Orchard Oriole, Red-winged Blackbird, Song Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, snapping turtle, Eastern Blue tails, and others. The Blue tails were especially friendly. At any one time I had at least one on me and often had five.