We met at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) in a light rain. We started birding there and had three species of sparrows and a Pied-billed Grebe, a Mallard three flyover Canada Geese. Three Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and two Red-shouldered Hawks were also highlights. We drove to Secluded Farm and walked on the trail there. We saw both nuthatches, and all of Albemarle’s woodpeckers except Red-headed, We also had large numbers of Northern Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows. We heard the beautiful song of a Winter Wren. We continued onto the Saunders-Monticello Trail. We had great views of Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and several Golden-crowned Kinglets. We drove up Carter’s Mountain, but it was too foggy and we saw only some American Crows. That was the final spot for our Christmas Bird Count circle, so we continued into Charlottesville to increase our city lists. We searched for a winter resident Merlin that hangs out around the park, but we did not see it. We ended the day with 53 species.
by Ira Lianez