High Virginia Outdoors covers outdoor recreation,nature,travel,photography and tourism in the central Appalachain region of West Virginia and Virginia.Outdoors in Appalachia-From a Different Perspective.
38 eagles spotted in southern West Virginia during spring survey
PIPESTEM, W.Va. –Sixty-one people gathered and were scattered to 11 survey sites for the 9th annual Spring Eagle Survey, held March 5 in the Pipestem area of southern West Virginia. During the four hours of the survey, they spotted 38 bald and golden eagles soaring the skies.
"The volunteers all have a common interest – birds – and on this particular day, eagles," said Julie McQuade, naturalist at Pipestem State Park. McQuade and other volunteers assist former Pipestem naturalist Jim Phillips with this annual event.
The survey sites included Mouth of Indian Creek; Bertha; Pits; Bluestone State Park; Bluestone Turnpike Trail; Falls Mills, Virginia; Rt. 20 Overlook; Camp Brookside; Brooks; Barger Springs; and Rt. 122. The temperature ranged from 34-53 degrees with a 50-100 percent cloud cover and wind speed of 0-3 mph. There was no precipitation and the water was open.
Thirty-three bald eagles were recorded (11 adults, 8 first years, 9 second years, 1 third year and 4 fourth years). Golden eagles sighted were three adults and one immature. There were four unidentified eagles at nine of the 11 sites. Three nests were reported as having eggs or suspected of have an egg.
Annual eagle surveys are conducted in January and March with the announcements posted to www.pipestemresort.com, "Events." The 2017 surveys will occur Jan. 7 and March 4, 2017
March makes me mad. April usually does, too. You start hearing how many days it
is until spring; before January is over with. I just crunched a few numbers and
I have actually lived around 31% of my life where spring actually happens on
March 20. That doesn’t happen within 800 miles of here. We can only wish or
hope, but neither ever gets us too far.
to get a little excited when we hear the Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers. But, we
always know they will get frozen over. Yes, it happens every year there are
signs of life for brief periods and then all is white again. Pussy Willow
catkins are soft and fuzzy; covered with yellow pollen. Honey bees are busy in
the afternoon sun and then the next day all is encrusted in ice. The poor little
catkins hang on; damp and droopy. They never look happy again.
Cabbage is pretty tough and it keeps on trying to show its true colors. Try it
does until it succumbs to the freezes. Often it just wilts into the mud and
waits. Freeze, thaw, freeze and thaw over and over; it takes a toll on all
involved. Spring will come if we can all hold on. The wait is excruciating.
When will it stick and stay? Nobody knows.
during the month we will get that perfect 5 day period. The fishing rods and
rototillers will emerge from hibernation. We want to believe that the cold is
over. We hurry up and plant some sugar snaps. We hope the cold doesn’t get them
before they get a chance to germinate. The cold always wins. Poor little
broccoli and cabbage plants sit in a snowy dormancy; waiting on some sunny
days. They never come and we plant again or deal with stunted plants that have
the trout streams hoping for some action. The fish are there; seemingly stacked
upon each other. Lethargic fish that is. You can stand there for hours bouncing
bait off their noses. They will not move. When it is warm enough to fish it is
also warm enough for that dreaded snow-melt to be flowing into the stream. Oh
well, it was a nice day for a ride into the mountains and you don’t have to
worry about cleaning fish when you get home. On the bright side; at least you
could afford the gas without feeling guilty about driving so far.
about waiting for better things to come. Serviceberries will be the first to
bloom and then the cycle will begin. When? That depends; it might be March or
it may be April. The only thing we can do is wait and wait we do. One day we
will look up a steep hill and see the real spring green as the ramp leaves glow
in the sunlight. They will come as they always do. We can only wait.
soon the woodcocks will be displaying in the evening sky in a clearing near
you. The turkeys will gobble and bloodroot will bloom. I love springtime when
it finally happens and I know you do too. But, for now all we can do is wait..
Welcome to International Opening Day of the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz! The Blitz challenges birders to seek Rusty Blackbirds throughout this species’ entire migratory range, from the southeastern U.S. through the Northeast, Midwest, Canada, and Alaska. It’s easy to participate- bird as you normally do and search especially carefully for Rusty Blackbirds- then report your results to eBird under the “Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz” survey type, even if you don’t find a Rusty. Or, visit one of our Rusty Blackbird Areas of Interest (visit our interactive map at http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz/2015-areas-of-interest/) to help us assess consistency of migratory timing and habitat use during spring migration.
Many Rusty Blackbirds spend the winter in the lower South, so our job is largely to document when Rusties get ready for migration and subsequently leave that region to head north to their breeding grounds. To give you a sense of when peak migratory activity is likely to occur in our area, we’ve posted a list of suggested target dates for each region: http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz/states-and-dates/ . However, migratory timing can vary annually based on weather and climate, and some Southern states were reporting Rusty sightings into April last year, so any Rusty reports during the Blitz period of 1 March through 15 June will help our effort.
For more information on Blitz objectives, along with Rusty Blackbird identification tips, data collection instructions, and data reporting information, you can find additional resources at http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz/.
We hope you’ll “get Rusty” with us to help conserve this elusive and vulnerable songbird! Also, follow us on Facebook to hear about Rusty sightings, see Rusty pictures, and get the latest Blitz news: https://www.facebook.com/rustyblackbirdspringblitz