We spent Tuesday PM & Wed AM scouting Canaan Valley for birds. We did find 3
RLHA, but basically NOTHING else.
Our biggest surprise was the fact that we could not find a single feeder in
the whole valley that either drew birds or was even stocked with seeds. We
checked all the neighborhoods & roads we knew of to see if anyone at all was
filling feeders - none at all, not either State Park, but especially, not
even the National Wildlife Refuge - no feeders were filled and NO birds were
found except for a single Song Sparrow along the road to the Canaan Golf
Course (however, we did not get a chance to look for feeders in Davis
itself). We were quite disappointed with the lack of little birds, but were
grateful for the Rough-legged Hawks. We did manage to find a few Ravens,
Crows, & a single Blue Jay.
Our overall conclusion is that the smaller birds simply flee the region when
there is so little food to be had and head to lower altitudes where there is
less snow (we also noted a very meager cone crop, if any). We did not
actually find any large groups of birds (Juncos & Bluebirds) until we were
below 1000 ft near Moorefield, and from there onward, we found quite a
number of RTHA.
1 Light Morph - along Freeland Rd (both days)
2 Dark Morph - 1 across from the new Juvenile Ret Center; 1 N of Canaan
Lodge on Golf Course Rd. (both days)
All-in-all though, a great adventure in the deep snow! I felt at times like
I was back home in Minnesota & South Dakota!
Jon & BJ Little