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Elizabeth River Bird Blog by David Gibson

This adult Bald Eagle shot, courtesy of Vic Laubach, who also provided the Broad-winged Hawk kettle shot in "To October," is for our U.S. Military veterans, as we continue to pay tribute. As I stated in the last blog, "Thank you for all you have done to keep us safe." We'll take a closer look at Vic's flight shot in an upcoming blog. Speaking of flight, and in case you hadn't noticed, we're developing a short series on bird flight. Thus our blog title. We began the series 2 blogs ago in "... Read More
Note to readers: There will be a short delay between this blog and the next one. Thank you. And thank you so much for reading. I thought, but only momentarily, about calling the new blog "Birds Soar; Skins Sore," an article headline in the 11/5 Virginian-Pilot. The article didn't appear in the "Wildlife and Nature" section. And it wasn't authored by Mary Reid Barrow. "Birds Soar; Skins Sore" was about the Atlanta Falcons defeating the Washington Redskins. A particularly sorry football game.... Read More
In the last blog (last photo), I posted a photo of an Osprey carrying a fish. It was lunchtime on the Elizabeth. That fish, caught in the waters just off Money Point in Chesapeake, VA, that former Elizabeth River "dead zone," appeared to weigh about as much as the Osprey. Heck, it likely weighed more! Here's another picture of the same bird a few wing beats--and a few burned calories--down the flight path. One wouldn't use "down the road" there. Aerodynamics and Bird Flight I mentioned in... Read More
We'll start with another shoutout. But this time to the planners of the 2018 Riverfest, which raised everyone's awareness about the progress that is being made to restore the Indian River in Chesapeake, VA. This may not be an exciting photo, but to me it speaks to the beauty of this Elizabeth River tributary. I realize the Indian River has received a failing grade (per the 2014 State of the Elizabeth River scorecard). But I think the view here grades out as an "A." Readers of this blog know my... Read More
Should we celebrate or something? This is blog #20. A milestone. I've been advised not to use too many exclamation points, so I won't add one there. The conductor is ready to strike up the band. Why Do You Bird? I referenced my "Why Do You Bird" survey at the end of the last blog. Here's the survey: Hi fellow birders. I've become interested in this topic of late and have begun to write about it--and want to explore it further. But I need your help. You're the subject experts!... Read More
Or is it "Two Shoutsout"? Anyway...I want to start with a shoutout to those who went on the Great Migration Bird Walk on Sat. 9/29 at Paradise Creek Nature Park. It was a beautiful, birdy morning. Paradise lived up to its name. And we had a great group of 16 people including a few young people who were exploring the hobby. I had a nice conversation with one young lady (Epona?) who was on her very first day trip. She'd gone on an owl prowl previously. I asked her if she sensed any excitement in... Read More
Please refer to my last blog if you're curious about the title. No, there are no typos. Hurricane Florence, that 'uninvited brute,' though more like a 'minor annoyance' here, had made landfall in North Carolina. My wife and I went for a walk at the Elizabeth River Park in Chesapeake. Water levels were unusually high. One of the docks was completely underwater and we noted fish in the parking lot. Something in the bushes that line the park spooked me. It was an immature Yellow-crowned Night... Read More
I thought about calling this blog 'Sumer is Agoin Out,' a rewording of "Sumer is Acumen In," a famous medieval English part song, but settled on 'I Love to Tell the Story,' the name of an old Christian hymn. So why the title? Because we're going to do some more storytelling. But hold on, because we'll be jumping around a bit. Paradise Creek Nature Park Let's start the visual storytelling with this: a midsummer shot of Paradise Creek in Portsmouth and the marshes on either side from the... Read More
Funny Bird Stories There are often funny stories about birds in the papers, as well as reports of recent local sightings. These usually appear in weekend editions where harder news is replaced by news that is a bit softer and more entertaining. That's my take, anyway. Here are some recent examples.  The first is about an owl that got caught in a hockey net. The second is an account of a seagull that snatched a man's wallet from his back pocket. (Of course, there's no such thing as a... Read More
Let me put things in context. I started out early on 8/16 making the usual stops along Bainbridge Blvd. I continued south across Veterans Bridge and headed toward Inland Rd. I was making the circuit I often make. I spent a fair amount of time on Inland, much of it waiting and watching. I didn't mind, though. The sun was up, the tide was low, and I was hopeful. Always hopeful. Here's one capture. The wait, as is so often the case, was worth it.   young Osprey in flight... Read More