Day 33 — Occoquan Bay NWR, Woodbridge, VA

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Bird count: 363 species.

Did I mention I like birding alone? When I’m in Virginia (these days it’s more my home than Naples) I love to go to Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Today I had the guilty pleasure of having the whole 650 acres to myself. Increasingly, NWR’s are my favorite places to bird.

This refuge sits where the Occoquan River meets the Potomac and has a wonderful variety of wildlife. Right now the Eagles are nesting and the river is covered with waterfowl. I’m always amazed at how many incredible parks the Northern Virginia area has.

Last year I came here a dozen times. As I walk around, I see all the familiar spots and many of the same birds. I know it will be difficult to see anything new but I still manage to add a solitary Rusty Blackbird. This bird is in critical decline and nobody really knows why.

Today I’m waiting to hear about a very rare bird(Black-backed Oriole) in PA. I may have to adjust my travel plans! #BigYearproblems

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  1. ed kemnitzer says:

    I see you went for the Black-backed Oriole; congrats! Oh, by the way, is this ( or was this) bird known by another common name?

    And, who’s the guy who just showed up with 634 species? And, no complete check lists to boot. Have you met him in your travels?

    We miss you down here.

  2. Ed Kemnitzer says:

    Apologies to Heike Charest; she, not he, is well on her way to the 700 club. And perhaps to a new N.A. record. Good luck!

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