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Friday, March 24, 2006

District Patrol 3/24/06

It's been awhile, lets get up to date on sightings in the DC area.

Out-Foxed Again
Kennelworth Aquatic Gardens (like, .2 miles from DC) hosted my new archnemisis Fox Sparrows. I remember the first time I went to Biddeford Pool in Maine I saw a sparrow that I thought was a fox sparrow but wasn't good enough at IDing sparrows to tell for sure (I still struggle...). I bet it was, though. Since then I haven't seen one even though everyone else on the planet including dead people has seen one. INFERNAL CREATURES! Also at KAG were brown thrashers, black ducks, eastern tohee and the usual suspects.

Early Warbler
There was a report of a Prothonotary Warbler in at a feeder in Reston, VA (about 30-40 minutes from DC...but probably like 232543 minutes in traffic). The reporter was confident with the ID, but another poster wondered if it was a Pine Warbler instead. DRAMA! [Side note: 'Prothonotary' is a wicked sweet word. The bird got its name from certain court officials, Prothonotaries, that wore yellow robes. How cool is that? The best bird names are definetly the ones named after people they look like (i.e. the Cardinal, Africa's secretary bird [named because the feathers sticking out of their head look like pencils in a secretary's hair]) rather than just their plumage (Yellow Warbler, Black-Throated Blue warbler...BOOOOORING). When I become president of the ABA I'm going to take every bird named after it's plumage and rename it something cool. For instance, the Hooded warbler will become Ski-Mask Warbler and the Golden-Winged Warbler will become the Water-Wing Wabler. Doesn't that sound much better?]

Finally Caught his Plane?
The celebrity Snowy Owl (seriously, if 2005-1006 DC area birding was a baseball team, the Dulles Owl would be our cuddly mascot) hasn't been seen since March 16, probably because it finally got a ride on the Washington Flyer and got to West Falls Church (I paid 16 bucks for a round trip WF ticket two weeks ago only to find out that it stops running at 1015. A 30 dollar cab ride to WFC Metro later, I'm stranded because the metro stops at 1130. Good lord. I hate Dulles and I'm never going there again.). Goodbye, young Owl, it's been fun.

Other than that it's been pretty quiet around here. People are very ready for migration, myself included.
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