Nov 26 2007
At Thanksgiving, my husband and I visited my relatives in southeastern Virginia.
My sister lives inland and has a view of the Pagan River marsh. What a great view for a birder! At dawn the air comes alive with birds: gulls flying downstream from their river roost, blackbirds and grackles rising from the marsh grass, ducks and geese waking up on the water and a bald eagle or two flying over the marsh to begin the day. It was worth getting up early to see it.
After two days with my sister we visited my parents in Virginia Beach. First Landing State Park is conveniently close to their house so I took a walk there on the bay shore and the woodland trails. My favorite bird there was the brown pelican.
Brown pelicans are ocean birds who fly in long lines just above the waves. They seldom flap their wings and when they do, they often flap one right after the other. It looks like a game of follow the leader.
Pelicans dive head first into the ocean to catch fish. It is amazing to see such a large bird do this. The brown pelican’s wingspan is nearly the size of a bald eagle.
And before I left Virginia I saw another bald eagle – this time soaring over a shopping center.
Yes, it was a happy Thanksgiving.