One of the advantages of my job is that yearly I get to travel somewhere for work, usually for a conference but sometimes on a project. I just got back from a trip to Norfolk, VA, where I was attending a workshop at the Norfolk Naval station. The workshop was held right on the water, so I managed to get in some decent birding during breaks.
Much to my delight, a pair of Osprey established a nest on a harbor marker close to the conference location, and I was often distracted during workshop presentations by the sight of an Osprey gliding by the window along the water's edge. The edge was mostly rip-rap with a small beach, so I had hopes for American Oystercatcher, but no such luck. I did get a pair of Sanderlings, though. Other birds of note were the Laughing Gulls in their handsome breeding plumage, Herring Gulls, Caspian Tern and Brown Pelicans. Four Red-breasted Mergansers hanging out on the beach were the only ducks of note.
Wednesday we managed a morning visit to Jamestown Island to visit the fort site, and I added a few more birds to my Virginia list (As well as my year list): Great Egret, Common Tern, Northern Parula, Yellow-Throated Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Sora, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and four more Ospreys.
Since I started using eBird, I now can keep track of state lists for birds, and Virginia is now #3, behind Ohio and Massachusetts and just ahead of Michigan - something I need to work on, since Michigan is my home state and I should really have more birds for it. The problem of course is that I rarely ever am there during migration. Oh well. Makes it more of a challenge, I guess.