In Tidewater Virginia

Sunrise over the Pagan River, 15 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

17 July 2021

This week my husband and I have been visiting family in Tidewater Virginia, our first long trip since the COVID-19 shutdown. Everyone’s vaccinated (& some had COVID last winter) so at last we’re making the “Real Hugs Tour.”

It is hot. 92 degrees F near the water, 100 degrees on the roads in the interior. Every morning I take a walk before it gets too unpleasant.

At the ocean I was pleased to see saltwater birds and southern songbird species. Favorite birds on the bay side of First Landing State Park were least, royal and sandwich terns plus a blue grosbeak (eBird checklist here).

View of the bay from First Landing State Park, 14 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

I also encountered a lot of bug sounds …

… and a dragonfly that repeatedly perched on a twig in the stiff wind. Its behavior reminded me of a kestrel.

Dragonfly holding onto a twig in a stiff wind, 14 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

The landscape is beautiful and welcoming until you stand in the sun.

Low tide at Windsor Castle Park, Smithfield, Virginia, 16 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Blackberries ripen in the heat.

Blackberries, Smithfield, 16 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

House finches are prolific breeders in the hanging baskets on my sisters porch. This brood froze as we peeked under the fern in one basket while another house finch couple was building a new nest in the next basket.

House finch nestlings in a hanging basket, 15 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

In Pittsburgh it is 10-15 degrees cooler but we will miss the sea breeze when we get home tomorrow.

(photos by Kate St. John)

3 thoughts on “In Tidewater Virginia

  1. How nice that you got away to visit your family and to be near the water. Thanks for sharing your photos. Keep cool and have a safe trip home.
    Just a quick question—I have a large tree outside my bedroom window and a park across the street with many trees. However, every morning I have a woodpecker rat-a-tat-tatting on the wooden shutters on each side of my bedroom window. What makes the shutters more attractive than all the trees I have surrounding me?

    1. Michael, woodpeckers usually hammer in search of insects (otherwise as territory claims). If they hear insects moving/chewing inside the wood, they hammer on that wood. Perhaps there are insects behind your shutters. … Sometimes woodpeckers will hammer outside where they hear a ticking clock on the wall inside.

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