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SC/GA border birding and more western strays

Hi Folks,

It's been an exciting week for me here at the border of SC and GA. Winter 
visitors have made their way into the sandhills of SC while migrants 
continue moving through Phinizy Swamp in Augusta, GA

Sandhill Highlights:

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH - one at the Savannah River Station
BROWN CREEPER - at least 5 different birds on the SRS
PURPLE FINCH - 10 individuals scattered in 2s and 3s (SRS)
PINE SISKIN - 5 or so individuals (one at my house)
WINTER WREN - many individuals moved in this week
FOX SPARROW - several small flocks on the SRS
CHIPPING SPARROWS - like last year at this time, flocks of 50+ every 400 
meters on the roadsides throughout the SRS sandhills.

Augusta Area
Saturday and Sunday produced the following highlights at Phinizy Swamp:

NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW (in scope at 10 meters)
VESPER SPARROW (in scope at 10 meters)
WINTER WREN (at least 5 on Sat.)
    COOPERS, RED-TAILED, RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS (hmmm... seemed like more 
species since we saw several individuals of most of these hawks and in 
several plumages... the passerines were hunkering down pretty well with all 
the predators).

FYI: Western strays continue to show up in the east at a pretty good rate. 
Cave Swallow on Long Island, NY (to add to the 2 in NJ last week). Western 
Kingbirds in many states with several in some states; 2 Tropical Kingbirds 
in NC and one or 2 in FL; Western Grebe and White Pel. in NC; Ash-throated 
Flys in FL, DC, NJ. Flamulated Owl and Bronzed Cowbird in FL and i probably 
missed some other good birds. Check out birdingonthe.net to keep up on these 
types of movements like the winter-bird invasion in the northeast.

Paul Champlin
New Ellenton, SC

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