In early December, 2013, the VRPS blogpost (Smile for the CAM) spotlighted the top (subjective) 5 webcams in Virginia. Today's post is worth a revisit:
#5 Wunderground Weather Webcams - all over VirginiaWeather Underground is a commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information via the Internet.
"View weather around the globe, as it happens."
real-time views of several areas in Shenandoah National Park from web cameras!
#2 Shad CAMThe shad are running, and the CAM is up! Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries hosts this cam late March through early June:
Over the past 35 years, populations of American shad, hickory shad, alewife, blueback herring, striped bass, and other anadromous fish species have steadily declined in Virginia. VDGIF, in collaboration with a number of other partners, has been working to bring back these fish, mostly by restoring access to historic spawning areas throughout coastal Virginia. In the James River, these species were known to spawn as far upstream as Eagle Rock until two sets of dams, in Lynchburg and Richmond, cut off over 400 miles of the river and tributaries. In 1999, a fishway was constructed at Bosher's Dam, providing fish with access to 137 miles of the James River and 168 miles of its tributaries for the first time in nearly 200 years. A camera at the fishway provides visitors a peek into this incredible journey as the fish return to spawn in the spring.
Keep an eye out for…
American Shad (Alosa sapidissima)
Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis)
The majority of fish species will ascend the fishway during the day while catfish species and sea lamprey will primarily move upstream at night. Spawning runs of anadromous fish in Virginia generally occur between March and early June.
#1 Falcon CAMhttp://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-s-rare-falcons-trying-again-to-raise-family/article_b748dbb4-bc5a-11e3-8f0e-001a4bcf6878.html
Downtown Richmond's rare -- and often dramatic -- falcons are off on another nesting adventure.
The peregrine falcons known as Ozzie and Harriet are tending three eggs on a 21st-story walkway at Riverfront Plaza by the James River.
The falcons often produce healthy chicks. But sometimes they produce eggs that don't hatch, and sometimes their youngsters fly into buildings and die.
“They have been dramatic,” said Barbara Slatcher, a Hanover County falcon aficionado who follows the birds on the Richmond Falcon Cam. “They have not been easy to watch sometimes.”
The Falcon Cam, run by the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, has been upgraded. It offers crisp, quickly updated images at falconcam.tumblr.com.
Harriet laid the eggs in late March. If all goes well, they should hatch in late April or early May.
Devastated by pesticides after World War II, peregrines are so rare that scientists are trying to help them come back. The crow-sized predators tend only about two-dozen nests in Virginia. By comparison, there are hundreds of eagle nests.
Richmond's falcons have nested downtown since 2003. Last year, they tried a new spot -- a 22nd-story nest on Dominion Virginia Power's building at Seventh and East Cary streets -- but their five eggs didn’t hatch.
The birds moved back to their longtime Riverfront Plaza nest at 901 E. Byrd St., where they produced four more eggs. Two chicks hatched but didn't survive. It was late June by then, and mid-90s heat may have been a factor.
Some falcons are better providers and protectors than others, and Ozzie and Harriet are among the best, Slatcher said.
“They are great parents...but for whatever reason, in some years the clutch fails.”