Rockfish Valley Trail 6/11/10

After several days of high 90s and high humidity here in the mid-Atlantic area, a cold storm front moved through the area last night and dropped the temperatures about 10 degrees, so I went to the Rockfish Valley Trail this morning to see what was there.

Got to the main trail kiosk a little late (9:10), walked the downstream trail and then Glenthorne Loop to the bog area, and then returned to the kiosk about 10:10. I then walked the upstream trail to the park benches, but it was getting hot (low 80's), so I turned back and headed home. There were a number of birds on the trail, including lots of juvenile Bluebirds and a couple of kettles of Black and Turkey Vultures - one of the kettles had 50+ vultures in it, and a smaller kettle also had a Red-shouldered Hawk in the mix. There are a number of Locust trees along Glenthorne Loop near the first wooden bridge that must have grown 5 to 10 feet in the past couple of weeks - wonder what species they will entice to the trail?


Black and Turkey Vultures

All in all, I counted 21 species in a little more than one hour, including hearing American Goldfinches and a Red-eyed Vireo in the trees, but I did not see them. Notably missing this morning were some of the other summer regulars: Belted Kingfishers, House Finches, Orchard Orioles, Starlings, Cowbirds, House Wrens, Eastern Kingbirds, Pewees, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, NRW Swallows, Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats, Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches, Robins, Gnatcatchers, Cedar Waxwings, Towhees, Catbirds, Meadowlarks, and any of the six summer Woodpeckers that are normally there - probably too hot by the time I got there, and they were hunkered down in cooler areas. Also saw a Green Heron on a power line - first time I have ever seen one perched on a wire. Here's my list from this morning:

Rock Pigeon
Black,Turkey Vultures
American Crow
Common Grackle
Carolina Wren
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Bluebird
Blue Grosbeak
Tree, Barn Swallow
Chipping, Field, Song Sparrows
Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
Eastern Phoebe
Red-shouldered Hawk
Indigo Bunting
American Goldfinch
Red-eyed Vireo

Barn Swallow

Blue Grosbeak

Eastern Bluebird

Chipping Sparrow

Eastern Phoebe and Bluebird

Great Blue Heron

Green Heron

Indigo Bunting female

Red-Shouldered Hawk and Black Vulture

Red-winged Blackbird

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