Rockfish Valley Trail and Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch 9/13/10

I spent 2 hours on the trail this morning, starting at 8:30. Although there were a lot of birds, I did not see as many species as I did a couple of days ago. There were lots of Field Sparrows, and Indigo Buntings seemed to be everywhere.

The highlight of the hike was a first fall male Baltimore Oriole that was basking in the morning sun until a crow came along and chased it off its perch. I also saw a bird that I think is a Least Flycatcher - even though its wing tips seem a bit long for a Least, its bold eye ring and short bill are key field marks.

I only saw one warbler species, a female Common Yellowthroat, and a quick glimpse of another warbler - most likely the same species. All in all, I logged 26 species:

American Crow
Eastern Bluebird
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Cedar Waxwing
Great Blue Heron
Indigo Bunting
American Goldfinch
Eastern Phoebe

Least Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Turkey Vulture
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal
Red-tailed or Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Carolina Chickadee
White-eyed Vireo
Common Yellowthroat

first fall male Baltimore Oriole

first fall male Baltimore Oriole

Least Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher and Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I encountered four hikers on the trail looking for a guide, but they did not accept my offer to show them around.

Four hikers on the trail

This afternoon I went to the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch - the big push of migrating raptors has not started yet - saw a few Broad-winged and Sharp-shinned Hawks, a couple of Ospreys, and one American Kestrel.

E-mail comments on this report

Return to blog page home