Rockfish Valley Trail 11/19/10

An interesting morning on the trail. I arrived a few minutes after 9:00, and headed downstream. There was a lot of activity between the end of the fenced field and picnic table, but almost all of the birds were Bluebirds. Not much past that point, and as I was heading toward Yellow Bird Thicket just before the bog area, I wondered if there might be a hawk in the area, or if it were going to be a poor birding day.

As I approached the bog area, I saw a few more birds and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and then I heard a hawk - sounded like it was coming from the south end of the bog area. Sure enough, when I got to the west side of the bog area, I could see a Red-shouldered Hawk at the south end. I got off a few photos of it, and continued my way around the bog. As I approached the tree where the hawk was perched, it flew off through the bog area and headed north.

After the hawk left, I entered the bog area, and it came alive with small birds everywhere. For about ten minutes there was a lot of activity, and then just as quickly as it started up, bird activity stopped. As I left the bog area near Yellow Bird Thicket, a juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew from the north end of the bog area to a tree along the downstream trail.

I headed around the bog area to the fence, and then as I turned to cross the field to the downstream trail, I saw another or the same Red-shouldered Hawk in a tree along the river. It let me get fairly close, and take some good photos of it.

By 10:15 it was quiet again on the trail, but I had seen 22 species on the hike:

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Eastern Bluebird
American Crow

Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Field Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Dark-eyed Junco

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Cardinal
Turkey Vulture
Purple Finch

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Red-shouldered Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Carolina Chickadee

Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay

juvenile Cooper's Hawk

juvenile Cooper's Hawk

juvenile Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

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