Rockfish Valley Trail 4/21/2011

All photos are Marshall Faintich


I had time this afternoon to visit the trail. Arriving at 2:45 p.m. was not the best time of the day to start a bird hike, but after 2 hours I had logged 20 species, and had a couple of interesting birds to report. Finally saw another spring/summer warbler since the Louisiana Waterthrush I saw on the trail three weeks ago. A male Common Yellowthroat was in the vegetation near the Glenthorne Loop pond - a location where I often saw this species last summer.


Male Common Yellowthroat


Brown Thrasher

Our resident, tail-less Turkey Vulture made an appearance - this bird has been seen on the trail for at least three years - and this time it was also missing some wing feathers.


Tail-less Turkey Vulture

I saw a Chipping Sparrow that was still in the process of getting its breeding plumage - note the brown streaks in its crown.


Chipping Sparrow

The highlight of the walk came just as I was approaching the end of my hike. A falcon flew up and away - I was looking at it into the sun, so I only got a quick look and thought Kestrel, but the one photo I was able to capture looks like it was a Merlin.


Merlin

This afternoon's list:

Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Towhee

Northern Mockingbird
Carolina Wren
Common Yellowthroat
American Crow
Brown Thrasher

Rock Pigeon
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Cardinal
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Turkey Vulture
Kingfisher
Tufted Titmouse
Merlin
Starling



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