Rockfish Valley Trail 4/29/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

What a glorious morning to be out birding. Except for the occasional wind gust and large puffy clouds that played havoc with my camera settings, the 60 degree temperatures and blue skies were a treat, not only for me, but also for the birds. I got to the trail at 8:45 a.m., and by 11:00 I had logged 36 species plus two unidentified species. There were large flocks of Cedar Waxwings, and I saw my FOS Blue Grosbeak and FOS Red-eyed Vireo. The first unidentified bird was about the size of a Green Heron, and I saw it flying away from me down the Rockfish River with snappy wing beats. It was too small and too quick for a Great Blue Heron, but may have been a duck. The other unidentifed bird was near the south end of the Glenthorne Loop trail - sounded like a Black-billed Cuckoo, and when I looked up I only got a glimpse of a cuckoo-sized bird with a white underside and a long dark tail as it flew away - not sure what it was. Here this morning's list:

Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow

Northern Mockingbird
Blue Jay
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Crow

Carolina Chickadee
Eastern Bluebird
American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rock Pigeon
Carolina Wren
Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Grosbeak
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Meadowlark

Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Orchard Oriole
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Tufted Titmouse

Indigo Bunting
Common Yellowthroat
Cedar Waxwing

Great Blue Heron
Eastern Phoebe
House Finch

Common Yellowthroat

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwing

Blue Grosbeak

Northern Cardinal

First summer male Orchard Oriole

Red-eyed Vireo

Female Red-winged Blackbird

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

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