Blue Ridge Parkway 5/10/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Wasn't sure what the weather would be like today, as the morning started out a bit cloudy and then cleared. Thought I would try looking for migrating warblers on the parkway. Near mile marker 4, I heard an unusual warbler - sounded like tweet-tweet-buzzzzzzzzz. This warbler was high up in one of the trees, and I only got a quick look as it flew to the top of the canopy of another tall tree. Its underside looked olive-tan in color - I have no clue what it was - perhaps a female Blackburnian Warbler?

I arrived at one of my two favorite spots - the cirque between mile markers 7 and 8 - I heard American Redstarts and Worm-eating Warblers, and got a quick look at a Cerulean Warbler as it flew across the road. Other birds seen there were a Scarlet Tanager, Catbirds, and a Dark-eyed Junco. I was entertained by a male and a female Eastern Towhee that could not care less about people being there. The female was even in the road as cars were passing by in the other lane and did not flinch.

Male and female Eastern Towhee

The leaf cover was getting to be very dense there, making finding the birds very difficult, so I headed up to my higher elevation spot on the first part of the parkway - Hickory Springs Overlook. A Charlottesville birder, Ethan C., stopped just after I got there, and we looked for warblers together. There were several Cerulean Warblers, some American Redstarts, a male B&W Warbler, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. I got a quick glance of a pair of Warblers low on a branch facing away from me - all I could see was olive backs and yellow undersides before they flew into a dense wooded area. I was thinking Nashville until I did some post-processing of my morning's photos and saw that I had photographed a Hooded Warbler at that overlook and had not realized that I had seen one there. Also saw a Red-eyed Vireo there.

Male B&W Warbler

Male B&W Warbler

Male B&W Warbler

Male B&W Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Red-eyed Vireo

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