Rockfish Valley Trail 8/21/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

I beat the rain today by getting out to the trail this morning. I had planned to go to the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch, but there was very little reported there yesterday as it is so early in the migration season, so I changed my mind. I arrived at the trail a little before 9, and stayed until almost 10:30.

I was able to see 22 species, and one of them still has a questionable attribution. I have now seen an Empidonax flycatcher three times in the past week or so on the trail. It is most likely either a Willow Flycatcher or an Acadian Flycatcher. In my previous two posts I called it a Willow Flycatcher, mainly because Willow Flycatchers are more often seen low in brushy vegetation, and Acadian Flycatchers are normally seen in the forest canopy of a mature lowland forest. However; Acadian Flycatchers are moe common in this area at this time of year. Also, when I saw this bird on August 17, I also heard a flycatcher call in the same area about 1/2 hour earlier that could have been an Acadian. If anyone has any opinions, please let me know.

There was a Kingfisher along the downstream trail - haven't seen one there for a couple a weeks. I saw a bird that I am fairly sure was a juvenile Field Sparrow. It had a bi-colored bill, but it is too early for an American Tree Sparrow, and I saw a similar bird on the trail a couple of months ago and the general concensus was a juvenile Field Sparrow. Our resident tail-less Turkey Vulture also made an appearance.

This morning's list:

Eastern Bluebird
Indigo Bunting
American Crow
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Empidonax Flycatcher
Cedar Waxwing
Northen Mockingbird
Rock Pigeon
Northern Cardinal
Turkey Vulture
American Goldfinch
Red-eyed Vireo
Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
Pileated Woodpecker
Belted Kingfisher
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Empidonax Flycatcher

Belted Kingfisher

Indigo Bunting

Tail-less Turkey Vulture

Juvenile Field Sparrow

Juvenile Field Sparrow

Adult Field Sparrow

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