Rockfish Valley Trail 10/5/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich


Wow, what a great morning on the trail! It started off cool, but quickly warmed up under crisp and clear blue skies. I arrived a bit early at 8:10, so I headed upstream first, as I knew that going downstream that early would mean that a lot of the trail would be in shadow, or I would be looking right into the sun. Within the first ten minutes, I made it to the park benches and had logged 14 species, and on my ten minute walk back to the kiosk I added four more.


Swainson's Thrush


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

There was a flock of Rock Pigeons on a downstream power line pole, and they usually are unafraid of people, but they took off as I approached - and then I saw why - a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk was approaching them for some breakfast.


Sharp-shinned Hawk


Sharp-shinned Hawk

I spent 40 minutes on the downstream trail, as there was a lot of activity in the brush along the river near the end of the first fenced field. In addition to Bluebirds, Field and Chipping Sparrows, Phoebes, Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, a Great Blue Heron, Starlings, Cedar Waxwings, and more, there was at least one Palm Warbler, and one or more Tennessee Warblers.


Palm Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler

The Glenthorne Loop trail was also alive with birds. I saw my First-Of-Season (FOS) White-throated and Swamp Sparrows, and my FOS Yellow-rumped Warbler in the bog area. Along Reids Creek I got some good views of a Black-throated Green Warbler, and a warbler with a deep yellow underside with some black markings dropped down into the brush - probably a Magnolia Warbler. One of the most interesting birds was a small, thin warbler that landed on a fence about five feet from me, looked at me, chirped chit, chit, and then flew into the brush. It was too close and too quick for me to get a photo, but I thought it was a Common Yellowthroat. A few minutes later I wondered if it were a different warbler species. Its face and underside were a solid, pale grayish-buff in color, and its back and wings were solid, pale yellow-olive. It had a pale eye-ring. This warbler could have been a juvenile Yellow Warbler, but my best guess is still a Yellowthroat.


Flicker


White-throated Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler

This morning's list (41 species):

Rock Pigeon
American Crow
Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Bluebird
Blue Jay
Indigo Bunting
Catbird
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Tufted Titmouse
Northen Mockingbird
Eastern Meadowlark

Downy Woodpecker
Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Swainson's Thrush
American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk

Tennessee Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Black-throated Green Warbler
Great Blue Heron
Mourning Dove
Cedar Waxwing
Rose-breasted Grosbeak



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