Rockfish Valley Trail 10/18/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich


It was an unusual and interesting morning on the trail. I arrived a little after 8:30 under bright and sunny skies, and was greeted by an American Kestrel at the end of the fenced field on the upstream trail.


American Kestrel

At the end of the fenced field on the downstream trail, I saw two usual sparrows near where I had seen Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows last week. The first one is a tough one for me to identify. It has characteristics of Lincoln's and Swamp Sparrows, but its central breast spot, notched tail, and yellow lores leads me to believe that it is a reddish adult Savannah Sparrow. Compare it to the Swamp Sparrows I photographed this morning on the Glenthorne Loop trail. The other nearby sparrow also appears to be a Savannah Sparrow, but is lacking yellow in its lores. Other opinions are appreciated. [10/19/11 update: general concensus is that the first of the two sparrows is a Swamp Sparrow, and the second one is a Vesper Sparrow.]


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow

Soon after 9:00 there was almost complete cloud cover, and avian activity really died down, but picked up again around 10:00 when most of the clouds had gone. I was surprised to see four warbler species, including a late season Tennessee Warbler [10/20/11 update - it is a female Black-throated Blue Warbler], and an extremely late date Magnolia Warbler.


Magnolia Warbler


Tennessee Warbler [10/20/11 update - female Black-throated Blue Warbler]


Palm Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler

A female Belted Kingfisher and a Great Blue Heron put on a good show for me.


Female Belted Kingfisher


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron

This morning's list (29 species):

Rock Pigeon
American Crow
Starling
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Bluebird
Blue Jay
Cedar Waxwing
Belted Kingfisher
Great Blue Heron
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Tufted Titmouse
Northern Mockingbird
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal
American Kestrel
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Magnolia Warbler



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