Rockfish Valley Trail 2/6/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


After working at my desk all morning and into the early afternoon, I needed to get out for some fresh air and exercise, so I headed over to the trail and arrived shortly after 3:00. It was in the upper 40's, but the wind made it feel a bit cooler, and many of the smaller birds were either hunkered down, or only out in sheltered areas. I ended up with 20 species in about an hour, but it was a female Northern Harrier that made my day.

I passed the first wooden bridge on the Glenthorne Loop trail, and was heading for the bog area, when I changed my mind and headed back to the bridge to see if there was anything of interest on the east side of Reids Creek. I was not disappointed. I saw a female Northern Harrier cruising south only a few feet off of the ground looking for a late afternoon snack. She flew all the way to the small pond, and then circled back toward me.


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier

The harrier was heading right towards me. I assume that she was focused on looking for a meal and did not notice me until she was almost right in front of me - and then she put on the brakes, and headed north, keeping her eye on me all the way until she was out of view.


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier


Female Northern Harrier

This afternoon's list (20 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Cardinal
Yellow-rumped Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
American Goldfinch
American Crow
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Northern Harrier
Rock Pigeon
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture


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