Central Virginia Birding 4/16/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

With reports of seven warbler species and a black bear family on the north end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, I headed there first this morning, arriving about 8:30. Although I saw 20 species there, I only saw a couple of American Redstarts and heard a Cerulean Warbler, and I did not see the bears.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Female Eastern Towhee

I then headed over to the Sugar Hollow Reservoir in Western Albemarle County. This was my first trip all the way to that reservoir. Although I think that I heard a Northern Parula on the road near to the reservoir, I only saw a few birds. There was a Double-crested Cormorant on a tree post in the water.

Double-crested Cormorant

My last stop was at the trail and lake at Western Ridge. There were still quite a few brids active at noon when I arrived. I didn't see the Wilson's Snipes today, but saw several Killdeer and one Solitary Sandpiper. The Bald Eagle made its obligatory fly-over so I could take a few photos.


Bald Eagle

At the north end of the lake, I saw an unusual and large goose hanging out with two Canada Geese. I didn't know what it was until I was able to look it up, and it appears to be a hybrid Swan Goose. I am not sure if this species is "countable" under strict standards, but it was feral and interesting to see.

Swan Goose

Swan Goose

I then saw three Red-shouldered Hawks - one adult and two juveniles. It looked like the adult was teaching the juveniles in-flight battle tactics.

Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

Adult Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawks

As I hiked the trail back to my car, this small brown frog met me on the path. It did not move and held its ground, so after a few photos I just stepped over it to finish my hike.


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