I drove a lot of miles this morning for some limited success. In my quest to photograph all 36 of the locally seen warblers, and only needing 5 more, I decided to make the trip over to Warren Ferry as one of the 5 remaining, a Prothonotary Warbler, was seen there two days ago. I arrived at 9:30 a.m., but only after back tracking for 15 minutes after missing my turn off from route 6. The Warren Ferry area is a small dirt parking lot, and about a 50 foot radius bounded by the James River, some river bank woods, and a couple of fields. Birds were singing everywhere, but were difficult to locate in the dense tree cover. I stayed there for and hour and 15 minutes, logging 15 species plus a 16th that I could not identify for sure - probably a Carolina Chickadee. The only warblers I saw were three Yellow-throated and at least two Yellow Warblers. I may have heard a Prothonotary in the trees on the other side of the James River, but it was too far away to locate it for a positive ID.
Warren Ferry list (15 species):
I then decided to try Howard's Landing for the first time, only a few miles south of Warren Ferry, but when I got to the landing, there was no public parking, and I chose not to spend $6 to park as I didn't see or hear very many birds there. Next stop was the James River WMA. A hawk, probably a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned, flew across James River Road on my way there. I remembered that a new law was passed effective last January 1st requiring a permit to access Virginia WMAs. I hoped that there might be a game warden near the entrance so I could purchase a permit, but the sign at the entrance indicated that I needed to have a permit to even enter the WMA, so I turned around and headed toward Lovingston.
I decided to make a stop at the Nature Conservancy's Fortune's Cove Preserve, as it was on the way home from Lovingston. Not too much going on there, but I did see a Yellow-breasted Chat, some Indigo Buntings, an Eastern Towhee, and a Red-tailed Hawk. It was almost noon when I got there, and I didn't want to hike very much of the very steep trail.
My last stop was the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest in my back yard. No little ones yet.