Crozet, VA 5/26/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


I started out this morning at Mint Springs Park looking for a Mourning Warbler, as this species has been seen there in previous years. I hiked the Fire Trail up to where it becomes fairly level for a while, and continued on until I reached the large rock formations along the trail, where Mourning Warblers were seen last year. Along the way I saw American Redstarts, and heard but did not see a couple of Kentucky Warblers. At one point on the climb there was a loud disturbance in the dense brush about 30 feet from the trail. My first thought was a deer, but when I saw moving patches of black through the small openings in the brush, I thought bear! I didn't see a Mourning Warbler, but on the return as I approached the start of the downhill path, a warbler-sized bird with a solid olive-brown back flew quickly across the path and deep into the woods. From about 100 feet in, I heard what sounded like a Mourning Warbler, but no matter how much I pished or played its song, I couldn't get it to come any closer for a look.


American Redstart

I then headed over to the Western Ridge (Lickinghole Creek) trail and lake to see what water and shore birds might be there, and I was not disappointed. There was a Green Heron in the water, a Spotted Sandpiper on the gravel bar, a Killdeer, and then I saw a Semipalmated Plover and two smaller shorebirds - Semipalmated Sandpipers. Although I have seen both of these species in coastal areas, they are uncommon so far inland. And having the Killdeer next to them for size comparison made the identification much easier. At one point, a Common Grackle flew to the gravel bar to see what was going on.


Green Heron


Spotted Sandpiper


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Sandpiper


Semipalmated Sandpiper


Semipalmated Sandpiper


Semipalmated Sandpiper


Semipalmated Ploverand Sandpipers


Semipalmated Ploverand Sandpiper


Semipalmated Ploverand Sandpipers


Curious Grackle


Killdeer


Killdeer


Killdeer


Canada Geese


Wood Duck

I saw a couple of Orioles. The first one was clearly a first summer male Orchard Oriole, but the second one may have been an immature Baltimore Oriole.


First summer male Orchard Oriole


First summer male Orchard Oriole


First summer male Orchard Oriole


Immature Baltimore Oriole


Immature Baltimore Oriole



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