Dutch Gap, Richmond, VA 6/5/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


When I awoke in Kilmarmock, VA there was light drizzle. The drizzle and rain continued throughout the northern neck and all the way to I-295 just to the east of Richmond. I wondered if my plan to stop at Dutch Gap on the way home had failed, and I would miss the opportunity while I was already close by. My target bird at Dutch Gap was the Prothonotary Warbler. Dutch Gap has 200 Prothonotary nesting boxes, and this species would make my 33rd of the 36 central Virginia warblers.

When I arrived at Dutch Gap, ther was heavy and dark cloud cover, but at least it was not raining. As soon as I got on the 4-1/2 mile trail, I spotted a Yellow-throated Warbler sitting on the boundary fence. Perhaps this was a good omen? I could hear some Prothonotary Warblers, but could not locate them in the dense tree canopy under dark skies. I did photograph an unidentified juvenile bird farther along on the same fence, but can not identify it. From the size and shape of its bill, it might be an Icterid, and I did see an adult male Orchard Oriole nearby on the same fence.

After about a hour, and just past trail marker #4 (0.4 miles), I made a detour and took an interior trail. Up ahead I saw a metal bridge (near trail marker 37?), and decided that I would turn around on the bridge and head back as it was getting even darker, and would look for a Prothonotary Warbler on the return. As I turned around I heard a nearby Prothonotary Warbler, and it soon appeared only a few feet away from me. What a beautiful bird! Two minutes after taking a dozen or so photos, it started to rain. I was wet, but happy with a new life bird and my #33 area warbler.


Yellow-throated Warbler


Blue Grosbeak


Osprey


Unidentified juvenile


Prothonotary Warbler


Prothonotary Warbler


Prothonotary Warbler


Prothonotary Warbler


Prothonotary Warbler


Prothonotary Warbler

Dutch Gap list (15 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch
Indigo Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Barn Swallow
Chimney Swift
Orchard Oriole
Unidentified juvenile
Red-winged Blackbird
Osprey
Carolina Wren
Common Grackle
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler


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