New Hope, VA 7/19/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


Dickcissels are sommon summer birds in the mid-western U.S., but rare here in Virginia. The only one I had seen before this morning was a female on the Rockfish Valley Trail on October 9, 2010. With the report of three Dickcissels on Rockfish Road between route 617 (Round Hill School Road) and route 612 (New Hope-Crimora Road) between Crimora and New Hope, VA, I decided to go looking for them.

At first all I saw were some common summer birds. Some of the female Red-winged Blackbirds had the most orange on their throats and breasts that I have ever seen. There were lots of Tree and Barn Swallows, and in total I saw 17 species in about one hour while looking in this small area.


Female Red-winged Blackbird


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Barn Swallow

I soon heard a Dickcissel singing, and it didn't take long for me to find it in one of the trees along Rockfish Road. I believe that I saw two different Dickcissels. The first one had a dark mark on its lower bill, and a somewhat small black breast patch. The second one did not have the mark on its bill, and had a somewhat larger black breast patch. The second one flew from the trees and perched on a wire on the other side of the road.


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel


Dickcissel

After taking close to 300 photos of the Dickcissel(s), I drove around the area and found some more species, including a Grasshopper Sparrow and a pair of juvenile Field Sparrows along Round Hill School Road.


Grasshopper Sparrow

On my way back down Rockfish Road, I stopped to take a few more photos of the Dickcissel. Other species I saw in this small area were Turkey Vulture, American Crow, Starling, Chipping Sparrow, Mourning Dove, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, American Goldfinch, Orchard Oriole, and Carolina Chickadee.


Dickcissel


Dickcissel



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