Rockfish Valley Trail 9/21/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


Walt Childs and I arrived at 8:30 a.m. at the Glenthorne Loop parking area just as dense fog was lifting. Sher and Dave Sedgwick and their son pulled up right behind us, and we all birded together. I thought that it would be good birding day - as soon as I crossed the first wooden bridge for a quick look on the east side of Reids Creek, I saw a Great Blue Heron standing on top of a tree.

The five of us spent almost 2 hours walking on the east side of Reids Creek as there were so many birds to see. When we got to the second wooden bridge, Walt and I decided to return on the east side of Reids Creek, and the Sedgwicks crossed over and returned on the west side. Walt and I saw 43 species on the east side, and the Sedgwicks added four additional species that they saw on the west side. We met up at the first wooden bridge, and then added Black Vulture, Common Raven, and a Red-headed Woodpecker to bring the morning's species total to 50. After the Sedgwicks left, I added a Downy Woodpecker on the upstream trail to raise the total species count to 51.

In addition to the Red-headed Woodpecker, the remarkable highlight was seeing 11 warbler species: Mourning, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Palm, Wilson's, Tennessee, Black and White, American Redstart, and Nashville. My previous high single day total for warbler species on the trail had been six.


Great Blue Heron

The Warblers

Magnolia Warblers seemed to be everywhere we looked.


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler

Northern Parulas are one of my favorites, especially when they are changing from their breeding to non-breeding plumage and show a wide range of colors.


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula

Tennessee Warblers were foraging in the tall vegetation.


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler

We saw Black and White Warblers in two locations.


Black and White Warbler


Black and White Warbler

We saw male and female American Redstarts. The female had more yellow on its breast than I have ever seen on this species, but the undertail pattern is definitely Redstart.


Female American Redstart


Female American Redstart

There were Nashville Warblers in multiple locations and a few of them had interesting plumage.


Nashville Warbler


Nashville Warbler


Nashville Warbler


Nashville Warbler


Nashville Warbler - this one had a very weak eye ring


Nashville Warbler - this one appeared to have spectacles and gray far down its back

There were lots of Black-throated Green Warblers.


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler

And a couple more warbler species:


Common Yellowthroat


Palm Warbler

There were quite a few Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in various stages of molting from juvenile to adult plumage.


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Eastern Wood-Pewee


Red-eyed Vireo


Swainson's Thrush


Broad-winged Hawk


Red-headed Woodpecker


Red-headed Woodpecker


Red-headed Woodpecker



E-mail comments on this report


Return to blog page home